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The volcanic mountains of the Cascade Range are the dominant player in shaping Washington land. The imposing line of peaks run north-south and split the state in two. To the west more rain falls than anywhere in the continental United States; to the east annual rainfall is measured in single digits. About half of Washington is covered in forest; almost all of the trees that define the Evergreen State stand to the west of the Cascades.
The ranches and farms of Eastern Washington are among the most productive on the planet. Washington has led all states in apple production since the 1920s. It also produces the most sweet cherries, red raspberries and lentils. For those looking for vineyard property the state has 31,000 acres planted in grapes in the Walla Walla and Yakima valleys; only California exports more wine.
Water in this arid land is produced from over 100 dams. The angled, mile-wide Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure ever built in the United States, backs up the Columbia River for 130 miles into the slender Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake that is a magnet for boaters, fishermen and campers. There are 500 miles of accessible waterfront land along its shores.
In western Washington lumbering is such big business that some land sales come with free consultations with professional foresters. The rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula offer exhilarating outdoor opportunities, much of it never far from the uncrowded beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
Most of Washington’s population huddles around the Seattle metropolis on the shores of Puget Sound. Even so undeveloped land is never far away. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the Cascades, is only 54 miles away. With 26 glaciers it is the Lower 48’s most glaciated mountain; more than 75% of the glaciers in the continental Untied States are found in Washington’s North Cascades.