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. Wet Planet

    Wet Planet offers exciting rafting and kayaking trips on the White Salmon River, Wind River, Klickitat River, and Tieton River. Each river has spectacular scenery, wildlife, and things you couldn’t see if you weren’t traveling by way of the river. The White Salmon River, which is…

    Location: Husum, WA 98623
  2. Rainier Mountain Festival / Rainier BaseCamp

    Rainier Basecamp is the place to stop when going to Mt. Rainier National Park and is home to the annual Rainier Mountain Festival. Climbers come from around the world to hang out and participate in a weekend pack with mountaineering adventure. ADA Accessible Interpretive Signage Trained Guides/Guided Tours/Self-Guided…

    Location: 30027 SR 706 East, Ashford, WA 98304
  3. Town of Jacksonville

    Founded in 1851 during the gold-rush, Jacksonville is a National Historic Landmark. The town offers a wide variety of events for visitors. There’s a celebration of Chinese New Year in February. You can take in an outdoor concert at the Britt Music Festival and see characters…

    Location: Jacksonville, OR 97530
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