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Natural Setting

Washington, the Evergreen State, has a rich and diverse natural setting. The state’s borders are defined by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Canada to the north, Idaho to the East, and Oregon to the south. The sea carves up the northwest corner of the state and the meandering Columbia River separates Washington from Oregon. Washington is well known for its beautiful mountains, vast forests, stunning waterfalls, and fertile agricultural land. Driving through the state affords sweeping views of these invaluable natural resources, which include the numerous peaks of the Cascade Mountains; the Olympic Mountains’ serrated ridges; the lush vegetation and streams of the Willapa Hills; the forested bluffs and network of islands within the Puget Sound Basin; the rounded, broad, low hills of the Okanagan Highlands; the Columbia Basin’s sage and scablands; and the domes and valleys of the Blue Mountains.

Idaho Line to Spokane (Tour Leg)

The northern section of the route winds through sparsely settled foothill country cut by small streams, dotted with lakes, and interspersed with prairies and shallow valleys. A hundred years ago these hills were covered with open forests of lodgepole and ponderosa pine, tamarack, and fir; the prairies were unbroken expanses of bunch grass; and the watercourses ran full and clear.

Almira to Coulee Dam (Tour)

Travel through dry wheatlands and occasional patches of scab rock and sagebrush. The route rises slowly with curves and dips, reaching the Columbia River, then descending dizzily by a winding three-mile grade into the canyon carved by the river to one of the wonders of the world, Coulee Dam, a project begun in 1933 and completed in 1941.

Davenport to Ellensburg (Tour)

Large, well-cultivated farms alternate with stretches of uninhabited range; at widely spaced intervals small towns, ganglia of settlement, are strung along the highway. Travel through large, well-cultivated farms alternating with stretches of uninhabited range and dots of small towns.

Almira to Coulee Dam (Tour Leg)

Travel through dry wheatlands and occasional patches of scab rock and sagebrush. The route rises slowly with curves and dips, reaching the Columbia River, then descending dizzily by a winding three-mile grade into the canyon carved by the river to one of the wonders of the world, Coulee Dam, a project begun in 1933 and completed in 1941.

Davenport to Ellensburg (Tour Leg)

Large, well-cultivated farms alternate with stretches of uninhabited range; at widely spaced intervals small towns, ganglia of settlement, are strung along the highway. Travel through large, well-cultivated farms alternating with stretches of uninhabited range and dots of small towns.