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. Barlow Road Tollgate Maples – Heritage Trees

    Near the town of Rhododendron, two bigleaf maple trees stand on each side of the replica tollgate that marks the westernmost and last tollgate operated on the Barlow Road—the branch of the Oregon Trail that crossed Mt Hood.  The construction of this road and subsequent…

    Location: Barlow Toll Gate, Hwy. 26, 1 mi. east of Rhododendron, MP 45-46, Rhododendron, OR 97049
  2. Lara House Lodge

    The Lara House Lodge is a beautifully restored 1910 Craftsman, built by the Lara family, one of the first business owners in Bend. Located downtown in the Historic District at the heart of Bend and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lara…

    Location: 640 NW Congress St., Bend, OR 97701
  3. Maryhill Museum of Art

    Come explore Maryhill Museum’s world-class collection of art ranging from early 20th century European works to an extensive Native American collection. Set in a castle-like chateau on a stunning 6,000-acre site overlooking the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Maryhill Museum is one of the Pacific Northwest’s…

    Location: 35 Maryhill Drive, WA 98620
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