Cascade Volcanic Arc

Mt. Hood

The Cascade Volcanic Arc is a series of volcanoes that extend over 700 miles from British Columbia south through Washington, Oregon and California.  The Cascade Volcanoes are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped area around the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.  All known historic eruptions in the lower 48 United States have occurred in the Cascade Volcanoes.  The two most recent eruptions were at Lassen Peak in 1915 and Mt. St. Helens in 1980. 

The Cascade Arc contains 20 major volcanoes.  Twelve of the volcanoes are over 10,000 feet in elevation, and the two highest (Mt. Rainier and Mt. Shasta) rise over 14,000 feet.  There are over 4,000 volcanic vents, including stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, lava domes and cinder cones.

Several major cities are located along the Cascade Volcanic Arc, including Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.  Over 10 million people live in this region within striking distance of an active volcano.  These are considered some of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to their eruptive history and potential, and because they are built upon weak rock that is susceptible to failure, potentially resulting into catastrophic avalanches and debris flows.

Volcanoes are ominous and intimidating, not only because of their reputation and destructive potential, but also because of their imposing profile.  Mountain peaks tend to be surrounded by other mountains, whereas volcanoes tend to be isolated and therefore can dramatically rise 10,000 feet or more above the surrounding plain.

Please check out our photo tours of parks in the Cascade Volcanic Arc:

Mt. Rainier National Park
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Mt. Hood National Forest
Deschutes National Forest
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Crater Lake National Park
Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Lava Beds National Monument
Modoc National Forest
Lassen National Forest
Lassen National Park

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks