View over the Cascade Mountains in Canada with Sea To Sky Air

Where are the Cascade Mountains? And 4 reason why you should visit

In Squamish Attractions by Vicky Farrand

The Cascade Mountains, also known as The Cascade Range (or just The Cascades), is a major mountain range of western North America. It extends from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon all the way to Northern California.

Once the Cascade Mountains cross the boarder here into Canada they are known as The Canadian Cascades (part of the Northern Cascades). There are differing opinions as to whether the Canadian Cascade Arc is officially part of the Cascade Mountain range, however both were created by the subduction of the oceanic crust under the continental margin.

Have you heard of the Pacific Ring of Fire? Yep, the Cascade Mountains and the Canadian Cascade Arc are part of it, which means there are volcanoes everywhere.

While not all the mountains in The Cascades are volcanoes, at least four volcanic zones in British Columbia are related to Canadian Cascade Arc. Two of these zones, the Garibaldi and Pemberton Volcanic Ranges, sit right on our doorstep and we fly over them every day.

British Columbia has the second largest parks system in Canada, after @parkscanada. According to env.gov.bc.ca almost 90% of British Columbians have used a provincial park at some time; and, about six in ten residents of British Columbia use a provincial park each year. Our region has some of the most spectacular national parks and provincial parks, ecological reserves, conservancies, and recreation and wilderness areas in the world. We pinch ourselves at how lucky we are to fly over this place, every single day ? All this is just 45mins from #vancouver and 35mins from #whistler! ? taken on tour last spring over the Squamish backcountry. Share your photos with #mycanadaparksbc ———————————————- #exploresquamish #theoutbound #flightseeing #squamish #explorebc #outdoorlife #vancitybuzz #canadaparks #bcparks #tourcanada #ohcanada #pnwoutdoors #pnwlife #birdseyeview #flyinghigh #choosemountains #mountainscape #blueskyday #iphoneonlyphoto #iphone6 #nofilterneeded #vancitybuzz #vancityhype #explorecanada

A photo posted by Sea to Sky Air (@seatoskyair) on

When did a volcano last erupt in the Canadian Cascade Mountains?

The Canadian Cascade Arc has been erupting a chain of volcanoes along the British Columbia Coast for around 29 million years. The most modern of which is thought to have been as recent as only 1000 years ago.

While there are no any historical records of eruptions on the Canadian side of the Cascade Mountains, the Pemberton and Garibaldi Volcanic Belts are thought to be dormant and the possibility of activity is likely in the future. Any activity ranging from landslides to eruptions could cause major problems for the surrounding populations here in Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.

A map of the Canadian Cascade Arc in the Cascade Mountains of British Columbia

A map of the Canadian Cascade Arc: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Cascade_Arc

Our favourite peaks of the Canadian Cascade Arc

With mountains stretching out as far as the eye can see it’s almost an impossible task to narrow the whole region down to just a few peaks, but here are out top four reasons you should visit the Canadian Cascade Arc. Enjoy!

Cross-Cut Ridge, Castle Towers Mountain

A triple summit mountain on the east side of Garibaldi Lake first summited in August 1911 by the BC Mountaineering Club. The mountain was named because of it’s catherdal-like appearance. 

See this on the Whistler Backcountry Air Safari

Garibaldi Mountain & Diamondhead Peak

Mount Garibaldi is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Sea to Sky corridor around 70 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia. The top of Mount Garibaldi contains three peaks named The Tent, Atwell Peak, and Diamondhead.

See this on the Whistler Backcountry Air Safari & Sea To Skypilot

The Black Tusk

Black Tusk is an iconic sight for many people who visit Squamish and Whistler. According to Natural Resources Canada, The Black Tusk was “perhaps the conduit for lava within a cinder-rich volcano. The loose cinder has since eroded, leaving only the hard lava core.” 

See this on the Coast Mountain Photo Epic & Whistler Backcountry Air Safari

Spring time is one of our favourite times to shoot the peaks from the air. We get such a mixed bag of weather you’re almost always guaranteed to have an interesting sky as backdrop to your shot. This shot of #BlackTusk (a dormant volcano) was taken by @victoriafarrand few days ago on our Coast Mountain Photo Epic. The tour is designed specifically for pro and amateur photographers and gives you the freedom to fly at any time of day between sunrise and sunset, and you can plan your own custom route with our pilots to capture exactly what you want. —————————————————- The Coast Mountain Photo Epic is $284 p/p and an be booked on our website. It’s perfect for amateur and pro photographers a like. It still astounds us that this is on the doorstep of #Vancouver and #squamish! —————————————————- #garibaldiprovincialpark #coastmountains #westcoastbestcoast #landscape_lovers #photographyeveryday #volcano #twilightscapes #exploresquamish #explorebc #mycanadaparksbc #1inamillionsquamish #mountainlife #vancouverisawesome #vancouverphotographer #cloudporncentral #whistler #whistlerunfiltered #vancityhype #britishcolumbia #canadaeh #canadaswonderland #beautifulbritishcolumbia

A photo posted by Sea to Sky Air (@seatoskyair) on

Skypilot & Copilot Mountains

Not much is known about the formations and history of these two mountains, but they are one of the most photographed peaks on ay of our tours. There’s just something magical about the way the early evening light casts itself across the northwest slopes. Guests love them so much we named a flight after them, the Sea To Skypilot.

See this on the Sea To Skypilot & the Coast Mountain Photo Epic

Do you have a favourite peak of the region, or any amazing facts or photographs that you’s like us to include? Please share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram directly or using the hashtag #SeaToSkyAir.

References:

  1. Anderson, James. D (2011) British Columbia’s Magnificent Parks: The First 100 Years, Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd
  2. Cannings, R & Cannings, S (2015) British Columbia: Natural History of Its Origins, Ecology, and Diversity With A New Look At Climate Change
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Garibaldi
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemberton_Volcanic_Belt
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Range