What Are the Major Landforms in Washington State?

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Some major landforms in Washington state include the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. Other landforms in the state are found in the Columbia Plateau and include the Channeled Scablands, Palouse Hills, the Yakima Fold Belt and the Northern Blue Mountains.

The Cascade Mountains run north to south through the central part of the state of Washington. Volcanoes in the ranges include Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, with the latter two still active. Mount Rainier is also the highest point in the state with an elevation of 14,411 feet above sea level.

The Olympic Mountains run through the western part of the state along the Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic Peninsula is also home to the Hoh Rainforest, which is the only temperate rainforest on the U.S. mainland.

The Columbia Plateau is a basin along the Cascades built over millions of years by layers of lava floods. Within the Columbia Plateau are the Channeled Scablands, a tract of eroded basalt adjoined by grasslands in southeast Washington called the Palouse Hills, and the ridges of upfolded layers of rock running west to east, the Yakima Fold Belt. Within the plateau in southeastern Washington is a section of the Northern Blue Mountains.