Kayaking on the Sandy River / Photo by Sam Drevo, eNRGKayaking.com

Adventurous Spirits: An Outdoor Playground

Abundant natural resources have drawn people to the Central Cascades for millennia, from many Native American tribes to Oregon Trail pioneers. The creative, can-do spirit early residents displayed in making a life here lives on as modern Cascadians explore new ways to live in harmony with each other and the land.

“When I came to the Columbia Gorge with my dad in the mid-1980s, the place was booming with windsurfers who had moved here for the steady winds. We were into sailing fast. Dad hypothesized that you could sail 40 knots in 10 knots of wind on a hydrofoil pulled by a big kite. Soon after, kiteboards were born."

—Cory Roesler, kiteboarding pioneer, Hood River, OR

Examples of Adventurous Spirits

  1. Rogue National Wild and Scenic River

    As one of the original Wild & Scenic Rivers in the United States, the Rogue River is a true American icon. Designated by an act of Congress in 1968, 84 miles of the 215 miles of river were protected against development. Flowing from the side…

    Location: 325 Galice Road, Merlin, OR 97532
  2. Three Sisters Wilderness Area

    This is one of the most beautiful wilderness area in the Oregon Cascades, with the highest concentration of 10,000-foot-plus peaks in all the Cascade Mountain Range.  The wilderness area consists of a variety of ecotypes ranging from low-elevation old-growth Douglas-fir forests to subalpine and alpine ecosytems. …

    Location: Three Sisters Wilderness
  3. Mt. Adams

    Least visited of the major Central Cascade Peaks, Mt. Adams is considered the “forgotten giant.” Wildlife, wide areas, and quiet are equally abundant. The steep, 1.4-mile climb to “Sleeping Beauty” rewards with expansive views from an old fire lookout. Visit and learn about the local…

    Location: Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Trout Lake, WA 98650
  4. Crystal Mountain

    Crystal Mountain Resort is predominantly a ski area but this natural land has much to offer in the off-season months as well. In the summer the resort provides scenic chairlift rides, a mountaintop restaurant, hiking, fishing, tennis, and mountain biking. After Labor Day the ski…

  5. Wet Planet

    Wet Planet offers exciting rafting and kayaking trips on the White Salmon River, Wind River, Klickitat River, and Tieton River. Each river has spectacular scenery, wildlife, and things you couldn’t see if you weren’t traveling by way of the river. The White Salmon River, which is…

    Location: Husum, WA 98623
National Geographic