The 10 Regions of Cascadia

satellite image pnw, pacific northwest, cascadia, oregon, washington, british columbia, vancouver island, puget sound, willamtte valley, columbia river

Cascadia is a distinct bioregion which separates itself from the rest of the United States and Canada. But that doesn’t mean all Cascadians are the same and all areas within Cascadia are identical. Cascadia has smaller distinguishable regions defined by geography and culture just like any other nation on Earth. Unlike the boundaries of  the bioregion, the borders of Cascadia’s regions are subjective and up for interpretation. There is no perfect or permanent way to map them out. However, there is little debate or doubt that these regions within Cascadia exist.

The most prominent example is the distinction between eastern Cascadia and western Cascadia with the Cascade Mountains acting as the dividing line between these two regions. Even for someone like me who believes the fundamental bonds between populations within Cascadia inherently tie us all together as one, I don’t deny that there are some noticeable cultural differences between a city on the east side like Spokane and a city on the west side like Seattle.

The question I have now is: where are all of Cascadia’s regions located? I’ve spent some time trying to identify them and have my own interpretation I’d like to share with you. This is more of a fun thought experiment than anything else.

Again, this is subjective; you may agree with this iteration and think it makes sense or you may have your own way of distinguishing Cascadia’s regions. The way I tried to approach this topic was by answering a hypothetical scenario: Cascadia is an independent country – what are its commonwealths/provinces/states/[insert your terminology here]?

Here’s my attempt at an answer. I give you the 10 regions of Cascadia.

*Please note the following maps contain existing state, provincial, and international border lines purely for reference and ease of understanding where, exactly, these regions are.

1. Cascade Plateau

Alternative Name: Columbia Plateau

Approximate Population: 1.96 Million

Largest City: Spokane

Other Notable Cities: Bend, Yakima

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2. Columbia Mountain

Alternative Name: Rocky Mountain

Approximate Population: 1.20 Million

Largest City: Kelowna

Other Notable Cities: Kamloops, Missoula

cascadia map, columbia mountain region, kelowna, kalispell, canadian rocky mountains

3. Fraser & Archipelago

Alternative Name: Northern Cascadia

Approximate Population: 0.33 Million

Largest City: Prince George

Other Notable Cities: Juneau, Prince Rupert

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4. Klamath Mountain

Alternative Name: West Jefferson

Approximate Population: 0.86 Million

Largest City: Medford

Other Notable Cities: Eureka, Grants Pass

cascadia map, klamath mountains, medford oregon, state of jefferson

5. Olympic Peninsula

Alternative Name: N/A

Approximate Population: 1.09 Million

Largest City: Vancouver (WA)

Other Notable Cities: Olympia, Port Angeles

cascadia map, olympic peninsula, southwest washington state, hurricane ridge, ho rainforest

6. Puget Sound

Alternative Name: N/A

Approximate Population: 4.79 Million

Largest City: Seattle

Other Notable Cities: Bellevue, Tacoma

cascadia map, puget sound, seattle, mount rainier, bainbridge island

7. Salish Coast

Alternative Name: Fraser Delta

Approximate Population: 3.02 Million

Largest City: Vancouver (BC)

Other Notable Cities: Abbotsford, Bellingham

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8. Snake River

Alternative Name: Southeast Cascadia

Approximate Population: 1.37 Million

Largest City: Boise

Other Notable Cities: Idaho Falls, Pocatello

cascadia map, snake river valley, snake river plain, boise idaho

9. Vancouver Island

Alternative Name: N/A

Approximate Population: 0.74 Million

Largest City: Victoria

Other Notable Cities: Courtenay, Nanaimo

cascadia map, vancouver island, victoria bc

 10. Willamette Valley

Alternative Name: N/A

Approximate Population: 2.95 Million

Largest City: Portland

Other Notable Cities: Eugene, Salem

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Total Approximate Population: 18.3 Million


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