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City Listings

British Columbia

Oregon

Washington

 

Major Metropolitan areas

Vancouver, BC

Seattle Metro

Portland Metro

 

 

 

ConvCtr

 

 

 

Interstate-5 in 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 winter.

 

The Pacific Ocean Beaches

Lighthouse01.jpgThe 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

 

The Coastal Valley, commonly called the Interstate-5 corridor

Troll01The 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, BC; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Redding, 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 youd like to see Seattles Troll.

 

 

The inland territory of the Pacific Northwest

 

WenatcheeHills02.jpg

The photo above shows the hills around Wenatchee.

They are typical of the hills in Eastern Washington

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The inland 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.

 

The inland 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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