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. Sunrise Visitor’s Center

    Although the Paradise Visitor’s Center at Mt. Rainier National Park is more well -known and generally open year round, the Sunrise Visitor’s Center is a unique and very impressive setting.  It’s the highest place in the park accessible by car at 6400 ft. elevation.  From…

    Location: State Hwy 410, White River Entrance to Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park, WA 98022
  2. Chucksney/Grasshopper Meadow Complex

    The center of Chucksney/Grasshopper Meadow Complex can be reached after a grueling hike over steep terrain that will take you over small streams, near sheer cliffs, through bear and mountain lion habitat, and through beautiful rock gardens and forests of firs, lodgepole pine, western hemlock…

    Location: Willamette National Forest
  3. Goat Rocks Wilderness — Gifford Pinchot National Forest

    Hike the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail through this rugged, high alpine terrain named for the many mountain goats that reside here.  A U.S. Wilderness Area first recognized in 1931, is actually part of an ancient volcano, eroded over time. Today, Gilbert Peak and Old…

    Location: Packwood , WA 98361
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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