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. Rock Hounding in Crook County

    Central Oregon is considered a rock hounding paradise. Prineville has the unofficial title of Rock Hound Capital of the United States! Few places offer the variety of precious gemstones as the high deserts and forests of this part of Oregon. With a little preparation, people…

    Location: Prineville, OR 97754
  2. Tired Dog Ranch

    Tired Dog Ranch is your getaway from the dog-eat-dog world, even if you walk on two legs. Chase your tail in the apple orchard, gnaw on a good bone in the pasture, or howl at the moon in the meadow. If you’re dog-tired, you can…

    Location: 47061 LaDuke Road, Westfir, OR 97492
  3. McKenzie River Trail

    The McKenzie River Trail is one of the signature places in Oregon. This 26-mile trail follows the McKenzie River from its genesis at Clear Lake down to the community of McKenzie Bridge. Nearly the entire trail is in old-growth forest, and the river’s water is crystal blue…

    Location: 26 miles - Clear Lake to , McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413
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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