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USGS Geology in the Parks

Image of North Cascades NPImage of North Cascades NP

North Cascades National Park Geology: A Mountain Mosaic

The deep wilderness and rugged peaks of the North Cascade Range are only a few hours' drive from the metropoli of Washington and British Columbia. The average visitor to the range experiences a bit of Alaska and the Alps for the price of a weekend trip.

The spectacular scenery of these mountains is carved from equally spectacular geology. The steep cliffs, horrendous brush, and long trails that guard North Cascade peaks have their geologic counterparts, for an understanding of the geology of the range can be as difficult to gain as any North Cascade summit. Scientists have spent many decades puzzling out some of the geologic history of the range. We invite you to share what we and others have learned.


North Cascades Field Trip

North Cascades Geologic Story

Material in this site has been adapted from a book, Geology of the North Cascades: A Mountain Mosaic by R. Tabor and R. Haugerud, of the USGS, with drawings by Anne Crowder. It is published by The Mountaineers, Seattle.

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