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. Blackberry Jam Festival

    This annual family-fun event is held in Lowell, on the Dexter Reservoir overlooking a beautiful, verdant recreation area. The event includes drag boat races on the lake, live music and food venues, art contests and a fishing derby with a prize of $10,000.   The fully restored…

    Location: Rolling Rock Park, Lowell, OR 97452
  2. Rogue National Wild and Scenic River

    As one of the original Wild & Scenic Rivers in the United States, the Rogue River is a true American icon. Designated by an act of Congress in 1968, 84 miles of the 215 miles of river were protected against development. Flowing from the side…

    Location: 325 Galice Road, Merlin, OR 97532
  3. The Arts Cabins Project

    The Arts Cabins are a marvelous art center in the National Forest on Mount Hood at 4,000-foot elevation, consisting of two surplus U.S. Forest Service cabins that were saved from demolition. They are adapted to interpret the traditional Cascadian/WPA and CCC Arts & Crafts styles…

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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