Description - Three major volcanoes; Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mt. Adams rise like immense pyramids from the surrounding hills. On their southern border with Oregon, the Columbia River has carved a great gorge, thousands of feet deep in spots, through the Cascade Range. These three volcanoes and a gorge are quiet but awe-inspiring neighbors to the regions booming cities. From Vancouver, Washington in the south, to Seattle and Tacoma in the north, this is Volcano Country.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Takhlakh Lake and Mt. Adams in the distance in the clouds.
- The year 2000 marks the twentieth anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, which created the greatest landslide in recorded history. Visitors to the mountain can now see the green of rebirth emerging from the ash amid a surreal moonscape of forests blown over in the blast. Many miles of trails and several informative visitor centers give you different perspectives on the mountain, and on the unbelievable forces that coincided that Sunday morning, May 18, 1980.
Recreation - Climb on the back of a volcano or bike a wooded trail in the shadow of a city skyline. Windsurf with the world's best where the breath of the Pacific is channeled in a great gorge. Explore a lava tube, lie in a bed of wildflowers, talk to ancient trees or cook a meal on a glacier. Ride a river's rage in spring or feel a waterfall's mist on your face.
Climate - Washington's climate varies with each region. The Cascades split the state and alter weather patterns. The terrain east of the mountains receives significantly less rainfall than that west of the mountains, 12 inches is the annual average. Temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months, because it is landlocked. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.
Western Washington is temperate, due to the coastal geography. The water is a stabilizing force for the climate, making extreme temperatures rare. The area receives large amounts of rainfall from Pacific storms and some snow during winter months.
The mountains of Washington receive large amounts of water-laden snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year.
Volcano Country region is located south of Seattle along the southern Cascade Mountain range. The region can be accessed via Hwy. 410.