Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

What volcanoes have erupted in the lower 48 States since the Nation was founded?

Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

Listen to hear the answer.




Public Domain.


[music fades in]

Hello and welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Steve Sobieszczyk. Today we're going to mix some science and history.

What volcanoes have erupted in the lower 48 States since the Nation was founded?

Since 1776, there have been more than a dozen periods of eruptive activity by at least one of the volcanoes from the Cascade Range. The most active volcano has been Mount St. Helens, which erupted multiple times including in the late 1700's, 1800 to 1857, 1980 to 1986, and 2004 to basically now. Lassen Peak, in California, erupted between 1914 and 1917. Mount Rainier erupted in the early 1800's and again in 1894. Mount Hood, in Oregon, erupted in the late 1700's and again between 1856 and 1865. Mount Shasta, in California, erupted in 1786. Glacier Peak was volcanically active from the 1600's through the 1700's. And lastly, Mount Baker, in Washington, was active between 1840 and 1870, with some steam emissions present in 1975 and later.

And now you know. Join us every weekday for a new CoreFact. If you have a question you think we should answer on the air, email it to us at or leave us a voicemail at 703-648-5600; long distance fees do apply.

The USGS CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

[music fades out]

Show Transcript