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. Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site

    Thompson’s Mills is a unique reminder of times past, chronicling the past 150 years of Oregon rural life. It is the oldest water-powered grain mill in the state: its system of waterways, dams, control gates, ditches and dikes has moved water from the Calapooia River…

    Location: 32655 Boston Mill Rd, Shedd, OR 97377
  2. Morning Star Gardens

    Morning Star Farms in the the Applegate Valley has the largest  variety of heirloom apples in Southern Oregon.    Owner JD Rogers has apple trees that are not available commercially, some dating back to the 1500s, from all parts of the world.  He now grafts onto purchased …

    Location: 3905 thompson Creek Road, Applegate, OR 97530
  3. Gorge White House

    The Gorge White House is a unique “agri-cultural” experience that blends a historic structure, agricultural heritage of the valley, art and wine.  The owner grew up in the home and is a fourth-generation orchardist with a wealth of knowledge about the orchard industry. The Gorge…

    Location: 2265 Highway 35, Hood River, OR
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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