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. Wildlife Images

    Wildlife Images is an extraordinary place to visit.  They provide care and treatment for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, and offer educational programs on wildlife, conservation and the environment to schools, organizations and the general public. Tours are available year-round; Wildlife Images tour guides are knowledgeable about…

    Location: 11845 Lower River Road, Grants Pass, OR 97526
  2. Recycled Spirits of Iron

    A sculpture garden of animals large and small, fashioned out of found, recycled wood and metal by local artisan, Dan Klennert. One of the more unique attractions in the Central Cascades area, this sculpture garden is a highlight in the Mt. Rainier National Park area. Interpretive…

    Location: 22410 State Route 706 East, Ashford, WA
  3. Metolius River Resort

    The 3,000-foot elevation of the resort boasts clean air, generally sunny days and cool nights. Miles and miles of streamside and forest trails invite birdwatching, hiking, biking and picnicking. Water sports, golf, horesback riding, skiing and shopping are available within a short distance. With the Metolius…

    Location: 25551 SW Forest Service Rd 1419, 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