Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Washington State, bordering Canada and the Pacific Ocean, offers some of the nation's finest scenery for outdoor recreation. It has the second-highest population of any western state, yet visitors can travel from any city centre to peaceful countryside within minutes. The Snake and Columbia rivers flow through eastern Washington before joining to cut a passage through the Cascades, the north-south mountain range that dominates the centre of the state, rising to 4,392m (14,411ft) at Mount Rainier. There are many fine beaches and small resorts on the Pacific coast. Much of the state is covered by coniferous forest. Activities include yachting on Puget Sound, hiking along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, and mountain climbing in the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains.