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. Jonsrud Viewpoint

    This site provides one of the best views of the Sandy River valley, the Cascades and Mt. Hood. With only a few roads and farms, it probably appears much the same as it did hundreds of years ago. One of the roads that is visible…

    Location: Bluff Road, Sandy, OR
  2. Woods Creek

    Bring the binoculars and walk the Woods Creek Watchable Wildlife Loop to look for red-breasted sapsuckers, black-throated gray warblers, and Hammond’s flycatchers, among others. Birding is best in the mornings and evenings. ADA Accessible Interpretive Signage Photo courtesy of Terry Gray and Audubon Washington

    Location: Hiwy 12 Milepost 115, Randle, WA
  3. Sahalie Falls

    Sahalie Falls is a beautiful waterfall that provides an amazing sight to see in the summer or the dead of winter. In the winter the surrounding area can be glazed over with ice from the waterfall.  In the summertime it offers a cool mist. You can see the…

Browse all locations:

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