Cascade Range

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The Cascade Range (or Cascades) is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades. The small part of the range in British Columbia is called the Canadian Cascades or Cascade Mountains; the latter term is also sometimes used by Washington residents to refer to the Washington section of the Cascades in addition to North Cascades, the more usual American term, as in North Cascades National Park.

The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the known historic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from Cascade volcanoes. The two most recent were Lassen Peak in 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Minor eruptions of Mount St. Helens have also occurred since, most recently in 2006.[1]



The Cascades extend from Lassen Peak (also known as Mount Lassen) (3170 m) in northern California to Lytton Mountain (2,049 m) in Canada, just southeast of the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers. The tallest volcanoes of the Cascades are called the High Cascades and dominate their surroundings, often standing twice the height of the nearby mountains. They often have a visual height (height above nearby crestlines) of one mile (1.6 km) or more. The tallest peaks, such as the 14,411 foot (4,395 m) high Mount Rainier, dominate their surroundings for 50 to 100 miles (80 to 160 km).

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