About Driveway Paving
About Asphalt Paving
If you are looking for some new pavement for your driveway or patio, consider asphalt paving. This option is environmentally friendly, cost effective, and attractive, too. When properly applied asphalt is much better for the environment, look, driveability and overall affordability. Most people don't think about all of the benefits available when pavement is utilized correctly and take regular roads and driveways for granted. There are so many beautiful options to choose from and many new products to help make your asphalt pave even more appealing.
You might be wondering exactly what types of asphalt paving are available. Basically, there are three main categories, each with its own unique qualities, costs, and installation requirements. Before making a decision on which type of pavement to use, it is important to understand and analyze the needs of your home, yard, business, or other property. Here is a quick overview of the different types of asphalt mixes and their uses.
Hot mix asphalt paving is extremely popular and is made by combining aggregate and cement. The hot mix allows for excellent drainage and crack resistance, while still providing a beautiful and highly flexible surface. Not only is it highly crack and dent resistant, but it can also provide increased durability for older homes. If cracked or chipped, however, this type of paving is less expensive than cold mix because of the added ingredients and additives, but it is still less expensive than a hot mix alone. Cold mix is slightly more expensive than hot mix because of the additional ingredients and additives.
An asphalt paving that is constructed from compacted gravel is the least expensive of the three options. The most commonly used type of this product is called rock gravel, because it is simply stone gravel that has been compacted. There are several reasons why this is the most cost effective form of paving, including the fact that it requires the least amount of labor to install. Because the gravel is compacted, there are not as much loose gravel at the bottom of the paving and therefore it will not cause as much damage. Another reason why it is less expensive than some of the other options is that it requires the least amount of maintenance. Once the stone has been compacted, it is fairly easy to keep it well maintained and if it becomes damaged, simply adding hot or cold water to the surface will fix the problem.
If you have an existing asphalt pavement surface that is damaged or cracked, you will need to repair or replace the damaged area before you begin paving. If you are replacing the entire surface of the driveway or a portion of the sidewalk, you will have to prepare the area by making sure it is clean, dry, free of debris, and level. If you are simply preparing the area to pave, you may use a brush to remove any loose dirt or grass. Once the area is ready, you can apply a sealer to the surface, which will help protect it from future weathering.
Since asphalt paving is done primarily as a vehicle accessory, it is important that you buy the right kind of asphalt and materials. Since the main purpose of asphalt paving is to waterproof the driveways of your home and business, you will need to ensure that it has a good water-proofing property. Water-proof asphalt is more expensive to purchase, but it is also better for your business since it will reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. Since there are many different options to choose from when it comes to asphalt paving, you should be able to find a company that will provide both custom jobs and ready-to-pour asphalt shingles. If you decide to hire a contractor to handle the project, be sure to check his background and ask for references so you can get a feel for how he performs his job.
Asphalt paving is one of the most commonly used forms of construction today. This is due to its high adaptability and low cost. In addition, it is also considered to be a very practical option when it comes to home paving. However, it does have certain shortcomings that need to be taken note of. Read on to know about some of these and consider whether you should opt for asphalt or not.
One of the disadvantages of using an asphalt driveway is that it can be quite slippery. You need to make sure, therefore, that you drive your car carefully on it. And even if you do so, there is still a chance of your vehicle getting stuck on the asphalt. So, you should keep a good grip on the steering wheel and use all the available help you can. This is especially important if you are making a long distance drive.
There is also a possibility that asphalt might damage the surface underneath if it is not properly sealed. This is because asphalt is a petroleum product and petroleum products can cause damage to the environment. Therefore, you should make sure that the paved area is adequately sealed to make sure that it does not erode.
It is also important to remember that asphalt can crack when it gets too wet. If this happens, you will need to replace the area with new asphalt so that it does not get cracked again in future. Otherwise, you may end up spending more on repairing cracks that you have caused. In fact, asphalt cracks can be a real headache especially during heavy rains when the paver becomes very susceptible to water penetration.
Apart from this, asphalt is also susceptible to cracking when it is exposed to heat. This is especially true during summer months when the temperature is high. During this period, it is possible for the asphalt to get very soft and mushy. When this happens, it is much harder to seal the surface properly and repair any cracks that have developed.
