The Cascade range forms a chain of volcanoes in the Pacific NW region of North America, extending along the coastal range from British Columbia in Canada in an arc for around 700 miles as far as northern California. There are 13 major volcanoes in the range. Most are located in the states of Washington and Oregon. Lying on a destructive plate margin, part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", the volcanoes have been responsible for some spectacular eruptions over many thousands of years.
This tour gives the opportunity to visit three of the volcanoes at close hand (Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood), with more distant viewing of at least three others. The area is subject to heavy snowfall in the winter months, but in summer has a warm sunny climate. The landscape is spectacular, the lower slopes covered by extensive pine-forests, which give way to colourful meadows carpeted by alpine flowers. All the volcanoes have glaciers on their upper slopes, and the landscapes are a haven for wildlife.
The visit is open to all adults. The party will be led by Alan Clewlow, an experienced geologist who will be on hand to offer advice and some explanation of the features seen. It will also offer a superb opportunity for photography. The visit will also give the chance to spend some free time, which could be used to take in additional excursions.
For bookings and extra information please call us on
01527 832 578 or email@example.com
Leave London (Heathrow) on morning flight to Seattle, Washington state, USA, arriving early afternoon local time. Transfer by coach to 4-star hotel in the city.
Introductory talk after breakfast to discuss the week's activities. Coach to Mount Rainier National Park, entering via north-east entrance to Sunrise, the highest point reached by road on the volcano. Picnic-lunch and time in visitor centre before taking walking trail for spectacular views of the volcano with the summit and the Emmons glacier. Late-afternoon coach-ride around southern flank, over Stevens Pass to the historic Paradise Lodge, our base for the next two nights.
The day starts with a leisurely walk to a viewpoint of the south-western flank of the volcano. Afterwards, there are a number of optional walks of varying length following well-marked trails, taking in flower-carpeted alpine meadows, waterfalls and a range of landscape features.
Morning coach-ride to Windy ridge, overlooking Spirit Lake on the eastern side of Mount St. Helens, viewing the devastation to the landscape and the local forest caused by the 1980 eruption, and its subsequent recovery. The route also offers views of Mount Adams. Later, our route via the Clearwater viewpoint will take in Ape Cave lava tube and the trail of two Forests, eventually reaching Kelso, for a one-night stay in local hotel.
We follow route 504 to Johnson ridge, the main visitor centre for Mount St. Helens. The chance to hear talks on various topics by rangers at the centre, and to watch a video presentation about the 1980 eruption. A walking trail from the centre takes in some spectacular views of the volcano and the landscape around it. There should be time for those who choose to do so to take part in a 30-minute helicopter-flight around the main crater. Late afternoon coach-ride to the city of Portland, Oregon, our base for the next two nights, where we check-in to a centrally located 4-star hotel.
A day at leisure in Portland, the "city of bridges" on the Willamette river. The opportunity to explore the downtown area with its wealth of good restaurants, clubs, bookstores and coffee houses or take part in one of the many optional excursions on offer into the surrounding region.
Coach transfer to Timberline lodge, high on the southern flank of Mount Hood. From here, there is the option of following a walking trail, or taking the chairlift to a high-point, a favourite spot for skiers and snowboarders, to get a better view of the glaciers and other features on the volcano's side. Late afternoon drive around Mount Hood and then down the Hood River valley to the Columbia River. Overnight stay at Hood Valley.
First to a viewpoint overlooking the spectacular Columbia River gorge, cut into the plateau basalts which cover much of the north-west corner of the USA. We follow the gorge westwards, stopping at various viewpoints, including stops at The Bonneville Dam visitor centre and Multnoma Falls, the 4th highest waterfall in the USA. Afternoon drive to Seattle, for overnight stay.
Day 9 & 10
Free morning and early afternoon in Seattle. Late afternoon transfer to Seattle airport on Monday for return flight to the UK, arriving around lunchtime, next day local time. For those who wish to, there is the possibility of an optional extension in Seattle, or a transfer to Vancouver, British Columbia (both at extra cost).
(Please note that this might have to be subject to slight amendment)
The cost of the visit, based on accommodation only, is estimated to be £1900. This includes return flights (and taxes) by British Airways from London (Heathrow), coach transfers and local excursions on the itinerary listed in the tour brochure (not including any optional excursions). Accommodation is based on two people sharing a room. It should be possible to arrange single accommodation for those who require it, but this will involve a supplement. All those taking part in the tour are expected to arrange their own holiday insurance, which can be obtained from any travel agent or insurance broker.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate