Home Archived December 11, 2018

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

  Washington Land Cover
Capital Olympia
Largest City Seattle
Area Ranked 18th
Total 66,544.06 sq mi
Population Ranked 15th
Total (2000) 5,894,121
Density 88.6/sq mi
Highest point Mount Rainier 14,410 ft (4,395 m)
Lowest point Pacific Ocean 0 ft (0 m)
Washington Land Cover

Washington is composed of six geographic land areas: the Olympic Mountains, the Coast Range, the Puget Sound Lowlands, the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia Basin, and the Rocky Mountains. The Olympic Mountains, in the northwestern part of the State, border the Pacific Ocean. It is a mountainous region with dense evergreen forest cover. South of the Olympic Mountains is the Coast Range that descends south into Oregon. The Coast Range is lower in elevation than the Olympic Mountains and is a region characterized by forest, woody wetland, and interspersed grassland land cover. To the east of the Olympic Mountains and Coast Range, is the Puget Sound Lowlands, an area with predominant urban development, mixed forest, and grassland. The Cascade Mountains ascend east of Puget Sound and are home to the State’s highest elevations, including mountains with glaciers and permanent snow cover. The Cascade Mountains are known for their heavy evergreen forest cover. The Columbia Basin dominates eastern Washington and is recognized for its shrub and grassland. Parts of this region are heavily cropped, including substantial areas of irrigated crops. This region is the largest producer of apples in the United States. The heavily forested Rocky Mountains are located in northeastern Washington and are one of the most important regions for forestry production and wood-based manufacturing.