If you are looking for an interesting and educational day trip in Central Oregon, look no further than The Museum at Warm Springs. Just an hour from Bend, this fascinating attraction is located on Shi-tike Creek which feeds into the beautiful Deschutes River on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. A shaded parking lot, picnic tables and river access make it a perfect place for a summer day, but it is what’s inside the museum that you’ll really want to see.
It’s important to learn about the rich Indigenous history of the Central Oregon area, and that’s exactly what you’ll do during a visit to this 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. Built to preserve the heritage and culture of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, made up of the Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute Peoples, the Museum was originally established in 1993. We have been proud to support their work in the region.
The Museum at Warm Springs has one of the largest Native American collections, specifically holding the best Plateau Native American artifacts in the country, detailing the history and culture of the Indigenous peoples in the region. On weekends, the Museum often hosts live demonstrations by Tribal Members of their arts, history and culture, including dance, music, artwork creation and other performances.
New exhibits are periodically unveiled, including a recent show by contemporary and traditional artists presenting work that challenges stereotypes surrounding indigenous peoples. The organization also hosts several annual events, including The Huckleberry Harvest and regular tribal art exhibits. The Museum at Warm Springs recently received an Oregon Heritage Commission grant to develop and install a multi-faceted, multimedia exhibit. This new exhibit will feature firsthand accounts and personal stories about the culturally significant places and experiences of Indigenous people from the Columbia River system.
The building itself is an impressive place to visit, with a live stream running up to the front and the exterior design created to look similar to a traditional camp with an impressive entry. The spacious main lobby is soaring and welcoming, and visitors can always view the permanent exhibit in the space which is comprised of many of the curated artifacts. The Museum also offers educational and meeting spaces, plus a gift shop.
Interested in learning more? The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am – 5pm, and is located at 2189 US-26, Warm Springs, OR 97761.