Washington – a state with an interesting and unique history and the base of the world ‘s IT giants – is located in the extreme northwest of the United States. The territory of the state covers an area of 184 thousand sq. km (71,362 sq mi) and ranks 18th among other states, located between the two Dakotas . Washington State has 7.7 million inhabitants. The capital of the Olympia region – a small city with a population of 40 thousand people – is located on the map of Washington in the northeast of the state at the mouth of the Deschutes River near Puget Bay .
The state of Washington on the map borders on the 49th parallel of northern latitude with the Canadian province of British Columbia. The eastern border with the state of Idaho is defined along the meridian W 117o . In the south along N 46o. and along the Columbia River, Washington borders Oregon. The western coast of the state is washed by the Pacific Ocean.
The ridge of the Cascade Mountains, passing through the state, divides it into two parts, contrastingly different in climate. The highest point of the mountain range is located 88 km (54,68 miles) from the state capital. This is the Rainier stratovolcano with a height of 4392 meters (14409,45 ft) above sea level, which showed little activity in the middle of the 19th century. West of the Cascades, more than 65% of the population of Washington state lives in mild climates. This part of the region is moderately humid and warm, with winter temperatures rarely falling below freezing.
Eastern Washington is hotter and drier. High mountains trap most of the ocean moisture and do not allow precipitation to pass to the east. At the same time, they serve as protection against adverse environmental conditions. Hurricanes and tornadoes are rare in Washington state. But seismic activity is not uncommon in the region. Major earthquakes in Washington state occurred in 2001, 1965 and 1949. The 1949 earthquake caused severe damage to cities on the west coast, including the state capital, Olympia.
The western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, which take on the bulk of the moisture from the Pacific Ocean, are covered with dense rainforests typical of a tropical climate. In the northeastern highlands of Washington state, the forests correspond to the geographic location and consist mainly of conifers. The vast plateau in the east of the state is separated from the Cascade Mountains by the Columbia, the largest river in the western United States. Here the landscape is represented by grassy hills and shrubs along a few rivers.
There are just over three hundred settlements on the map of Washington . The largest of them: