July 6, 2022
The Cascade Range (English: Cascade Range or Cascade Mountains (in Canada)) is an extended mountain range located on the west coast of North America, between the states of California, Oregon, Washington in the United States and the province of British Columbia in Canada. . The range is part of the Cascade Volcanic Belt, of which Mount Rainier is the highest peak at 4,392 meters above sea level, overlooking Seattle and Mount St. Helens, a mountain that erupted in 1980. This volcanic arc is still active, it began to form 36 million years ago due to the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American plate. The threat posed by volcanic activity remains serious. The Columbia River interrupts the main topography of the mountain range, cutting through the range from east to west, its basin covering a large portion of the slopes of the Cascade. The two parts of the north-south range prevent the penetration of hot and humid oceanic climates from the Pacific Ocean. Due to the high altitude, heavy rainfall translates into significant amounts of snow, as occurs at Mount Baker, which is the largest glacial area in the United States outside of Alaska. In the eastern part of the range, rainfall is much lower, the climate is more continental with greater variation in daily and seasonal temperatures. This difference can be seen in the mostly coniferous forest vegetation: Douglas fir and Tsuga heterophylla pine predominate in the western part of the range, but Pinus ponderosa pine, Pinus contorta pine and Pinus contorta pine predominate. In the east, there are arid lands. The northern part of the range, the North Cascade, is colder and has higher elevations, where many glaciers are present. This is the land of pine trees: tsuga mertensiana, abies alba and abies lasiocarpa. The fauna is very diverse but is under threat. To protect the biodiversity and natural resources of this area, most of the mountain range has been protected, especially in the four national parks. The mountain range has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years, with Native Americans creating many myths and legends about the volcano. Europeans explored the mountain range in the late 18th century. Its name derives from the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1806, from the rapids located in the Columbia River Gorge. Expedition and subsequent trade between the Northwestern Company and the Hudson's Bay Company increased. Mainly the fur trade was later replaced by the timber trade. If improvements were made to help cross the mountain range, the range would be largely devastated. Mountaineering in the mid-19th century and skiing in the early 20th century eventually led to the first human climb to the top of the highest mountain. In the 21st century, the wild beauty of the Cascade Mountains makes it a tourist attraction.