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North Cascades Landforms

The North Cascades are steep, rugged, glaciated mountains formed by volcanic activity. The highest peaks are volcanoes such as Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak, which rise to more than 10,000 feet. Valleys bottoms go down as low as 500 feet. Glacially carved U-shaped valleys and cirques are prominent features.

Many rivers drain the North Cascades and flow toward Puget Sound, including the Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, and Nooksack. Some drainages have been dammed for hydroelectric power and have created large reservoirs, such as Ross and Baker Lakes.


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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