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“Best museum ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Gresham, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Best museum ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2013

The kids and I spent all day here. This was the most amazing and diverse museum we have ever visited. They had all kinds of exhibits inside from native americans to real animals. Just a glass divided us from a real Bobcat who was right up at it. We followed a trail outside to the live river otters and birds of prey. As we followed up the trail further we were surprised to come up to a little village that was a replication of 1904! The whole staff was dressed up as if it were that time and the kids got to do so many things to learn how hard it was to live back then. My daughter got to grind corn and learn how hard it was just to make bread with dinner, dig for real potatoes with a shovel, shave a log that would eventually be just one leg on a table. They had a house with a woodstove, real wooden outhouses, lumber mill and more! The best part of the museum for me was the exhibit they had for that week called Butterflies & Hummingbirds. We were allowed inside a netted area with free flying Butterflies & Humming birds. One landed on me and stayed on me for about 15 minutes. It was surreal!!! I definitely urge anyone to go to this museum!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Melissa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,363 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“neat experience!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

My nine year old daughter and her friend really enjoyed this museum. Price was $38 for two adults and two children. Great history - loved the two actors in the history area, especially the gentleman who spoke as if we were living in that era.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Kateeke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
97 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“historical w/ raptors & otters”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

Great stop on a trip in and around Central Oregon. This institution seems to be well-funded and is able to maintain displays that include live animals from the high desert as well as historical installations.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank wadephillips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle Area
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Price is VERY high but a nice overall experience.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

Overall, my husband liked it a lot, I thought it was okay for the price.

They have a wild-cat area, I thought it mean like a nature reserve, but really it's an abandoned Lynx that had its teeth/claws taken off and found by hikers in a small caged area.

There is a butterfly area which was okay (and hummingbirds, but I saw none). There are talks throughout the day you can go on (we saw part of a bird one, it was a bit boring but my son was fascinated). This museum is big and clean and there is a large Native American area, which was fascinating. We also saw rattlesnakes, tarantulas and Gila Monsters.

The owls were fun to look at. The otters were cool as well but sleeping (which I was hoping to see them playing). There is a pioneer village, which is cool to see how people lived. Walking around outside is fun, good exercise and there is a kid's play area. It was busy during Spring Break with kid field trips from schools.

Overall, it's a good museum, somewhat fun, but overpriced at $12 per person. For 5 of us, it was almost $60. There is a giftshop that is nice but overpriced. There is a cafe that has not so great food, we skipped it.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Northwestgirl37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“It was nice.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

It was an OK museum. I've seen bigger and better. But, for the size of the town of Bend it was nice. The exhibits were interesting with live animal exhibits, Little kids would really enjoy this place. It was a rainy day and I was on my way to the coast, so I stopped in to see this little museum.

Visited May 2012
Thank SPITFIRE1761
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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