The Wenatchee Valley
Many areas in Eastern
Washington are desert and crops only grow with irrigation.
Eastern verses Western Washington
The eastern two thirds of
is uniquely different from the western Washington
coastal plain that lies west of the Cascade Mountains. Western Washington’s
signature is dense dark green Douglas Fir forests and the rain required to
grow those forests.
Eastern Washington lies
east of the Cascade
Mountain range that
holds the moisture from the Pacific Storms to the west. That gives Eastern
Washington a dryer, warmer climate in the tourist season and a
colder and dryer climate in the winter months.
Although it is difficult to
see in a small format, the photo above shows the Columbia River winding
through the Wenatchee Valley with the City of Wenatchee in the background.
If that were western Washington you would
see dense forests but on the dryer high desert plain of Eastern Washington
you see less vegetation. In the
summer the only green you will see, especially on the hills, will be
irrigated orchards and green belts along the rivers and streams. The real treat in this area is in the
spring when the grasses and other vegetation on the hills are green and the
trees in the orchards are blooming.
The hills on the eastern foothills of
the Cascade Mountains lack the forests
that the wetter west side foothills have.
The Columbia Basin
or Plateau was caused by repeated lava flows and a depression of the
earth’s crust because of the weight of the lava flows, over millions of
The Mountains around Leavenworth
The Plateau runs from
Lake Roosevelt and the Columbia River, in northeastern and north central
Washington, south over all of southeast Washington and into northern
The Plateau runs from the
foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the west eastward into western Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. It is the largest basin of its type on
The formation of the Columbia Basin
forced the Columbia River to go north and west across northeast and north
central Washington and then south down a
gorge between the basin and the Cascade Mountains
The formation of the
basin left dry river beds and falls in Central
Washington and many lakes formed in these depressions. The cities of Davenport,
Vantage, Walla Walla, and Yakima are in the Columbia Plateau
Areas of Eastern Washington
Washington can be split
up into four different geographic areas.
The names we have chosen
to use are; The Okanogan, Wine Country, The Palouse, and Lake Roosevelt
North Central WA
South Central WA
The Okanogan area could
best be described at the eastern slopes of the northern Cascade Mountains,
the northern foothills of the Cascades, the northwestern Columbia River
Valley and the west side of the Columbia Plateau. This is North Central Washington.
The best way to see The
Okanogan is to approach on US Highway-2 from Western
Washington. As you
break into Eastern Washington you will come upon the City of Leavenworth.
The mountains around Leavenworth are rugged like those in the Alps.
Obviously, the atmosphere in the area added to the concept of making
Leavenworth into a Bavarian Theme
For more information on
The Okanogan area visit our Okanogan page.
Lake Roosevelt Country
We’ve nicknamed northeast
Washington “Lake Roosevelt Country” because this lake formed by the waters
of the Columbia River that are backed up behind Grand Coulee Dam is Washington’s largest
Life in Eastern
Washington revolves around water. You will find most of the action around
the lakes and along the rivers of the region.
If you follow one of the
rivers that empties into Lake Roosevelt, the Spokane
River, you will come to the
largest city in Western Washington, the City of Spokane.
Spokane is the hub of the “Inland
Empire.” It is 280
miles east of Seattle
on Interstate-90. In the center of
the City is Spokane Falls on the Spokane River. This area was home to the first hydro
electric plant west of the Mississippi
and a sawmill. Today the Falls is
surrounded by the 100-acre Riverfront
Visit our Lake Roosevelt
Country page for more information on the region.
is located on the Columbia Plateau in south central Washington. Wine Country is made up of Yakima, Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla Counties.
The Yakima Valley
AVA is the oldest wine growing district in the state and the Columbia
Valley AVA is the largest wine growing district. It includes the Yakima Valley AVA. See our wine
page for more information on the Washington
the only crop grown in wine country, you will find that the largest fruit
crops in the area are apples, peaches, and pears. Hops are also a main crop in this area.
information on Wine Country
Visit our Wine Country Page.
The Palouse is located in
the extreme southeast corner of Washington
State. It is made up of Adams, Asotin, Columbia,
Garfield, and Whitman Counties.
The Snake River enters
Washington State at Clarkston and winds through the southern portion of the
Palouse on its way from Idaho to the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities in
Washington’s Wine Country.
The rolling hills of the
Palouse are planted with wheat and barley.
Washington State University
is located in Pullman near the Washington / Idaho
border. Pullman is also the largest
city in the Palouse.
through the northwest corner of the Palouse as it goes through Ritzville.
For more information on
our Palouse Page.