I'm wondering if the High Desert Museum is worth doing on a cold rainy day? How much of it is outdoors?
Greetings. There is a 1/2 mile paved path that loops through the Museum grounds to several stand-alone exhibits. The Autzen Otter Exhibit has both an outdoor viewing area and an indoor exhibit area with displays and an aquarium with lamprey and Warner suckers. The Birds of Prey exhibit is mostly indoors or outdoors with a covered roof. Here you'll see raptors such as owls, hawks, and eagles. The indoor area has presentations and some displays. The trail also leads to the Miller Ranch. The buildings on display depict a 1904 High Desert Homestead with a barn, cabin, and other outbuildings. The nearby Lazinka sawmill runs in the summer on special occasions. The main building has many exhibits, wildlife, and other art to keep one busy even if the weather turns nasty. Our facilities crew does stay on top of maintaining the trails, plowing or sanding, as needed. Don't forget to check the website for a list of current exhibits and the daily schedule.
If you can handle cold & rainy, it is worth the visit. While there is a lot to see indoors, much of the attraction is outside and probably worth enduring a little cold and rain.
We were there on a rainy day and enjoyed the indoor exhibits for several hours. There is also a restaurant for warming foods.
The walk to the raptor houses is short, and we did that with no trouble.
A lot of it is covered. I think it would be a great place to visit any time honestly. There is a lot of great displays of Oregon history and live wildlife. They have a raptor area that is probably more than 80% covered. The only part I remember not being is about 1/2 of the otter display. Then the pioneer area is outdoor. When I was there, they were open and there was even some cover there as well. You would be outside coming and going. But it isn’t much farther than from the middle of the parking lot to the front door. Well worth a visit. I will go back again when I can.
About half is indoors and the rest is outside. While several of the things we did were outdoors, there is enough inside to still make a visit worthwhile even on a bad weather day.
Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to answer. Very helpful.
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all of you taking the time to help us out. In the end, we decided to pass. We'll pick another day when it is nicer.
I'd rather wait for a sunny day.
We spent most of our time viewing the indoor exhibits because of the high heat and intense smoke due to the wildfires during August 2017. The inside exhibits were wonderful, interesting and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! It was just my husband and myself and we did include walking around outdoors, too. They have done a great job and you can see they take pride in their museum. So either way and no matter the weather, we would visit the museum again on our next visit to Bend. Enjoy!
If it is a choice between a rainy or sunny day, then sunny is better. If you can only go on a rainy day, it is still well worth the trip. There are good things to see inside. I would not have wanted to miss this on our visit to Bend.
There is plenty indoors and outdoors! We were there in March this year on a rainy... almost snowy day... and we took umbrellas... it was super enjoyable... dress in layers...
The river otters are not to miss... mind you they are spooked/on alert by umbrellas.... the birds of prey exhibition/ class also a no miss.! Very nice museum!
As many of the comments have stated, there are a lot of indoor exhibits. If you do go on a rainy day, be sure to go back when you can be outdoors. The environs and docent talks in the outdoors are excellent, as well as the children's area.
The other comments are all pertinent, however, the highlight of the visit was the live raptor show. You have to sit outside for about an hour with no cover while the raptors fly over your head so close at times their wings brush the top of your head. It is an amazing show. Whatever day you pick, make sure you see that show. It does cost an extra $5 per person but it is well worth it. The better the weather the more you will enjoy the show. Have a great time!
I would stick to nicer weather for a visit. A lot of the exhibits are outside. Try the Family Fun Centre for a rainy day (if you have kids that is).
The settlers cabin, the sawmill, and the barn area are outdoors. To access tne otter exhibit you need to walk a couple hundred yards, but they can be viewed from inside the exhibit. Tne birds of prey exhibit is a couple hundred yards from the otter exhibit. There are a lot of interesting activities that can be enjoyed inside.
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