Tuesday, July 5, 2016

High Desert Museum

    The High Desert Museum has an excellent exhibit about the lives and culture of the Native American tribes of the high desert regions of Oregon and Washington. A large collection of beautiful artifacts and artwork was donated to the museum by Doris Swayze Bounds, a local woman who had a passion for Native American art.
The other main exhibit follows the settlement of the area. Full size dioramas depict a Northern Paiute  shelter,  a French trapper's camp,  Hudson's Bay Company fort,  an Oregon Trail wagon,  a hard rock mine,  a settler's cabin and  the boomtown of Silver City.

    The museum building also houses a desertarium with snakes, lizards, turtles and owls.
  More exhibits are located outside. A half mile paved trail winds through the trees to the otter and birds of prey enclosures. A 1904 sawmill has been  relocated to the property and a small living history homestead built to demonstrate life of the early 1900s. These kids were enjoying playing pioneer for a day!

  The museum building is accessible. Only part of the trail is designated as accessible but all of it can be easy done except for the Wind, Earth and Fire section which is surfaced with loose woodchips. The Raptors of the Desert Sky program is not accessible.

   We followed signs in the parking lot for RV parking but we still weren’t sure where we were supposed to park so we just parked in a lot that didn’t get much use.  Lots of room for RVs but you may have to park across the spaces.
Museum   43.9671, -121.34338


  1. I loved it back in about 2004 and they have really added to it since then.

    1. Yes, there is a lot to see and quite a variety too! We visited years ago and were surprised to see how much more had been added since then.