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. Union Street Raiload Bridge

    Built in 1913, this lift-span railroad bridge was used for local passenger service, logging and cannery freight over the Willamette River, one of the 14 designated historic rivers of America. Use declined after the 1960s. In 2004, the bridge was purchased by the City of…

    Location: Union Street at Willamette River, Salem , OR 97301
  2. The Sisters Country

    The Sisters Country offers a unique “step back in time” for visitors and locals.  This western-themed town is the hub for eco-opportunities in the Central Cascades, with activities such as rafting, hiking, biking, fishing, camping, rock-climbing, horseback-riding and more.  The Sisters Country is made up…

    Location: Sisters, OR 97759
  3. Skamania Lodge

    Surrounded by the waterfalls, peaks, forests and canyons of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Skamania Lodge is an all-season mountain resort situated on 175 acres offering a vast array of outdoor activities.  Skamania boasts the Waterleaf Spa, indoor swimming pool and whirlpools, a…

    Location: 1131 Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson, WA 98648
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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