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“Informative and fun!”
Review of High Desert Museum

High Desert Museum
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
3-Day Tour from Portland to Crater Lake
Ranked #1 of 93 things to do in Bend
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The museum, set on 135 acres of pine forest, has something for everyone. Explore the nature, culture and spirit of the High Desert through fun, interactive, indoor and outdoor exhibits. Encounter live animals, interact with living history characters at the Miller Ranch, visit the 1904 sawmill. See what life was like for pioneers, enjoy Western art and an extensive Native American collection. Special programs and events for all ages.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
90 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Informative and fun!”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

My husband dragged us to the High Desert Museum. On paper it looked very boring to me. I'm not a fan of American history and I don't really care that much about deserts. So I was prepared to spend a lot of time just sitting around while he looked at the exhibits.

I am pleased to say that I couldn't have been more wrong! This place is so much fun! There were live animals, interactive exhibits, indoor and outdoor exhibits, a beautiful gift shop and more! My son especially loved the train exhibit and the mine exhibit. I loved the gift shop and the live animal exhibits. My husband enjoyed all the history lessons. We all had a nice time walking to the outdoor exhibits. I have never smelled a pine forest before and it smelled amazing. Living history exhibits were a unique feature for us. My son enjoyed asking questions of the ladies "living" in the log cabin.

Overall we had a wonderful time and I would not hesitate to visit again if we're in the area.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank ShellyKP34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,383 reviews from our community

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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
109 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Many Improvements”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We first visited the High Desert Museum a little more than ten years ago. It was an excellent museum then, and it is an even better museum now. The best part of the museum is the extensive display of a pioneer homestead and saw mill from around 1900. There are horses, chickens, logs ready for sawing, barns, etc. It is great for kids to run around and experience the life of a pioneer family.

The museum now has a very extensive and well laid out exhibit regarding Native Americans. There are many artifacts, and the recreations of various types of homes that Natives had over the years is very interesting.

There are a number of live wild animals at the museum, such as eagles, owls, otters, bobcats, snakes, lizards, etc. Some of the enclosures are a little small. Several signs indicate which animals have been injured and could not survive in the wild.

The museum has added a cafeteria, which is a cool place to relax. The high desert tends to be hot during the day in July.

There are also live animal demonstrations showing the habits and characteristics of various animals of the high desert.

The museum is on U.S. Highway 97 between Bend and Sun River. The cost, depending on discounts for AAA members, seniors, children, etc., averages a little more than $10.00 per person. It is well worth it.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank Seala_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Get in touch with the local environment”
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Excellent exhibits with interpretive and interactive displays. The "Raptors of the sky" is a must. Plan on two hours minimum.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank Melissa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tacoma, Wa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great for Kids AND adults”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

On our long Oregon road trip, summer of 2014, my girlfriend and I decided to stop in on this little gem tucked alongside highway 97. The previous day coming into town we stopped at a rest area and I met an old man and his cockatoo who highly recommended the museum. The old man made the recommendation not the bird, just to be clear...

The museum is a great diversion filled with plenty of wildlife, history, indigenous culture, and knowledge. Eagles, otters, owls, a lynx, a bobcat, turtles, snakes, and other animals are all there. All that and $5 pitchers of PBR. Just kidding about the beer. In all seriousness, it's worth the stop and the $16 or so.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank tenaciousme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasco, Washington
Level Contributor
48 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The hidden desert!”
Reviewed 15 August 2014

One of the best community museums we have seen anywhere. The variety of the topics is astounding: raptors, otters, native history and crafts, area history and artefacts of exploration in the area. Western artwork. Snakes! Geology. Science.
It's a very well organized museum, and can take a large number of visitors without seeming too crowded.
Passed by a couple of ranger talks, which had everyone enthralled, even the teens.
Deserves its #1 ranking in the Bend area.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank Graham L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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