The state of Washington is located in the upper northwest area of the United States. It is surrounded by British Columbia in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the west, the state of Oregon to the south, and Idaho to the east.
Olympia is the state capital of Washington, but the largest city is Seattle with a population of approximately 3.5 million. The total population of Washington state is 7.6 million people. Travelers to Washington can expect to experience a great variety of picturesque landscapes in this vast area of 184,827 square kilometers. Seattle is found in Puget Sound. Puget Sound is located along the Pacific Ocean and it contains a great number of deep inlets, islands, and bays.
Temperate rainforests are found throughout the western areas. Mountain ranges are dispersed throughout the west, northeast, central, and furthermost southeastern areas. The eastern, central, and southern areas of this state also include a basin region suited for agriculture. Washington state is divided by the Cascade Range that runs north and south. A Mediterranean climate predominates the area west of the Cascade Range. The area east of this range tends to be semi-arid.
FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY OF WASHINGTON
NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK
North Cascades National Park was established in 1968 in the northwestern area of Washington state. This park is over 500,00 acres in size and is part of a much larger complex that includes the National Recreation Areas of Ross Lake and Lake Chelan. Known for its majestic mountainous scenery, North Cascades National Park is home to glacier fields, alpine scenery, waterfalls and the North Cascade Range – otherwise known as the North American Alps.
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
This picturesque National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Established in 1938, this park is nearly one million acres in size and contains coastal, forest and mountain ecosystems. Olympic National Park is a designated World Heritage site and an International Biosphere Reserve.
According to the Olympic National Park website, they have some “must see” natural wonders that you should check out:
1. Pacific Coast. This part of the park is known for its spectacular beaches. Kalaloch and Ruby beaches are located on the southwest coast. Kalaloch is very popular because of its wide sandy beaches. Rialto beach has stunning views of the offshore islands, towering sea stacks and wild crashing waves. The crystal waters of Lake Ozette are found on the northwest coast and it is dotted with enormous sea stacks, and surrounded by old growth forests.
2. Temperate Rain Forests. Three temperate forests, the Hoh, Queets and Quinault forests are located west of the Olympic Mountains. Because of their annual rainfall of 12 to 14 feet, they are known for their green, lush cover of trees, ferns and moss.
3. Mountains and Old Growth Forests. This area of Olympic Park is known for its mountains. lakes and dense forests. Popular destinations include the mountain area of Hurricane Ridge, the thick green forests and the crystal clear waters of the Elwha and Sol Duc valleys.
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
Mount Rainier National Park was established in 1899 and is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. It is located southeast of Seattle and its 369 square mile radius includes glacier fields, alpine meadows, waterfalls, old growth forests and the volcanoes Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.