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. Mountain Bike Oregon

    The Oakridge area is known as the “Mountain Bike Capital of the Northwest” and serves as one of Oregon’s centers of outdoor recreation. Mountain biking is a big part of the culture in this area, which has an unparalleled system of mountain biking trails.  Ride among…

    Location: Greenwaters Park, Oakridge, OR 97463
  2. Comet Falls

    Hailed as one of the most popular and dazzling hikes in the Mount Rainier National Park, Comet Falls is a natural wonder the whole family can enjoy. After only a couple of switchbacks, visitors will find scenic lookouts, flowering natural landmarks in the spring, and…

    Location: Ashford, WA 98304
  3. Table Rocks

    The Table Rocks are two of the most prominent topographic features in the Rogue River Valley. These flat-topped mesas rise 800 feet above the north bank of the Rogue River between Sam’s Valley and Central Point. Though many people assume Upper Table Rock is taller…

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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