Petersen Rock Garden and Museum

Petersen Rock Garden and Museum

Petersen Rock Garden and Museum
3.5
This location was reported permanently closed
Write a review

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

See what other travelers are saying
  • Grammasrock
    Portland, Oregon30 contributions
    Incredible art- not so incredible facilities
    As a few others have remarked, the artistry is incredible but the state of the facility is abominable. There are broken- down cars everywhere, campers and a home that I am amazed anyone could live in it. The “museum “ is a wreck on the outside. We couldn’t go in, however, even though it was during posted hours and even though I called the number on the sign as directed because the person who answered said she couldn’t open the museum because she was babysitting her grandchild. The walkways around the Statue of Liberty and Capital structures were crumbling. It looks like there once was a picnic area but the area is unkempt. A few tables with umbrellas and a manicured area, plus upkeep on the grounds, removal of the campers and vehicles and a museum open stated hours would allow this gem to be grand again. Alas I don’t think it is worth the money because it doesn’t appear that the money is being used to maintain the site. It is a shame what is happening to this man’s incredible life‘s work.
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2021
  • Lori G
    2 contributions
    Treasure Amongst The Trash
    Such a fun and unique place to visit! Sad that the groundskeeper doesn’t have the same passion for the place as the original owner. I was more than happy to pay the fee. (heard it was donation, but sign said $6 per adult) A sign said ‘gardens possible with your donation’. I don’t think they use any of the funds for any sort of upkeep. This place is on the National Register of Historic Places. Can’t we get someone in there who wants to keep this place up for generations to come?
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 9, 2022
  • Sandi M
    Rainier, Oregon53 contributions
    Worth $10!!
    This garden holds a special place in my heart as I used to visit here as a child. The artistry and dedication put into its creation helped me to overlook the lack of caretaking. I loved watching the peafowl strut their stuff and even got to pet a sweet pup. It needs TLC and I hope someone will give it the attention it deserves. To lose a treasure like this would be tragic.
    Traveled with family
    Written May 22, 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

3.5
152 reviews
Excellent
36
Very good
44
Average
37
Poor
21
Terrible
14

LaurieB980
Portland, OR571 contributions
Jul 2022
My husband came here when he was about two years old, his older sister told us, but of course, he doesn't remember it at all!! I will say, I LOVED this place partly because of the history of how the somewhat eccentric man spent 17 years building all kinds of small buildings out of rocks he found in the area including obsidian! His Statue of Liberty, rock bridges and handrails, the miniature buildings, and everything he built was fascinating to me, and I also LOVED the lily ponds with the scores of blooming water lilies! (NOT out of rocks, however!) A beautiful bird somehow attached itself to me and as I stood near one of the bridges, over and over, he flew from one branch to another then back again near me, then followed me to the other side of the bridge where he again perched and just looked at me as if to say, "where to next?!!?" We enjoyed looking through the small museum, and met the granddaughter who now plans to sell the property. I think it is hard for her to do the upkeep that is required due to an injury she sustained some time ago, and I really hope whoever buys it, will keep it as a monument to a very interesting man who dreamed big!! It needs some work, but is in much better shape than some reviews read stated. I LOVED it!
Written July 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marty K
1 contribution
May 2021 • Couples
This site is amazing! Yes, it is a little run down, but the sheer artistry and dedication that went into this work is beyond words. The museum and gift shop were open. The added attracion of the peacocks wondering the site gave it a fairy tale feeling. This is a central Oregon treasure that should be seen by all. It is worth the trip.
Written May 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kat
4 contributions
May 2022 • Family
Took my granddaughter there for the first time. What a disappointment. The weeds, garbage and just trash over the grounds detracted from what could be a beautiful display of rock structures. She did enjoy the peacocks but certainly not worth the donation for "upkeep"of the property. Clearly the owners don't care.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rylie G
2 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
Overall the structures of the castles and buildings were absolutely beautiful! However the overall experience was quite odd, there was someone living in the Center home surrounded by the castles. There was dogs barking, and trash all around the home. The museum that was supposed to be included was shut down. I would consider going back because of the beautiful structures, however I think they need to renovate their amenities.
Written March 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

