60 Cascade Mountain Facts: Ecosystem, Volcanoes, Geography And More | Kidadl


60 Cascade Mountain Facts: Ecosystem, Volcanoes, Geography And More

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A whole set of a volcanic mountain range with impenetrable terrain is a work of beauty by nature in its fullest form.

Shaped by millions of multiple volcanic eruptions, this wonderful Cascade range of America is a must-see for nature lovers. The story of its formation and its reach to the status as a protected national park is fascinating.

There are always tectonic movements in the subduction zone. The Cascade volcanoes were formed when the North American plate and Juan de Fuca plate moved in opposite directions, in west and east directions, respectively. The mountain formation began more than 45 million years ago. The volcanic platform is still active from Mt. Garibaldi, situated in British Columbia in the north, to Mt. Lassen in California. Beautiful landscape with tall snowy mountains and lush, dense evergreen forests describe the north Cascades with still active volcanoes. Mt. Baker & Glacier Peak are famous volcanoes here in the North Cascades.

Facts About The Cascade Mountains

The Cascade mountains are very important, both ecologically and economically, for the United States of America. Therefore, these mountains with wonderful diversity are protected as a national park. In fact, these mountains are a group of many national parks. A separate entity is responsible for taking care of these and safeguarding the country's natural resources from human exploitation.

  • The Cascade mountain range in the United States is the North Cascade range.
  • The volcanic mountains are known as Cascade volcanoes.
  • One of the interesting Cascade mountains facts is that they are designated as north Cascade national parks and are protected and maintained by the NPS (National Park Service).
  • British Columbia, which is a part of the Canadian provincial parks, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, and other national parks and wilderness areas form a large ecosystem.
  • Amongst the numerous lakes in the mountains, Crater lake is the most popular one. Crater lake is famous and known as the deepest lake in the United States.
  • Glacier Peak is one of the isolated peaks amongst the five active volcanic mountains in the Cascade mountain range and the most dangerous one.
  • The Cascade range is a base for many a biodiverse flora in the whole of America.
  • The earliest known residents of the Cascade range were two main groups of tribes known as the native American Skagits and the Haidas, along with other tribal groups spread across the mountainous forests.
  • Over an extended period of time, the tribal population declined as they started getting in touch with the outside world through the explorers due to new world diseases and other factors.
  • As the exploration of these mountains increased from the mid-18th century, fur trading, mining, and logging too increased, and so did the construction of dams to some extent since the mountains were impenetrable.
  • Interestingly, in 1972, the North Cascades Highway was constructed across the Cascade range.
  • By the early 20th century, the environmentalists and foresters, especially Bob Marshall, advocated for protecting the Cascade ranges as wilderness.
  • President John F. Kennedy intervened and fast-tracked the process and, under the North Cascades National Park Act of 1968, designated it as the Stephan Mather wilderness.
  • It included the Ross Lake, Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas, and the Redwood National Park situated in California.

Geographical Facts About The Cascade Mountains

Volcanic mountains over many years have formed the North Cascade range with many active volcanoes. They are Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Glacier Peak, Lassen Peak, and Mt. Shasta. With glacier peaks, snowy mountains, and beautiful lakes, the whole range of mountains is awesome, true to their name, the Ring of Fire of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Cascade range mountains are spread across the western side of North America and range from southern British Columbia to northern California.
  • The Cascade range's volcanic and non-volcanic mountains are known as North Cascades and high Cascades range, respectively.
  • The geographical range in British Columbia is known as the Canadian cascades and famously as the Cascade mountains.
  • The locals of Washington state also call north Cascades and Cascades in Washington, Cascade mountains.
  • In general, these mountain ranges are protected under the term of North Cascades national park.
  • Mt. Rainier is famous amongst all the mountains because of its looming height of 14,411 ft (4,392 m), making it the highest peak.
  • The mountains are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, over the western slopes of America in the Pacific ocean along with other mountains around it, forming a continuous chain of mountains.
  • The continuous mountains known as the Pacific ring along the Pacific Ocean coast are also called the backbone of the western side of southern, central, and North America.
  • Major volcanic eruptions in America over the past 200 years are associated with these high mountains of the Cascade volcanoes.
  • Most of the mountains are steep, and there are deep valleys across the north and north Cascade national parks. But on the eastern side, it is more like a plateau and is less glaciated.
  • The high Cascades are snow-covered across the year, with record snowfalls in the peak winter season.
  • Interestingly, the western slopes receive rainfall and snow while the eastern slopes are drier.
  • Even the trees found in what are known as national forests vary between the two slopes.
  • Douglas fir, western hemlock, and red alder are dominant in the western slopes of the Cascade range, while in eastern slopes, ponderosa pine, western larch, mountain hemlock, subalpine fir, and subalpine larch are prominent.
  • The lava bed national monument is similar to the Newberry national volcanic monument, Mt. St. Helens national volcanic monument, and five more.
  • In total, there are more than three thousand mountains, with 3753 of them being named.
  • There are around three hundred glaciers.
  • Many mountain peaks are more than three thousand meters in height.
  • Many of the peak summits are extinct volcanoes.
  • Stratovolcano Mt. Rainier is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world and is expected to erupt again soon.
  • A number of waterfalls are around the mountains. Multnomah falls are the most famous.
  • Columbia River George canyon has a protected status as 'Columbia river George national scenic area.'

