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Blue Mountains Landforms

Like the Cascades, the Blue Mountains are largely volcanic, the result of the upward thrust of Columbia River basalt. On the plateau, the upland soils are fertile, owing to a generous covering of volcanic ash and windblown silts.

The peaks of the Blue Mountains rise from a plateau above the Snake River. The highland undulations are deeply fissured by both the Snake and the Grande Ronde Rivers.

Carved by the two rivers, this dramatic landscape includes steep, deep hillsides, bluffs, and sheer rimrock faces. The river bottoms are dramatically lower: elevations range from 750 feet along the Snake to nearly 6,400 feet at Mt. Misery.


For details of this ecoregion within Washington, click a subheading in the left column.

View the more general description of this ecoregion in North America

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