Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. — John Muir

The Pacific Northwest, sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a region in western North America bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Though no agreed boundary exists, a common conception includes the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Broader conceptions reach north into Alaska and Yukon, south into far Northern California and east into Idaho and Western Montana, western Wyoming, and western Alberta, to the Continental Divide.

The Northwest Coast is the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest and the Northwest Plateau (also commonly known as “The Interior” in British Columbia and the Inland Empire in the United States) is the inland regions. The term “Pacific Northwest” should not be confused with the Northwest Territory (also known as the Great Northwest, a historical term in the United States) or the Northwest Territories of Canada.

The region’s largest metropolitan areas are Greater Seattle, Washington, with 3.7 million people; Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, with 2.4 million people; and Greater Portland, Oregon, with 2.3 million people.

A key aspect of the Pacific Northwest is the US–Canada international border, which the United States and the United Kingdom established at a time when the region’s inhabitants were composed mostly of Indigenous peoples. The border — in two sections, along the 49th parallel south of British Columbia and the Alaska Panhandle west of northern British Columbia — has had a powerful effect on the region. According to Canadian historian Ken Coates, the border has not merely influenced the Pacific Northwest—rather, “the region’s history and character have been determined by the boundary”.

Posted by Justin Seeley

Justin Seeley is a graphic designer, speaker, creative entrepreneur, and three-time MAX Master award winner. He has authored over 100 video courses on graphic design, illustration, and marketing for companies like Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning, CreativeLIVE, and Pluralsight. As one of the world’s premiere online educators Justin’s courses have been viewed by millions of people from all over the world and his work been featured by brands like Adobe and Microsoft. Justin is also the host of the Design Discussions podcast, a weekly show about design, entrepreneurship, and creativity; and in 2018 he founded Edupixel, an online learning platform for creative professionals. He currently lives in Nashville, TN running Seeley Media, a full-service design and marketing agency.

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