The Ecosystem Of The Cascade Mountains

With rich soil from the volcanic rocks, the meadows spawn with beautiful plants and trees while also supporting farming. The breathtaking landscape forms a complete life in its most beautiful form. A mountainous forest ecosystem is complex and dynamic, giving ecological and economic support to humans as well. The Cascade mountains are covered in evergreen forests with adequate rainfall and snowy glaciers that support the meadows and flora of the area. 

  • The mountains of the Cascade range have very rich soil due to the volcanic debris and hence, is the cause of the national forests and national parks.
  • Also, the rich soil and the stream of rivers spread across the Cascade range and the volcanic debris make the area very suitable for vegetation growth and farming.
  • The volcanic rocks that make the soil fertile gave a large scope for agriculture, and subsequently, strong dams were constructed on the strong river streams of the Cascade range.
  • The Cascade range can be segregated into the north Cascades and the southern Cascades with the help of the Skagit River.
  • Coniferous forests are widespread over the Cascade Range, and the climate favors evergreen forests.
  • Trees like the fir, hemlock, pine, and cedar are spread across, giving the top snowy mountains a lush green peripheral look and a visual treat to visitors.
  • As the altitude of the mountain ranges increase, meadows, glaciers, and tundra can be observed.
  • Because of the biodiversity, these mountains are protected under the North Cascades NPS.
  • Gifford Pinchot National Forest is another attraction that has Helen's national volcanic monument, which Congress created in the year 1982 to protect and recreate the awesome landscape in the area of Washington.
  • The highest peak in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is Mt. Adams.
  • The short-lived volcanoes gave rise to a sort of volcanic platform over which one can see the strikingly beautiful Mt. St. Helens.
  • No wonder the Cascade range is having a major influence on the major aspects of the United States, including the climate, agriculture, population, and economics of the region.
  • Few grizzly bears are found in these mountains, along with other animals like coyotes, bobcats, and foxes.
Mount Rainier, spawning five major rivers, is an active volcano with beautiful glaciated peaks giving away a spectacular view.

Less Known Facts About The Cascade Mountains

As we explore, find, and understand more about these beautiful mountains, many more interesting facts. The Cascade Mountains are a must-see for nature-lovers; these valleys and peaks, lakes, and glaciers are a feast to the eyes of many. Hence, it is no surprise that the national park service protects the wonderful mountains well.

  • The North Cascades national park, managed by the NPS, has its headquarters in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.
  • In the early 10th century, the native American and British explorers were involved in fur trading in the North Cascade range, even in the impenetrable terrain, with the help of locals.
  • The Oregon coast range is separated from the Cascades by the Willamette Valley.
  • The American settlements of flanks were not there until the 1840s, which later intensified to form what is today the state of Washington.
  • One of the Oregon state quarter programs by the United States, Mint, has the image of Crater Lake on one of its sides.
  • Cascade volcanoes refer to where the major volcanic eruptions have occurred in the past 200 years in the United States.
  • In the western part of North America, the North Cascades mountain range spreads across northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia in Canada.
  • Lava beds national monument has around 500 caves formed by volcanic eruptions over half a million years.
  • The Pacific Northwest was the proposed boundary for the settlement of disputes between the British and Americans in 1846 in Oregon.
  • The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is fondly known as the crown of the continent. UNESCO recognized this national park as a world heritage site. The first international peace park is Glacier Peak.
Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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