Landscape view of Mount St Helens peak and crater

The 7 Natural Wonders of Washington State

Washington has one of the most diverse natural landscapes in the continental United States. From Pacific Ocean coastline to high mountain peaks, from low-lying grassland to temperate rainforest, there are amazing vistas and wilderness to explore in every corner of the state. Though there are too many destinations to count, we’ve put together a list of just seven that stick out as some of the most breathtaking natural wonders of Washington State to visit with your ROAMERICA campervan.

1. Mount Rainier

Sitting at 14,411 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is one of the most impressive mountains in North America. The peak is home to 26 glaciers, fields of wildflowers in summer, and a diverse array of wildlife. Mount Rainier is surrounded by Mount Rainier National Park in which visitors will find temperate rainforest, hot springs, lakes, and high alpine landscape.

Mount Rainier in Washington State

Mt. Rainier is one of the most stunning sites in Washington State. Photo Credit: Mike Deal (Flickr)

2. Grand Coulee Dam

The Grand Coulee Dam, one of the largest concrete structures in the world, sits on the shores of the Columbia River and forms Lake Roosevelt. The almost 12 million cubic yards of concrete is the largest hydropower producer in the United States. The Dam was built in phases from 1933 to 1941 and a third power plant was built from 1967 to 1973. Today, you can visit the dam and learn about its construction at the visitor’s center. You can also enjoy the surrounding natural environment with endless outdoor recreation opportunities.

3. Hoh Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest, located in Olympic National Park, gets as much as 14 feet of rain per year, creating the perfect conditions for a temperate rainforest ecosystem. Mosses and ferns blanket every inch of the rainforest floor while both deciduous and coniferous trees dominate the canopy. The rainforest once extended from southern Alaska all the way down to the central coast of California; this remaining section makes for one of the most unique and stunning destinations in Washington State.

4. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

This 90-mile canyon, the fourth of seven natural wonders in Washington, forms the border between Washington and Oregon and cuts from the east to the west through the Cascade Mountain range. The Columbia River that cut the Columbia River Gorge into the earth is the second largest in North America, beginning in the mountains on the border of Idaho and British Columbia and travelling more than 1,200 miles to the ocean.

5. Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano most famous for its 1980 eruption, the most destructive volcanic eruption in the modern history of the United States. Lava continues to rise to the surface of the cone, creating an unstable lava dome. Mount St. Helens is a popular climbing and mountaineering destination with routes that all include steep and rugged terrain. If you’re interested in attempting the peak, a climbing permit is required for anyone who plans on venturing above 4,800 feet along the flanks of the mountain.

Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State

Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass (Flickr)

6. Snoqualmie Falls

This hard-charging 270-foot waterfall located 25 miles outside of Seattle is one of the state’s most popular natural attractions. A two-acre park surrounds Snoqualmie Falls and includes a short trail from the main observation deck to the base of the falls.

7. Channeled Scablands

The Channeled Scablands, one of the most unique natural wonders in Washington State, was formed more than 10,000 years ago by floods from melting glaciers at the end of the most recent Ice Age. Evidence of powerful waters and volcanic activity survives today in this eastern Washington destination: though it’s now a desert that gets less an eight inches of rain per year, the Scablands was once home to largest waterfall in the world, measuring three miles wide and 400 feet high.

Add Comment