Nestled into the local evergreen, the museum has been putting smiles on visitors faces since 1982, continually expanding and improving their exhibits. Children can see a multitude of critters including a playful otter and a bobcat. As you enter the museum you will see a western icon - the stage coach. This an authentic DeMoss stage coach that transported a lot of gold and some notable passengers. We didn't look for any gun shot holes or arrows but we're sure there are plenty of stories this western stage coach could tell. We have not heard of any Night at the Museum moments so the secrets stay with those who drove it :-)
Traveling through Oregon you will see a land covered in evergreen or scrub desert areas. The evergreens remain an important part of the economy and the museum has an authentic 1904 sawmill. This is fully operational today cutting lumber for some of the ranch exhibits on site. Those traveling in the summer might be lucky and stumble upon one of the days on the weekend it is operational. The musem has plenty of exhibits to keep you busy for hours or most of the day. The indoor exhibits provide an excellent representation of life during the pioneer and early settlment days. Tune your ears to the trickle of water running down the sluice as you enter the area. Can you find any gold or silver? If you do, we have heard that the bank will provide advances for gold dust.
When planning your trip be sure to visit the website of the museum and see what temporary activities may be available. They have had smoke jumper exhibits for those protecting the land from forest fires. In 2017 they are planning a WWII High Desert Home Front exhibit to commemerate the 75-year anniverary of the United States joining the war. A large photo gallery of the museum can be found here.
Staying in Bend, Oregon
When visiting Bend there are plenty of options for accommodations. We stayed at the Hampton Inn which has maintained its high ratings. The town of Bend Oregon is at the heart of micro-brewery country with a huge selection of local breweries to tour. You can take the Bend Ale tour and get your Ale passport card stamped as you move through the town. Just remember to drink responsibly and consider one of the tours that provides a bus.
Getting to Bend is fairly straightforward. The most common approach by air is to fly into Portland and rent a car. Take an extra day and explore the Portland area before heading to Bend. On the return you could first travel a bit south and enjoy some whitewater rafting on the North Umpqua River. We did a full day run with North Umpqua Outfitters and had a blast of a time.
There are numerous places to visit, and explore when visiting Bend, Oregon. The famous Crater lake is only 2 hours away and Smith Rock is another popular attraction. This area is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts during all seasons. Hiking, fishing, mountain biking and skiing are just a few of the popular activities.
Smith Rock near Bend Oregon