L L
Bend, OR1 contribution
Feb 2012
What happened to this wonderful place?? If Mr. Petersen could see how run down and unmaintained his great creation has become, he would for sure turn over in his grave. I’m writing this review to warn others out there that remember this to be quite a spectacular place, so that their fond memories are not destroyed like ours were. When we arrived we were greeted by unfriendly dogs chasing the cars trying to park as well as the unfriendly owners of the property. I must not leave out the number of feral cats running around and the sad, hungry looking horse standing off to the side of the parking lot. We should have gotten back in our car once we noticed the huge amount of garbage strewn all over the property, but we decided to proceed. They have replaced the donation sign with one that lists the fee amounts they are charging to walk around the property. $4.50 for adults? They state that the money goes to the upkeep of the property and displays. I can guarantee that they are not using the money for this purpose. It was very sad to see how much of Mr. Petersen’s creations have fallen apart and have not been fixed. Broken, crumbling structures with missing rocks and cigarette butts lying all around. The museum was even worse. All the display cases and specimens in them are covered in years of dust. Again, more garbage was found to be tossed around the rooms with a strong odor or cigarette smoke lingering in the air. Faded hand written notes stuck to the front of displays that are empty of their contents. I am a full supporter of the “road side attraction” for family fun, but the Petersen Rock Garden should no longer be included. To the people or family that now own it; shame on you for letting it get to that condition. Please take some pride in the work that Mr. Petersen put into his creations and clean up the property. Fix the structures so others may also remember this place to be something special and unique.
Written March 30, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

penahill
Hollister, CA633 contributions
Aug 2018 • Couples
Found this place from a website. This is out of the way place and is intersting. There is an entrance fee of $6 per adult. The garden has not been maintained very well and they had a lot of peacocks. The garden is very intersting and Mr Peterson did a great job putting it together. I hope the garden gets some love to make it look better. This still is a very neat and unique place to see
Written August 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca H
Klamath Falls Oregon2 contributions
Oct 2012 • Solo
On Oct. 7 2012, I went to the Peterson Rock Garden, expecting to see a beautiful rock garden that my husband said was worth seeing, according to his visit back in the 60's. I was sorely disappointed. The signs were poor, the place was a filthy, rundown and abandoned looking piece of property. The owner (husband of Mr. Petersons granddaughter) looked like a homeless filthy man himself, who appeared to be either brain damaged or very uneducated. Not professional in any stretch of the imagination. The place had trash everywhere with rundown buildings, bicycles and wheelchairs left lying around, the grass was dead and the motes where there should have been water, was empty gooey mess or dead weeds and junk. The once beautiful landscaping was dead or dying and the poor peacocks look like their starving to death. I fed them what I could! The museum smelled of the dog feces that was piled against the walls with the trash and everything was covered in dog hairs and who knows what. The place is unbelievably filthy! CREEPY!!! and the owners apparently do NOT care! I can only hope that someone who does care, buys this place quickly and saves it. According to the owner, his wife has not applied for a historical site certificate to help get government funding nor seems to be putting any effort out on their own to clean up their own filth. Apparently they take no pride in themselves nor the hard work their grandfather invested into this once amazing place.
Written October 7, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

367Jerry
Santa Rosa, CA23 contributions
Sep 2013 • Family
This is a fascinating place. Thousands of rocks (large and small) have been stacked and mortared together to make a dozen intricate small scale "rock buildings" or villages. There is at least one 6 ft high rendition of Independence Hall that even has small glass windows. There is one castle with a moat and cylindrical towers at the corners. The largest feature is an island with a number of buildings (including a lighthouse with a 4-inch high "person" standing on the circular walkway at the top of the lighthouse.) The island is connected to two "mainland areas" by bridges made of small stones. Someone has spent a great deal of time and money creating the "rock art" -- It may have even taken generations. There is no charge for admission, but a donation of $5 is requested for adults. Even though the museum was not open the day we were there, we had a valuable experience. Much of the stone does not appear to be native to the region, which heightens the interest. Not sophisticated, but very worthwhile!
Written September 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

phishua
Midwest6 contributions
May 2012 • Family
Came here for an early-afternoon adventure with my wife and daughter. The peacocks are interesting and quite docile, and very beautiful. Everything else was a major disappointment: the rock structures are falling apart, the "museum" smells of cigarettes, mold, and mildew, and the property is littered with junk. There is little to no signage describing the history of the rock garden. There is a $4.50 fee for adults (based on the honor system) for upkeep of the property, but it looks like no one has done any work there for years. Ugh. Couldn't get away quickly enough.
Written May 3, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Don224
Lafayette, LA780 contributions
This place is a one of a kind place that is very interesting. It's well worth a visit.
Written April 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 149
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Petersen Rock Garden and Museum (Redmond) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go