Another problem that can occur with an asphalt paver is when it is being used improperly. For instance, when the asphalt paver is being used to pave driveways, it can easily grind over the edges of the driveway. The grout lines might also get damaged during this process. In fact, there are some homeowners who prefer using concrete or paved paths in front of their homes and driveways. However, they often forget that they should also seal these paths. Sealing the pathways will help to keep them protected from debris, grit, water and sand.
Homeowners should therefore find a qualified company to clean up their asphalt paver once in a while. These professionals will use a pressure washer to remove all the dirt and debris that have built up on the paver. They will then use a power washer to completely clean the water surface. After this is done, you can simply have the surfaces sealed and maintained by your local company.
By hiring a company to perform regular maintenance on your asphalt paver, you will be able to prevent some very common problems. For instance, if you find that the pavers have cracks, you can ask your local maintenance company to repair these cracks before they become larger. You can also ask them to apply new asphalt once a year. If you forget to do this, the asphalt will eventually wear out and begin to crack again. By properly maintaining your asphalt paver, you will be able to save yourself money in the long run because you will not have to call maintenance on a regular basis.
About Driveway Paving
The driveway paving job can be a daunting task to undertake. The options available for you are limited, and often what you do decide to use will depend upon the existing surrounding area. For those who live in a rural setting, such as those who live on the countryside, there is little options to get the driveway ready for the caravans coming through. In this case, it will be necessary to use natural stones or cement in the driveway.
Pavers are not always the best choice of material for a driveway paving project. While they may look like natural stone and act as a wonderful contrast to the darker, earthy tones of the soil, they cannot be properly maintained without the right sealer. Sealer comes in different types, and can be tailored to perfectly match the look and feel of your driveway paving project. If you do not want to invest in driveway pavers, then there are other options you can take into consideration.
One of which is interlocking paving, which allows you to have beautifully crafted interlocking pavers installed for your driveway paving projects. This is ideal for driveways, which are in need of repairs. The pavers lock together with the help of interlocking joints, and thus you need not exert any effort in driving the pavers apart. The advantage of this system is that you will save a lot of money that you would have otherwise had to spend on hiring workers to do the job for you.
Another option you have when it comes to driveway paving is asphalt driveway paving. There are many advantages when it comes to using asphalt versus concrete for your driveway paving project. First, asphalt is an excellent material for use on the outside of homes. It is extremely durable and will outlast concrete, even when it is left outdoors for quite some time.
In addition to this, there are also several concrete driveway paving pros that you should know about. For one thing, concrete does cost a little bit more than the other alternative materials like asphalt and brick driveway paving stones. However, you can always count on its longevity and resistance towards all types of weather. Moreover, you will not be required to spend a lot of time in treating the concrete once it gets cracked. Concrete cracks usually get repaired by applying a special cement mixture to fix the damage. You can also choose from a variety of designs for the pavers of your driveway.
On the other hand, brick driveway paving pros include the fact that you will no longer have to worry about finding the right pattern for the exterior of your home. Bricks come in a wide array of colors, shapes and sizes, so you will always be able to find the right design to complement the architecture of your house. Pavers that are made out of natural stone come at a much higher price, but they are also far more durable compared to the composite materials such as asphalt. Finally, you will not have to spend a lot of time and effort in order to keep the driveway clean and free from damage, as concrete usually requires very little maintenance.
Driveway paving is a very important process if you want to improve the appearance and value of your home. It is a very practical choice, because it allows you to create a more attractive space that can make your home look more appealing. Of course, it is essential to keep in mind that not all of your driveways need to be paved. In fact, there are many instances where the only purpose of having a paved driveway is for the sake of improving the curb appeal of the property.
Asphalt and concrete driveways are two of the most common types of driveway paving materials, although there are some homeowners who prefer the use of rubber for driveways. Regardless of what you decide on, you should always remember that you should always choose the material wisely. Concrete and asphalt are both excellent choices, but the effectiveness of each material can vary greatly. Paved driveways can be used on nearly any surface, although they are typically best used on asphalt or concrete surfaces. Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preference and budget.
american asphalt sealing inc?
