You are here: Geography > States of the US > Washington


A map of WashingtonWashington state is located in the northwestern region of the United States. The Cascade Range mountain range runs north-south through the state, dividing it into two distinct regions. To the east is the Columbia Plateau and the basin of the Columbia River and its tributaries. The southeastern Palouse hills are semi-arid grasslands, now mostly converted into farmland. To the west of the Cascades lie the coastal lowlands around Puget Sound and, bordering the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges.

Mount Rainier and Lake Tapps
Pelton Peak and Yawning Glacier in the North Cascades National Park


Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, by an act of Congress during the creation of Washington Territory in 1853. The territory was originally to be named “Territory of Columbia" after the Columbia River, but Kentucky representative Richard H. Stanton thought there might be confusion with the District of Columbia and proposed naming the new territory after President Washington instead.

Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State or the State of Washington to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the US.

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. They are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life, Space, History, Geography and Technology.

Find the answer