Carolina: Cruising Past 70: TRAVEL AWAITS: How To Visit 6 Lovely Volcanoes In The Cascades

Friday, December 17, 2021

TRAVEL AWAITS: How To Visit 6 Lovely Volcanoes In The Cascades

                      The complete article was published in Travel Awaits in June 2020

When we lived in Seattle, we were blessed with the beauty of one of these volcanoes, Mount Rainier, whenever she appeared from behind the clouds. Seventeen other volcanoes form the 700-mile-long Cascade Volcanic Arc, from the southern tip of Canada’s British Columbia through Washington, Oregon, and the northern part of California, many of them still active.

1. Mount Baker

If you’re going south from Vancouver, Canada, you will encounter Mount Baker first. It rises 10,781 feet high, the youngest (no more than 140,000 years old) of them all. "It is also second-most heavily glaciated after Mount Rainier and the second-most thermally active after Mount Saint Helens. t is also one of the snowiest places in the world, setting the world record for snowfall in a single season at the Mount Baker Ski Area in 1999."

2. Mount Rainier

"Mount Rainier is the Cascade Volcanic Arc’s leader in beauty and risk. An active volcano (the last eruption was in 1894) it is the most glaciated peak and most prominent mountain in the contiguous U.S. It is also the tallest in the Cascades at 14,411 feet. The area around it is so beautiful that it has been preserved as the Mount Rainier National Park. But it is also considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, listed on the Decade Volcano list because of its large amount of glacial ice that could produce massive lahars that would threaten a lot of life and property, especially considering the city of Seattle is just 59 miles southeast of its peak."

3. Mount Saint Helens (headline photo)

"Mount Saint Helens is just 50 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon, and 96 miles south of Seattle. It is the most active volcano in the Cascades Volcanic Arc, most known for its major eruption — the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history — on May 18, 1980. In fact, it reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit by more than 1,000 feet, leaving a mile-wide horseshoe-shaped crater." In 1983, the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument was opened to preserve the volcano and allow for the scientific study of the aftermath of the eruption. 

4. Mount Hood And The Three Sisters

"Mount Hood is located about 50 miles east-southeast of Portland. It is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation, offering the only year-round lift-served skiing in North America. Standing 11,240 feet high, it is the highest point in Oregon and the fourth-highest in the Cascade Range. The volcano is considered the most likely to erupt in Oregon. The odds of an eruption in the next 30 years are estimated at between 3 and 7 percent, making it what scientists call “potentially active.”

5. Mount Shasta

Once we stayed overnight in the town of Redding, California, which is quite near Mt. Shasta. "It is always such a beautiful presence whenever we pass by, with and without the glaciations, going up to or down from Seattle. It is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in northern California with an elevation of 14,179 feet, second only to Mount Rainier in height. But it is the biggest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with an estimated volume of 85 cubic miles."

6. Mount Lassen

"Lassen Peak, commonly referred to as Mount Lassen, is the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range. It reaches an elevation of 10,457 feet. It is also different in that it isn’t a stratovolcano like the others but a lava dome. In fact, it is the largest lava dome in the world. On May 22, 1915, a powerful explosive eruption devastated nearby areas and a series of eruptions (that actually lasted from 1914 to 1917) spread volcanic debris 280 miles to the east. Lassen Peak and Mount Saint Helens were the only two volcanoes in the contiguous United States to erupt during the 20th century." It 
was named the Lassen Volcanic National Park after the eruptions, preserving 100,000 acres for observation and study.  

These six lovely volcanoes of the Cascades have always made our drives through the Pacific Northwest such a pleasurable experience. Having stayed around some of them, our Interstate 5 drives have always come to life more than other highways.




  1. They are Mounts Baker, Rainier, St. Helens, Hood (plus the Three Sisters), Shasta, and Lassen .

  2. I didn't realize there were actually that many volcanoes in that region. Visiting a volcano is one of the items on my bucket list.

  3. I just loved the detail you have included here on the Cascade Volcanic Arc. Aside from the fascinating information this entire region is just such a naturally beautiful and enticing way to enjoy a vacation away from the cities. This post inspires readers to really ensure they take the opportunity to get up close and experience the wonder of these natural treasures.

    1. Yes, it has been very inspiring to see them in our trips.

  4. All of this volcanoes / mountains look so beautiful and worth a visit. I have heard of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, but Mount Shasta looks spectacular too. Hopefully I can visit the area some day!

  5. Lassen Volcanic NP is basically a tiny version of Yellowstone NP but with more mud pots and fewer colorful pools. It is one of my favorite parks.
    I also love Mt St Helens. I still remember seeing the aftermath of its eruption on TV. So, going there and seeing the destruction and how nature rebuilds was very special to me.

    1. Yes, those two offer a lot of insights from volcanic eruptions.

  6. How fascinating! I had no idea there were so many volcanoes in that area. This is a great resource for when I'm in that area next!

  7. It's a very inspiring and informative article. It's so impressive, as you visited 6 Volcanoes in the Cascades! I have seen only three so far, Mt Hood, Three Sister, and Mt Rainier. But I would love to see others.

  8. I had no idea there were this many volcanoes in the are and I was surprised to read that we had one in canada. I will have to visit it next time I'm in Vancouver

  9. Amazing the number of volcanos we have in the U.S. Still remember when Mt. St. Helen's blew her top on May 18, 1980. . .have no desire to live through another one!


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