The Coast Mountains are approximately 1600 km long and average 200 km in width. Its southern and southeastern boundaries are described by the Fraser River and the Interior Plateau. North of the Nechako Diversion, the Coast Mountains are flanked on the inland side by the Hazelton Mountains, the Skeena Mountains, the Stikine Plateau and the Tahltan and Tagish Highlands. Its far northwestern edge is delimited by the Kelsall River at the north end of the Alaska Panhandle, beyond which are the Saint Elias Mountains.
Covered in dense temperate rainforest on its western exposures, the range rises to heavily glaciated peaks, including the largest temperate-latitude icefields in the world. It then tapers to the dry interior plateau on its eastern flanks, or to the subarctic boreal forest of the Skeena Mountains and Stikine Plateau.
Although the Coast Mountains are commonly considered to be the westernmost range of the Pacific Cordillera, the Insular Mountains are the true westernmost range, which includes Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands.
During the early to middle Miocene, the Coast Mountains were favored thermally-driven uplift arising from the Miocene passage of the Anahim hotspot beneath the range, and response to convergence in late Miocene-Pliocene time.
|Mountain/Peak||Height (metres)||Prominence (metres)||Location|
|Mount Queen Bess||3298||2355|
The Coast Mountains are subdivided into numerous mountain ranges: