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Interesting facts about Washington state
The people who live in the Evergreen  1State really have it all -- great cities, beautiful mountains and spectacular beaches.

Most people have a good idea of just how lucky we are to live here, but there are some interesting facts about Washington that many people may not know. Our gorgeous state is also quite interesting when you dig a little deeper and learn more about the Evergreen State.

For example, did you know the San Juans, at low tide, include as many as 450 islands altogether? Many are small and uninhabitable but there are plenty of places to get out and explore if you happen to own a boat. And of course the Washington state ferries will take you to the three main San Juan islands. Our ferry system, by the way, is the largest ferry system in the world.

From islands we turn to the Olympic Peninsula, where you'll find lots of opportunity to explore prime waterfront. On the northern part of the peninsula, for example, visitors can walk the longest sand spit in the country, the 5.5-mile -long Dungeness Spit.

The Olympic Peninsula, by the way, also has the only temperate rain forests in the continental United States. And the peninsula also has great beaches -- altogether, Washington has 157 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline.

We all know about Mt. St. Helens, which famously erupted in May of 1980. Before that it was a peaceful, idyllic place where families would go hiking and camping by Spirit Lake. But did you know that Mt. St. Helens is not the only volcano in Washington?

Mt. Rainier, of course, is a dormant volcano, but just how many others are there located in Washington? The answer is that there are a total of 10 volcanoes in Washington state. And one other tidbit -- the state of Washington has a total of 3,000 glaciers. It's the most glaciated state in the U.S.

A lot of people may not realize that up to 12,000 wild horses roam the Yakima Indian Reservation -- which, by the way, has excellent exhibits to explore and is in the heart of wine country.

Everybody knows about Grand Coulee Dam, the largest in the United States. But did you know that Grand Coulee is just one of 1,166 dams in our state. And, believe it or not, 124 dams are located in King County alone.

Did you know that Hells Canyon, located in the southeastern part of our state, is the deepest gorge in North America? It's 8,000 feet deep in some places and tourists can get a glimpse of this wild area by touring the river on a thrilling jet boat.

Speaking of great natural water resources, here's an interesting comparison. Snoqualmie Falls, just east of Seattle, is 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. And the nearby Salish Lodge is a great place to have breakfast, by the way.

When you fly into Sea-Tac Airport from the south you may well get a great view of Mt. Rainier on a clear day -- it just kind of reaches up to the sky. But have you thought about just how high the mountain is? It's actually nearly three miles high -- 14,410 feet to be exact, and it's the highest point in the state. Just for comparison, Mt. Rainier is about half as high as Mt. Everest, which reaches 29,000 feet.

Going to the other extreme, did you know that the bottom of Lake Chelan is 400 feet below sea level? The kicker there is that the surface of Lake Chelan is actually 1,000 above sea level, making the lake 1,400 feet deep in some places. Down on the southern border of our state, the Columbia River Gorge cuts right through the Cascade Mountains with a canyon as high as 4,000 feet.

If someone asked you what fruit Washington was known for, you no doubt would say apples. After all, Wenatchee is the apple capital of the world. And the good folks in Yakima figure they're a pretty important hub for apple production as well.

Washington DOES produce more apples than any other state. But did you know that the state is also the biggest producer of pears, red raspberries, sweet cherries and spearmint oil?

And Washington now does quite well with grapes. In fact, the state is now the No. 2 premium wine-producing region in the United States. The Yakima Valley, Walla Walla and Lake Chelan are just some of the places you'll find a variety of wineries that offer a premium product and are really fun to visit.
PHOTOS: Lake Chelan is 1,400 feet deep in some places
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