About Spirit Lake, WA
The 9,300-year-old skeletal remains of Kennewick Man, one of the oldest and most complete human remains found in North America, were discovered in Washington in the 1990s. The area has been known to host megathrust earthquakes in the past, the last being the Cascadia earthquake of 1700. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region had many established tribes of indigenous peoples, notable for their totem poles and their ornately carved canoes and masks. Prominent among their industries were salmon fishing and, notably among the Makah, whale hunting. The peoples of the Interior had a different subsistence-based culture based on hunting, food-gathering and some forms of agriculture, as well as a dependency on salmon from the Columbia and its tributaries. The smallpox epidemic of the 1770s devastated the Native American population.
The first recorded European landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora. He claimed the coastal lands up to Prince William Sound for Spain as part of their claimed rights under the Treaty of Tordesillas, which they maintained made the Pacific a "Spanish lake" and all its shores part of the Spanish Empire.
In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook sighted Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but Cook did not realize the strait existed. It was not discovered until Charles William Barkley, captain of the Imperial Eagle, sighted it in 1787. The straits were further explored by Spanish explorers Manuel Quimper in 1790 and Francisco de Eliza in 1791, and British explorer George Vancouver in 1792.
The British–Spanish Nootka Convention of 1790 ended Spanish claims of exclusivity and opened the Northwest Coast to explorers and traders from other nations, most notably Britain and Russia as well as the fledgling United States. American captain Robert Gray (for whom Grays Harbor County is named) then discovered the mouth of the Columbia River. He named the river after his ship, the Columbia. Beginning in 1792, Gray established trade in sea otter pelts. The Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the state on October 10, 1805.
Explorer David Thompson, on his voyage down the Columbia River, camped at the confluence with the Snake River on July 9, 1811, and erected a pole and a notice claiming the territory for Great Britain and stating the intention of the North West Company to build a trading post at the site.
Britain and the United States agreed to what has since been described as "joint occupancy" of lands west of the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean as part of the Anglo–American Convention of 1818, which established the 49th Parallel as the international boundary west from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. Resolution of the territorial and treaty issues west to the Pacific was deferred until a later time. In 1819, Spain ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States.
Negotiations with Great Britain over the next few decades failed to settle upon a compromise boundary and the Oregon boundary dispute was highly contested between Britain and the United States. Disputed joint occupancy by Britain and the U.S. lasted for several decades. With American settlers pouring into Oregon Country, Hudson's Bay Company, which had previously discouraged settlement because it conflicted with the fur trade, reversed its position in an attempt to maintain British control of the Columbia District.
Fur trapper James Sinclair, on orders from Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, led some 200 settlers from the Red River Colony west in 1841 to settle on Hudson Bay Company farms near Fort Vancouver. The party crossed the Rockies into the Columbia Valley, near present-day Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, then traveled south-west down the Kootenai River and Columbia River. Despite such efforts, Britain eventually ceded all claims to land south of the 49th parallel to the United States in the Oregon Treaty on June 15, 1846.
In 1836, a group of missionaries, including Marcus Whitman, established several missions and Whitman's own settlement Waiilatpu, in what is now southeastern Washington state, near present-day Walla Walla County, in the territory of both the Cayuse and the Nez Perce Indian tribes. Whitman's settlement would in 1843 help the Oregon Trail, the overland emigration route to the west, get established for thousands of emigrants in the following decades. Marcus provided medical care for the Native Americans, but when Indian patients—lacking immunity to new, "European" diseases—died in striking numbers, while at the same time many white patients recovered, they held "medicine man" Marcus Whitman personally responsible, and murdered Whitman and twelve other white settlers in the Whitman massacre in 1847. This event triggered the Cayuse War between settlers and Indians.
Fort Nisqually, a farm and trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company and the first European settlement in the Puget Sound area, was founded in 1833. Black pioneer George Washington Bush and his Caucasian wife, Isabella James Bush, from Missouri and Tennessee, respectively, led four white families into the territory and founded New Market, now Tumwater, in 1846. They settled in Washington to avoid Oregon's Black Exclusion Law, which prohibited African Americans from entering the territory while simultaneously prohibiting slavery. After them, many more settlers, migrating overland along the Oregon Trail, wandered north to settle in the Puget Sound area.
Spanish and Russian claims to the region were ceded in the early 19th century through a series of treaties. The Spanish signed the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, and the Russians the Russo-American Treaty of 1824 and 1825.
