The High Desert Museum

entrance to High Desert Museum with bronze elk scuplture
The High Desert Museum south of Bend. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
The High Desert Museum is nationally acclaimed for its close-up wildlife encounters, living history experiences, Tribal and Western art, cultural exhibits and special programs for all ages. The museum features indoor and outdoor exhibits and natural animal habitats and is renowned for inspiring stewardship of high desert cultural and natural resources. Nature trails meander through the museum’s 135 forested acres. 

Major permanent exhibits include the Earle A. Chiles Hall of Exploration and Settlement, the Henry J. Casey Hall of Plateau Indians and the Donald M. Kerr Birds of Prey Center, which is home to many raptors. Outdoor wildlife viewing areas include the “Fire in the Forest” interpretive fire trail. Three North American river otters can be found frolicking in the pond at the Autzen Otter Exhibit. Porcupines, badgers, a red fox and reptiles are also among the more than 100 animals in the museum’s care.

The museum’s turn-of-the-century working sawmill and replica High Desert Ranch provide authentic settings for its living history performers.

The museum, five minutes south of Bend, is open every day except Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and is funded by visitors, members, donors and grants.​


Dr. Dana Whitelaw, Executive Director
Address: 59800 S Hwy. 97, Bend 97702-7963
Phone: 541-382-4754
Fax: 541-382-5256