Mt. Hood Summit / Photo by Peter Marbach

Enjoy Insights into the Rich Culture and Natural Wonders of the Central Cascades…From the People Who Live Here

The sheer beauty and grandeur of the Central Cascades of Oregon and Washington will make any visitor give pause. But the many stories resting in the region’s foothills, high desert and mountain communities will inspire you to linger and explore. The National Geographic Society has collaborated with community members of the Central Cascades to illuminate the places and experiences that residents think are special. Some of the special qualities that define the Central Cascades are explored below.

Explore the Central Cascades

Just the start of what you’ll find in the Central Cascades

  1. Hood River Lavender Farms

    Hood River Lavender Farms is a certified-organic u-pick lavender farm situated on the top of Straight Hill surrounded by orchards, 1 mile off Hwy 35, offering amazing views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and the Hood River Valley below. It has a large wildflower garden…

    Location: 3801 Straight Hill Rd, Hood River, OR 97031
  2. Mayerdale

    Mayerdale, established in 1910, lies on the banks of the Columbia River 70 miles east of Portland. At the top of this gently sloping and verdant land, accessible from the Historic Columbia River Highway, sits an impressive neo-colonial estate and former home of Mark Mayer,…

    Location: 8191 Highway 30, Mosier, OR
  3. GingerRoot Wild Food Rendezvous

    The GingerRoot Wild Food Rendezvous challenges a group of adventurers to identify, gather, process and prepare wild Cascadian foods into feasts. Participants learn from and reinvent age-old sustainable cultural practices of Native Americans and pioneers, who gathered much or all of their food from the…

    Location: 3226 Dee Hwy, Hood River, OR 97031
Browse all locations:

The National Geographic Central Cascades Geotourism MapGuide

The National Geographic Society has partnered with Travel Oregon and Washington State Tourism to capture the history and heritage of the Central Cascades Region. The results are captured here — and in a colorful, informative print map.

Get your Central Cascades Geotourism MapGuide

What is Geotourism?

Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage and the well-being of its residents.

Central Cascade Themes

If you’re new the region, here are seven themes that will help you get to know the Central Cascades of Oregon and Washington.

Sustainable Travel

Sustainability is an important aspect to the concept of Geotourism. Learn how you can get the most out of your travels and leave it beautiful for others to enjoy.

National Geographic