The Oregon Question remained contested between the United Kingdom and the United States until the 1846 Oregon Treaty established the border between British North America and the United States along the 49th parallel until the Strait of Georgia. Vague wording in the treaty left the ownership of the San Juan Islands in doubt; during the so-called Pig War, both nations agreed to a joint military occupation of the islands. Kaiser Wilhelm I of the German Empire was selected as an arbitrator to end the dispute, with a three-man commission ruling in favor of the United States in 1872. The border established by the Oregon Treaty and finalized by the arbitration in 1872 remains the boundary between Washington and British Columbia.
The growing population of Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River formally requested a new territory. As a result of the Monticello Convention, held in present-day Cowlitz County, U.S. Congress passed legislation and President Millard Fillmore signed into law on March 2, 1853, the creation of a new Washington Territory. The boundary of Washington Territory initially extended farther east than the present state, including what is now the Idaho Panhandle and parts of western Montana, and picked up more land to the southeast that was left behind when Oregon was admitted as a state; the creation of Idaho Territory in 1863 established the final eastern border. A Washington state constitution was drafted and ratified in 1878, but it was never officially adopted. Although never approved by the United States Congress, the 1878 constitution is an important historical document that shows the political thinking of the time; it was used extensively during the drafting of Washington state's 1889 constitution, the one and only official Constitution of the State of Washington. Washington became the 42nd state of the United States on November 11, 1889.
Early prominent industries in the new state included agriculture and lumber. In Eastern Washington, the Yakima River Valley became known for its apple orchards, while the growth of wheat using dry farming techniques became particularly productive. Heavy rainfall to the west of the Cascade Range produced dense forests, and the ports along Puget Sound prospered from the manufacturing and shipping of lumber products, particularly the Douglas fir. Other industries that developed in the state included fishing, salmon canning and mining.
For a long period, Tacoma had large smelters where gold, silver, copper, and lead ores were treated. Seattle was the primary port for trade with Alaska and the rest of the country, and for a time, it possessed a large shipbuilding industry. The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during the period including World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area.
During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia River as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the United States and the largest dam in the world at its construction.
During World War II, the state became a focus for war industries. While the Boeing Company produced many heavy bombers, ports in Seattle, Bremerton, Vancouver, and Tacoma were available for the manufacture of warships. Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, several whom were quartered at Discovery Park. In Eastern Washington, the Hanford Works atomic energy plant was opened in 1943 and played a major role in the construction of atomic bombs.
After the end of World War II, and with the beginning of the civil rights movement, the state's growing Black or African American population's wages were 53% above the national average. The early diversification of Washington through the Great Migration led to successful efforts at reducing discrimination in the workplace. In 1950, Seattle's first black representative for the state's legislature was elected. At the 1970 U.S. census, the black population grew to 7.13% of the total population.
In 1970, the state was one of only four U.S. states to have been providing legal abortions before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade which loosened abortion laws nationwide.
On May 18, 1980, following a period of heavy tremors and small eruptions, the north face of Mount St. Helens slid off in the largest landslide in recorded history before erupting violently, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano. The eruption flattened the forest up to 20 km north of the volcano, killed 57 people, flooded the Columbia River and its tributaries with ash and mud, and blanketed large parts of Washington eastward and other surrounding states in ash, making day look like night.
Washington is the northwesternmost state of the contiguous United States. It borders Idaho to the east, bounded mostly by the meridian running north from the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River (about 117°02'23" west), except for the southernmost section where the border follows the Snake River. Oregon is to the south, with the Columbia River forming the western part and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the Oregon–Washington border. During Washington's partition from Oregon, the original plan for the border followed the Columbia River east until the confluence with the Snake, and then would have followed the Snake River east; this was changed to keep Walla Walla's fertile farmland in Washington.
To the west of Washington lies the Pacific Ocean. Its northern border lies mostly along the 49th parallel, and then via marine boundaries through the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, and Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north.
Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which always refers to at least Washington and Oregon, and may or may not include some or all the following, depending on the user's intent: Idaho, western Montana, northern California, British Columbia, and Alaska.
The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state. In addition to Western Washington and Eastern Washington, residents call the two parts of the state the "Westside" and the "Eastside", "Wet side" and "Dry side", or "Timberland" and "Wheatland", the latter pair more commonly in the names of region-specific businesses and institutions. These terms reflect the geography, climate, and industry of the land on both sides of the Cascades.
From the Cascade Mountains westward, Western Washington has a mostly Mediterranean climate, with mild temperatures and wet winters, autumns and springs, and relatively dry summers. The Cascade Range has several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. From north to south, these major volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. All are active volcanoes.
