Cascade Range, a mountain range of the western United States and Canada. The Cascades run parallel to the Pacific coast and extend about 700 miles (1,100 km) from northern California through Oregon and Washington into British Columbia in Canada. The range lies 100 to 150 miles (160 to 240 km) inland and is up to 120 miles (190 km) wide.
The range is marked by ice-capped peaks, which are mainly volcanic in origin. The highest peaks are Mount Rainier in Washington and Mount Shasta in California, reaching 14,410 feet (4,392 m) and 14,162 feet (4,317 m) respectively. Several of the ranges volcanoes have been active periodically since the 1800's, including Mount Baker, Mount Shasta, and Lassen Peak, in California, and Mount Hood, in Oregon. Mount St. Helens, in Washington, erupted violently in 1980.
The Cascades provide spectacular scenery, including glaciers, lakes and rivers, waterfalls, and dense coniferous forests. Among the notable lakes is Crater Lake in Oregon, which lies in a volcanic caldera and is about 2,000 feet (600 m) deep. There are several national parks and many national forests in the Cascades. The Klamath and Columbia rivers cut through the range on their way to the Pacific. The Fraser River in the north separates the Cascades and the Coast Mountains.