Travel Guide U.S.A.: Washington State

Washington State, the 42nd state of the USA, is located in the far northeast of the country and offers visitors the chance to experience exciting outdoor activities amidst pristine natural landscapes. Here you can learn more

Ann-Kathrin
Ann-Kathrin
Travel Guide
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Washington State, also known as "The Evergreen State", is the 42nd federal state of the United States and lies in the north of the US West Coast, at the border to Canada. Over 50% of the area is covered by forests, in whose depths a variety of species cavort. When visiting the state, travellers can immerse themselves in picturesque natural landscapes and – with a little luck – observe wild animals such as bears, moose, wolves and lynx in their natural habitat – an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Profile

Name
Washington

Location
In the far northwest of the USA

Size
approx. 184,660 km²

Capital
Olympia

Best travel time
April/May to September/October

Highlights
National parks such as Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park as well as vibrant Seattle

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On site in Washington State

Location, geography and climate

Washington State borders Idaho to the east and Oregon to the south. To the north it lies on the Canadian border. The capital of the green state is Olympia. A total of over 7 million people live in Washington. The state is often divided into six geographical regions: Olympic Mountains, Coast Range, Puget Lowlands, Cascade Mountains, Columbia Plateau and the Rocky Mountains. So the state has varied landscapes to admire: Coastal areas with fjord landscapes, a high number of mountain ranges and a semi-arid basin landscape. The Columbia River is one of the most famous rivers and at the same time the second largest river on the American west coast.

Due to its location, Washington is exposed to the tectonic forces of the plate boundaries and the associated volcanic activities, which have created the striking mountain ranges. Furthermore, landscape features such as coasts and fjords were influenced by glacial erosion. Fluvial erosion processes created smaller canyons, karst landscapes or simple valley landscapes.

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The climate differs slightly between East and West. In the western part milder, humid temperatures dominate, while a colder, dry climate dominates the east. The record temperatures in summer were already at a high 47°C and in winter at a low -44°C, but generally temperatures between 11°C and 4°C are the average. In general, relatively high precipitation can be expected in Washington throughout the year. It should be noted that these high precipitation levels are predominantly found in the western part of the country. It may be partly cloudy over a long period of time. However, these conditions are of enormous importance for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables as well as the forest stand.

Flora and fauna

A special feature of Washington State are the gigantic tree giants of the many rainforests. A total of 52% of the land area is covered by forest, most of it in the North Cascades. Many fir species grow here as well as pines, cedars and ferns.
Among the native animals are the black bear, the coyote, the moose and the bald eagle. The bald eagle can be observed especially during excursions through the Skagit Bald Eagle Natural Area.

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Highlights

In Washington you can find three impressive national parks and many nature reserves to discover. Mount Rainier National Park offers impressive glacier melts comparable to those in Alaska. Olympic National Park has the longest uninterrupted natural coastline and huge rainforests. North Cascades National Park has beautiful alpine landscapes and is especially for hikers a highlight.

The Pasayten Wilderness nature reserve in the east of the Cascades offers rugged highlands, a variety of rivers, lakes and dense forests. Here you can relax your soul. Lake Chelan, a freshwater fjord 1.5 km wide and about 90 km long, surrounded by rocks and trees, is three hours from Seattle and is worth exploring with its pure water from the country's second deepest lake. And even Seattle itself, the largest city in Washington, is definitely worth a visit. Here, between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, culture, music, lifestyle and the outdoors can be enjoyed to the fullest.

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