Mount Rainier—the tallest mountain in the state— is 50 miles (80 km) south of the city of Seattle, from which it is prominently visible. The U.S. Geological Survey considers 14,411-foot-tall (4,392 m) Mount Rainier the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range, due to its proximity to the Seattle metropolitan area, and most dangerous in the continental U.S. according to the Decade Volcanoes list. It is also covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the contiguous 48 states.
Western Washington also is home of the Olympic Mountains, far west on the Olympic Peninsula, which support dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rainforest. These deep forests, such as the Hoh Rainforest, are among the only rainforests in the continental United States. While Western Washington does not always experience a high amount of rainfall as measured in total inches of rain per year, it does consistently have more rainy days per year than most other places in the country.
Eastern Washington—the part of the state east of the Cascades—has a relatively dry climate, in distinct contrast to the west side. It includes large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts in the rain shadow of the Cascades; the Hanford reservation receives an average annual precipitation of 6 to 7 inches (150 to 180 mm). Despite the limited amount of rainfall, agriculture is an extremely important business throughout much of Eastern Washington, as the soil is highly productive and irrigation, aided by dams along the Columbia River, is fairly widespread. The spread of population in Eastern Washington is dominated by access to water, especially rivers. The main cities are all located alongside rivers or lakes; most of them are named after the river or lake they adjoin.
Farther east, the climate becomes less arid, with annual rainfall increasing as one goes east to 21.2 inches (540 mm) in Pullman, near the Washington–Idaho border. The Okanogan Highlands and the rugged Kettle River Range and Selkirk Mountains cover much of the state's northeastern quadrant. The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.
Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. In the spring and summer, a high-pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion. For Washington, this means prevailing winds from the northwest bring relatively cool air and a predictably dry season.[failed verification]
In the autumn and winter, a low-pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean. The air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion causes Washington's prevailing winds to come from the southwest, and bring relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season. The term "Pineapple Express" is used colloquially to describe atmospheric river events, where repeated storm systems are directed by this persistent cyclone from tropical and near-tropical Pacific regions into the Pacific Northwest.
Despite Western Washington's marine climate similar to many coastal cities of Europe, there are exceptions such as the "Big Snow" events of 1880, 1881, 1893, and 1916, and the "deep freeze" winters of 1883–1884, 1915–1916, 1949–1950, and 1955–1956, among others. During these events, Western Washington experienced up to 6 feet (1.8 m) of snow, sub-zero (−18 °C) temperatures, three months with snow on the ground, and lakes and rivers frozen over for weeks. Seattle's lowest officially recorded temperature is 0 °F (−18 °C) set on January 31, 1950, but low-altitude areas approximately three hours away from Seattle have recorded lows as cold as −48 °F (−44 °C).
The Southern Oscillation greatly influences weather during the cold season. During the El Niño phase, the jet stream enters the U.S. farther south through California, therefore late fall and winter are drier than normal with less snowpack. The La Niña phase reinforces the jet stream through the Pacific Northwest, causing Washington to have more rain and snow than average.
In 2006, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington published The Impacts of Climate change in Washington's Economy, a preliminary assessment of the risks and opportunities presented given the possibility of a rise in global temperatures and their effects on Washington state.
Rainfall in Washington varies dramatically going from east to west. The Olympic Peninsula's western side receives as much as 160 inches (4,100 mm) of precipitation annually, making it the wettest area of the 48 conterminous states and a temperate rainforest. Weeks may pass without a clear day. The western slopes of the Cascade Range receive some of the heaviest annual snowfall (in some places more than 200 inches or 5,100 millimeters water equivalent) in the country. In the rain shadow area east of the Cascades, the annual precipitation is only 6 inches (150 mm). Precipitation then increases again eastward toward the Rocky Mountains (about 120 miles (190 km) east of the Idaho border).
The Olympic mountains and Cascades compound this climatic pattern by causing orographic lift of the air masses blown inland from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the windward side of the mountains receiving high levels of precipitation and the leeward side receiving low levels. This occurs most dramatically around the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. In both cases, the windward slopes facing southwest receive high precipitation and mild, cool temperatures. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. Mount Baker, near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world. In 1999, it set the world record for snowfall in a single season—1,140 inches (95 ft; 29 m).
East of the Cascades, a large region experiences strong rain shadow effects. Semi-arid conditions occur in much of Eastern Washington with the strongest rain shadow effects at the relatively low elevations of the central Columbia Plateau—especially the region just east of the Columbia River from about the Snake River to the Okanagan Highland. Thus, instead of rain forests, much of Eastern Washington is covered with dry grassland, shrub-steppe, and dunes.
The average annual temperature ranges from 51 °F (11 °C) on the Pacific coast to 40 °F (4 °C) in the northeast. The lowest temperature recorded in the state was −48 °F (−44 °C) in Winthrop and Mazama. The highest recorded temperature in the state was 120 °F (49 °C) at Hanford on June 29, 2021. Both records were set east of the Cascades. Western Washington is known for its mild climate, considerable fog, frequent cloud cover, long-lasting drizzles in the winter and warm, temperate summers. The eastern region, which does not benefit from the general moderating effect of the Pacific Ocean, occasionally experiences extreme climate. Arctic cold fronts in the winter and heat waves in the summer are not uncommon. In the Western region, temperatures have reached as high as 118 °F (48 °C) in Maple Valley during the June 2021 heat wave, and as low as −6 °F (−21 °C) in Longview.
Forests cover about half the state's land area, mostly west of the northern Cascades. Approximately two-thirds of Washington's forested area is publicly owned, including 64 percent of federal land. Common trees and plants in the region are camassia, Douglas fir, hemlock, penstemon, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, and many species of ferns. The state's various areas of wilderness offer sanctuary, with substantially large populations of shorebirds and marine mammals. The Pacific shore surrounding the San Juan Islands is heavily inhabited by killer, gray, and humpback whales.
In Eastern Washington, the flora is vastly different. Tumbleweeds and sagebrush dominate the landscape throughout large parts of the countryside. Russian olives and other trees are common alongside riverbanks; however, apart from the riversides, large swaths of Eastern Washington have no naturally existing trees at all (though many trees have been planted and are irrigated by people, of course). A wider variety of flora can be found in both the Blue Mountains and the eastern sides of the Cascades.
Mammals native to the state include the bat, black bear, bobcat, cougar, coyote, deer, elk, gray wolf, hare, moose, mountain beaver, muskrat, opossum, pocket gopher, rabbit, raccoon, river otter, skunk, and tree squirrel. Because of the wide range of geography, the State of Washington is home to several different ecoregions, which allow for a varied range of bird species. This range includes raptors, shorebirds, woodland birds, grassland birds, ducks, and others. There have also been a large number of species introduced to Washington, dating back to the early 18th century, including horses and burros. The channel catfish, lamprey, and sturgeon are among the 400 known freshwater fishes. Along with the Cascades frog, there are several forms of snakes that define the most prominent reptiles and amphibians. Coastal bays and islands are often inhabited by plentiful amounts of shellfish and whales. There are five species of salmon that ascend the Western Washington area, from streams to spawn.
Washington has a variety of National Park Service units. Among these are the Alta Lake State Park, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, as well as three national parks—the Olympic National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. The three national parks were established between 1899 and 1968. Almost 95 percent (876,517 acres, 354,714 hectares, 3,547.14 square kilometers) of Olympic National Park's area has been designated as wilderness under the National Wilderness Preservation System. Additionally, there are 143 state parks and 9 national forests, run by the Washington State Park System and the United States Forest Service. The Okanogan National Forest is the largest national forest on the West Coast, encompassing 1,499,023 acres (606,633 ha). It is managed together as the Okanogan–Wenatchee National Forest, encompassing a considerably larger area of around 3,239,404 acres (1,310,940 ha).
There are 39 counties within the state, and 281 incorporated municipalities which are divided into cities and towns. The majority of the state's population lives within Western Washington, in the Seattle metropolitan area; the city of Seattle is the principal city of the metropolitan area, and Western Washington, with a 2020 census population of 737,015.
Washington's population was 7,705,281 in the 2020 census, a 14.6 percent increase since the 2010 census. In 2018, the state ranked 13th overall in population, and was the third most populous, after California and Texas, west of the Mississippi River. Washington has the largest Pacific Northwest population, followed by Oregon, then Idaho. The Washington State Office of Financial Management reported the state population at 7,656,200 as of April 1, 2020.
