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Jill Sanford | 05.05.2017

There are few things as impressive as a volcano, whether you are taking stock of it’s massive destructive power or scaling it’s peak. Most of the iconic mountains and features out west are either volcanoes themselves or have been shaped by them. In some cases, we owe entire mountain ranges, like the Cascades, to volcanic activity.

Many of the volcanoes out west are part of what is called the Pacific Ring of Fire, which encompasses the mountains along the left coast of the U.S. as well as the volcanoes in Russia, Japan and South America that boarder the Pacific Ocean. While there is no imminent threat of eruption, many of these volcanoes are still considered active. 

Despite the layers of magma and geothermal activity brewing beneath the surface, volcanoes are also excellent areas for outdoor recreation. You can hike through wildflowers on the slopes of Rainier, ski tour over glaciers on Baker, walk through hollow lave tubes in northern California, and watch lava sizzle as it touches the ocean at Kīlauea.The opportunities to get outside on a volcano are limitless, and each experience is different than the next. 

In order to appreciate the scale and magnitude of these forces of nature, it’s best to experience them first hand. Here’s a list of some of the most interesting and unique volcanoes that we recommend for your next adventure.





British Columbia


  • Katmai National Park
  • Mount Katmai
  • Mount Spur
  • Mount Wrangell
  • Mount Redoubt
  • Novarupta Center
  • Mount Veniamnof
  • Mount Iliamna​


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