GPS Coordinates: 45.4641701, -125.5340955
REGIONS > CENTRAL OREGON
The Cascades are an expansive mountain range extending from British Columbia, Canada, in the north to northern California. A huge part of the range bisects Oregon from north to south. The highest peak in the range is Mount Rainier in Washington at 14,411 feet (4,392 m). In Oregon, the highest point is Mount Hood. The range was formed largely through volcanic activity and is part of the eastern end of the "Ring of Fire." Many of the volcanoes in the mountain range are currently considered dormant, but major eruptions have occurred as recently at 1980 when Mount St. Helens (Washington) devastated a huge portion of wilderness country and dumped ash as far away as Portland.
Due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the Cascades receive a considerable amount of precipitation and parts are covered year-round in snow and ice. The high rainfall supports a dense forest, particularly on the west side of the mountains, which is dominated by conifers. Ponderosa pine, mountain hemlock and some varieties of larch are typical of the forests on the drier eastern side.