Cruising the Coast of the Pacific Region

Contributor: Ryann Maginn. Lesson ID: 12361

Where in the United States can you find volcanoes, islands, bays, volcanoes, estuaries, and volcanoes? Take a tour of the Pacific Region of the United States and become part of the Klondike Gold Rush!


United States, United States

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What do you think this mountain-like formation is called?

You may have heard of it, and its name evokes fear power!

The picture in the beginning is of Mount St. Helens.

  • Did you guess correctly?

Mount St. Helens is a major volcano that is still active to this day. It lies along the Cascade Range in Washington State with other volcanos that are both active and non-active. You can find these formations and others in the Pacific Region.

Learn more about Mount St. Helens and the catastrophic eruption in 1980 by watching Mt. St. Helens Eruption May 18, 1980 from PLSheffield. As you watch, take notes of interesting facts you learn about the eruption:

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Now, answer the following questions:

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Pictured below is Mount St. Helens erupting in 1980.

Mount St. Helens erupting

Image, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain in the United States because it only contains materials that originally came from the United States Geological Survey, an agency of the United States Department of the Interior.

Here is a list of the Pacific Region states:

  1. Hawaii
  2. California
  3. Oregon
  4. Washington
  5. Alaska

Hawaii is not always considered part of the Pacific Region because it has little in common with the rest of the region and is thousands of miles away from the Pacific coast.

These are the major landforms found in the Pacific Region:

  1. