Photo Finish: Mount Baker and Glacier Peak!

Mount Ranier is the tallest, Mount Adams contains the most volume, and Mount St. Helens is the grumpiest, but Washington State boasts four more active volcanoes. Two of them, Indian Heaven and West Crater are not nearly as well known because they aren’t stratovolcanoes and don’t possess the classic volcano shape.

Indian Heaven and West Crater are volcanic fields (imagine a pretty wide volcano that chooses different vents to erupt from during its lifespan over millions of years). Indian Heaven is located near Mounts Adams and St. Helens, and West Crater, a lava dome, is the most prominent feature of the Marble Mountain-Trout Creek Volcanic Field. Sadly, due to the pandemic, I have not had a chance to explore these areas.

Mount Baker and Glacier Peak are the final two stratovolcanoes in the Evergreen State. Both are far more remote than the other three big mountains, but Mount Baker is the most thermally active volcano we have (after Mount St. Helens, of course), and Glacier Peak contains more glaciers than any other volcano in the state.

Sadly, I never got to get out to Glacier Peak, and I had only trip into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forrest due to the pandemic. Still, I’ve kept an eye on them, so please enjoy this look at the state’s final two stratovolcanoes.

Mount Baker is the second-most thermally active volcano in the Cascades after Mount Saint Helens. Interestingly enough, Mount Baker was the volcano most scientists thought had the best chance of erupting…until Mount St. Helens blew up. Rising 10, 781 feet high, Mount Baker is seen 72 miles from Port Ludlow. Port Ludlow, Washington. (Nathanael Miller. 12 Jan. 2019)
Mount Baker seen 60 miles away from Port Townsend. Port Townsend, Washington. (30 November. 2019; Nathanael Miller)
Glacier Peak is the most isolated and one of the most historically active of the five stratovolcanos forming Washington State’s part of the Cascade Arc. Even though it’s 107 miles (as the crow flies) from Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, its 10,525 foot summit can be seen on clear days. Olympic National Park, Washington. (Nathanael Miller, 25 September 2018)
Glacier Peak seen 76 miles from Port Townsend as the ferry transits from Whidbey Island. Port Townsend, Washington. (30 November. 2019; Nathanael Miller)

If you want to find out more out the seven volcanoes (five stratovolcanoes and two volcanic fields) in the Evergreen State, check out the following short videos from Geology Hub on YouTube. They’re not more than four or five minutes each, but give a great breakdown of each volcano’s history and likely future hazards.

Mount Rainier:

Mount St. Helens:

Mount Adams:

Mount Baker:

Glacier Peak:

Indian Heaven:

West Crater:

Next up: more favorite sites around Washington State!


#nathanaelmiller; #sparks1524; #volcano; #Cascades; #WashingtonState; #guerrillaphotojournalist; #exploreamerica; #beautifuldestinations

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