Pacific Northwest Lesson for Kids: Facts, Climate & Geography

Instructor: Kristin Pia Hayman

Kristin taught for over 10 years in the elementary classroom. She holds a B.A. in Journalism as well as a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

The Pacific Northwest region of the United States is a place with incredibly beautiful natural geography and a unique climate. This region is made up mostly of Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, with some considering other areas as part of the region. This lesson will explore all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer!

All About the Pacific Northwest

Welcome to one of the most fascinating, beautiful, and unique regions of the United States: The Pacific Northwest! The Pacific Northwest is unlike other regions, because it's actually a small part of the larger Western region. Also known as Cascadia, the area stretches from Northern California, heading north through Oregon, Washington, and into parts of southern British Columbia (in Canada). Some even consider parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and Yukon in Canada part of the Pacific Northwest.

The Pacific Northwest region of the US


The climate of an area is the most common temperature and weather, measured over a long period of time. Most of the areas in the Pacific Northwest have a cool, wet climate, which has led to the growth of thick forests. Some of the biggest trees in the world can be found here! Believe it or not, there are coastal, or temperate, rainforests in the Pacific Northwest, while the inland areas are more dry and warm. The rainforests in this area are some of the rainiest places in the world. In contrast, there are parts of Washington that are so dry, they're considered to be a desert. Can you believe that?


The rivers in this area are massive and help support this wet climate's agriculture, or growing crops and raising livestock. The Columbia River is one of the largest rivers in this area. And don't forget the ocean! Most states in this region share a border with the Pacific.

The Cascade Mountain Range runs through the middle of the Pacific Northwest, stretching from the northern part of California, to the southern part of Alaska. Mount Rainier is the highest peak in the Pacific Northwest, at over 14,400 feet. Others include the Olympic Range, the Coast Range, sometimes part of the Rocky Mountains, and more.

Did you know that there are active volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest? Mount Saint Helens actually erupted not too long ago in 1980. Yikes! There are many other volcanoes throughout the region, but most of them are dormant, meaning they haven't erupted in a very long time.

Mount Saint Helens is an active volcano in Washington
Mount Helens

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