Pacific Northwest - matthewcrowleyphotography
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The Ring of Fire

I don't think there is a better view of so many volcanoes in the Cascade Volcanic Arc than from 8500 feet elevation, on Broken Top. From this view you can see nine extant and extinct volcanoes, with a total combined distance of 150 miles! Starting from the one I am standing on in this photo, Broken Top, and then from left to right there is South Sister, Middle Sister and North Sister, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Hood and Mount Adams. Five of these peaks are the five tallest features in all of Oregon. They are, from tallest to shortest, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, South Sister, North Sister and Middle Sister.

My friend Jeff and I backpacked up to Broken Top because there were favorable conditions predicted for sunset and sunrise. We originally were focused on the unnamed lake inside of the moraine on Broken Top however while scouting we climbed an additional 500 or so feet of elevation to this overlook, which was absolutely breathtaking! I had a good feeling that if there were to be a good sunset that all of the peaks would have a nice sharp silhouette. We both decided to return at sunset.

This sunset greatly exceeded either of our expectations. It kept getting redder and bolder. It looked like the sky was on fire! The snowfields glowed a soft pink. As far as Serendipity goes, this one ranks at the very top, where the conditions and the view came together so perfectly. It didn't look real, even standing there looking at it with my own eyes.

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