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. Lost Lake Resort and Campground

    Lost Lake is a beautiful place nestled 3,140 feet up in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Local Native Americans referred to it as “E-e-kwahl-a-mat-yam-ishkt,’ or “heart of the Mountain,” which is a beautiful way to put it. So far from the bustle of town, Lost Lake is…

    Location: Lost Lake Road, Hood River, OR
  2. Oregon Garden

    The Oregon Garden offers a lovely botanical garden experience set in the historic town of Silverton. The Garden offers monthly events, horticultural and ecological education for children, and a lush habitat for wildlife. Wetland cells offer a haven for a multitude of wildlife and an…

    Location: 879 W. Main Street, Silverton, OR 97381
  3. Willamette Mission State Park

    The park occupies land where the first mission for American Indians was founded in 1834 by the Reverend Jason Lee. Members of the Methodist Mission were later active in the formation of Oregon government. A landing for the Wheatland Ferry — the first to carry…

    Location: 10991 Wheatland Rd NE, Gervais, OR 97026
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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