Major Metropolitan areas
Cities on the
Major Metropolitan areas
downtown Portland with the convention center towers in the background
The Geography of the Pacific Northwest.
The cities of the Pacific Northwest
are as unique and complex as the geography of the region. The Pacific
Northwest area has three very unique geographic areas. The coastal plane usually backed by low
mountains followed by the coastal valley or the Interstate-5 corridor which
lies to the west of the Cascade Mountain Range and to the east of the
coastal mountain ranges. Then east
of the Cascade Mountains you have Eastern Washington and Eastern
Oregon, Montana, and Idaho which have
warmer and dryer climates in the summer season and cooler climates in the
The Pacific Ocean Beaches
The Coastal Plain
is less populated that the Interstate-5 corridor mainly because of its
harsh climate caused my Pacific Storms and the relative lack of wide open
space. The hills of the coastal
mountain range often start to rise just behind the ocean beaches. The coastal plain is usually cooler than
the Interstate-5 corridor because of more cloud cover and fog on the Pacific Coast. However, when we say cooler we mean only
a few degrees and in the hot summer season that makes a hot day on the I-5
corridor a comfortably warm day at the ocean beaches.
The coastal mountains keep most of the fog the pacific
ocean generates along the coast and makes the clouds drop some of their
rain going over the mountains. That
is why you find such lush forests along the coastal mountain range. The rain forests along the Olympic
Peninsula in Washington
State benefit from
the rains provided by the Pacific and you can see some of the oldest trees
in the world along this part of the coast.
Because of the remoteness, lack of farm lands, lack of
ports, and just the ruggedness of the area the cities along the Pacific Coast are mostly small. If you are looking for a vacation where
you can get the small town atmosphere, rugged and beautiful scenery, and
the surf, sandy beaches and even ferocious Pacific Storms then vacationing
along the Pacific Coast
called the Interstate-5 corridor
coastal valley (I-5 corridor) which runs down the east side of the coastal
mountains and the west side of the Cascade Mountains along Washington,
Oregon, and Northern California is warmer than it is along the Pacific
Ocean Beaches. Because the Cascade
Mountain range, which is considerably higher in elevation than the coastal
range, more of the precipitation coming out of the clouds formed over the
Pacific Ocean is dropped in the Interstate-5 corridor.
That rain gives the I-5 corridor its green color and the
river valleys offer wide, flat, and rich farmlands. The big plus is that there is enough rain
so irrigation is rarely needed making this region great for farming when
this area was settled. That led to
large populations and large cities.
You will find a full range of cities from large to small in the
coastal valley (I-5 Corridor) including: Vancouver,
CA; and Sacramento, California.
The cities of this area are unique and diverse. You always see the Space Needle when
people talk about Seattle. We thought you’d like to see Seattle’s Troll.
The inland territory of the Pacific
The photo above shows the hills around Wenatchee.
They are typical of the
hills in Eastern Washington
territories lie east of the Cascade Mountains. Most of the cities in this area are very
small and some are almost ghost towns because the only economy in the area
is agriculture and the industry has automated and takes far fewer people to
harvest the crops than it did 100 years ago. One of the interesting things about the
cities of the inland areas is that they are on the water. No, not the Pacific Ocean or Puget Sound,
but the rivers that wind through the territory on their way to the Pacific Ocean.
Prior to the coming of the railroads the rivers were the only way to
get your crops to market. Many of
the cities that sprung up along those rivers became shipping hubs and they
remain healthy today.
areas of the States of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Montana
offer a much different climate than the coastal areas. The Cascade Mountains remove most of the
rain and clouds from the Pacific Coastal weather systems making the climate
much dryer and warmer in the summer.
It is so dry that some areas are actually classed as desert.