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. Newberry National Volcanic Monument

    Newberry National Volcanic Monument was established in 1990 to preserve its unique features, its history in the lives of Native Americans, and the beauty of the area. The Newberry Caldera area is often overlooked and is an incredible example of unspoiled Oregon beauty.  The wildlife…

    Location: Newberry National Volcanic Monument, OR
  2. Elkton Community Education Center

    Elkton Community Education Center (ECEC) captures the essence of rural Oregon’s beauty, culture and history at its site along the Umpqua River Scenic Byway.  The high school student staff offers tours of the butterfly pavilion, the 4.5-acre Native Oregon Botanical Garden with thematic outdoor sculptures,…

    Location: 15850 State Hwy 38, Elkton, OR 97436
  3. Woodpecker Wonderland Festival

    The Woodpecker Wonderland Festival showcases the upper Metolius River basin, where 11 woodpecker species breed in the highest concentration among this charismatic bird family anywhere in North America. Dozens of woodpecker nests can be found and easily observed each summer, and 8 of the 11…

    Location: Metolius Recreation Association, Camp Sherman, OR 97730
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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