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“It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds,

deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

North Cascades

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Created: 24 September 2012

The North Cascades are the part of the Cascades Range; they are the border between Canada and the US.

The North Cascades are one of the wildest places in the country with gorgeous peaks, old forests and diverse wildlife. This is the most precious part of the country that should remain wild.

The North Cascades were created by volcanic activity that has been continuing recently. This territory is mostly non-volcanic, but several stratovolcanoes Mount Baker and Glacier Peak are situated here.


These two tallest volcanoes last time erupted about 10, 000 – 12, 000 years ago. Most of the mountain peaks are over 10, 000 feet and they plunge into the most beautiful valleys that are 500 feet above sea level. The most prominent features of this territory are glacially carved U-shaped valleys. There are valleys that were dammed and they became large water reservoirs, such as Ross Lake and Baker Lake.

The climate of the North Cascades varies by elevation and location. The western part of the range is typically dry; this part receives less than 50 inches of rain every year. Higher elevations receive more than 100 inches of snow.

Summers here usually are dry, temperatures are mild in the valleys mostly all the year round, but higher in the mountains summers are cool and winters are very cold. Tops of the mountains are permanently covered with ice and snow.

Another great feature of the North Cascades is alpine glaciers. Mount Baker and Glacier Peak have the largest glaciers. Experts say that there are more than 700 glaciers in this range.

The vegetation in the North Cascades depends on the elevation and amount of precipitation. At low elevations such trees as western hemlock, Douglas-fir, and western red cedar are found.

Middle elevations are represented mainly by Pacific silver fir, western hemlock, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, larches and Douglas-fir.

At higher elevations mountain hemlock and subalpine fir are the main representatives.

The North Cascades are home to 200 species of birds and 75 species of mammals, among them are wolves, grizzly bears, mountain lions, black bears and bald eagles.

It should be said that more than 96% of the territory is uninhabited. North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area protect large areas of the North Cascades. There are also several wildernesses, but lower elevations are widely inhabited. The North Cascades of Washington, known as the American Alps, offer great opportunities for recreation which is associated with natural environment. Hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling are very popular here.

The best time to visit the North Cascades is between the middle of June till the end of September.

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