As of the 2010 Census, the population of Washington was 6,724,540. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area population was 3,439,809 in the 2010 Census, half the state total.
The center of population of Washington in 2010 was at 47°20′N 121°37′W / 47.33°N 121.62°W, in an unpopulated part of the Cascade Mountains in rural eastern King County, southeast of North Bend, northeast of Enumclaw, and west of Snoqualmie Pass.
Washington's proportion of residents under the age of five was 6.7%, 25.7% under 18, and 11.2% 65 or older.
The racial composition of Washington's population as of 2016 was:
According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 12.1% of Washington's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (9.7%), Puerto Rican (0.4%), Cuban (0.1%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (1.8%). The five largest ancestry groups were: German (17.8%),
Irish (10.8%), English (10.4%), Norwegian (5.4%), and American (4.6%).
In 2011, 44.3 percent of Washington's population younger than age 1 were minorities.
Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
While the population of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest is relatively scarce overall, they are mostly concentrated in the South End and Central District areas of Seattle, and in inner Tacoma. The black community of Seattle consisted of one individual in 1858, Manuel Lopes, and grew to a population of 406 by 1900. It developed substantially during and after World War II when wartime industries and the U.S. Armed Forces employed and recruited tens of thousands of African Americans from the Southeastern United States. They moved west in the second wave of the Great Migration left a high influence on West Coast rock music and R&B and soul in the 1960s, including Seattle native Jimi Hendrix, a pioneer in hard rock, who was of African American and Cherokee Indian descent.
Native Americans lived on Indian reservations or jurisdiction lands such as the Colville Indian Reservation, Makah, Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, Quinault, Salish people, Spokane Indian Reservation, and Yakama Indian Reservation. The westernmost and Pacific coasts have primarily American Indian communities, such as the Chinook, Lummi, and Salish. Urban Indian communities formed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs relocation programs in Seattle since the end of World War II brought a variety of Native American peoples to this diverse metropolis. The city was named for Chief Seattle in the very early 1850s when European Americans settled the sound.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are mostly concentrated in the Seattle−Tacoma metropolitan area of the state. Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond, which are all within King County, have sizable Chinese communities (including Taiwanese), as well as significant Indian and Japanese communities. The Chinatown-International District in Seattle has a historical Chinese population dating back to the 1860s, who mainly emigrated from Guangdong Province in southern China, and is home to a diverse East and Southeast Asian community. Koreans are heavily concentrated in the suburban cities of Federal Way and Auburn to the south, and in Lynnwood to the north. Tacoma is home to thousands of Cambodians, and has one of the largest Cambodian-American communities in the United States, along with Long Beach, California, and Lowell, Massachusetts. The Vietnamese and Filipino populations of Washington are mostly concentrated within the Seattle metropolitan area. Washington state has the second highest percentage of Pacific Islander people in the mainland U.S. (behind Utah); the Seattle-Tacoma area is home to more than 15,000 people of Samoan ancestry, who mainly reside in southeast Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, and in SeaTac.
The most numerous (ethnic, not racial, group) are Latinos at 11%, as Mexican Americans formed a large ethnic group in the Chehalis Valley, Skagit Valley, farming areas of Yakima Valley, and Eastern Washington. They were reported to at least date as far back as the 1800s. But it was in the late 20th century, that large-scale Mexican immigration and other Latinos settled in the southern suburbs of Seattle, with limited concentrations in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties during the region's real estate construction booms in the 1980s and 1990s.
Additionally, Washington has a large Ethiopian community, with many Eritrean residents as well. Both emerged in the late 1960s, and developed since 1980. An estimated 30,000 Somali immigrants reside in the Seattle area.
In 2010, 82.51% (5,060,313) of Washington residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 7.79% (477,566) spoke Spanish, 1.19% (72,552) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Standard Chinese), 0.94% (57,895) Vietnamese, 0.84% (51,301) Tagalog, 0.83% (50,757) Korean, 0.80% (49,282) Russian, and 0.55% (33,744) German. In total, 17.49% (1,073,002) of Washington's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
Major religious affiliations of the people of Washington are:
The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church, with 784,332; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 282,356; and the Assemblies of God, with 125,005.
Aquarian Tabernacle Church is the largest Wiccan church in the country.
Like other West Coast states, the percentage of Washington's population identifying themselves as "non-religious" is higher than the national average.