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. Jefferson Park

    Jefferson Park is a high sub-alpine basin with dozens of lakes within the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area.  In the opinion of many it is the most beautiful alpine ecosystem in the Oregon Cascades. It is a popular wilderness destination for many Oregonians and visitors from elsewhere. Seasonal access,…

    Location: Mt. Jefferson Wilderness
  2. Breitenbush Hot Springs

    The Breitenbush community carefully stewards the land that encompasses the geothermal location.  They utilize the geothermal energy, construct buildings that are fitting and unobtrusive, and maintain a system of trails.  There are many facets to the educational experience at Breitenbush.  Many workshops and classes are…

    Location: Breitenbush, OR
  3. Buncom (Ghost Town)

    Buncom is the last gold-mining ghost town left in Southern Oregon. Nestled in the pine trees, the remaining buildings of Buncom are alive with the memories of the 1,500 miners who once dug for riches here. ADA accessible Interpretive signage Located on private land

    Location: 3232 Little Applegate Road, Jacksonville, OR 97530
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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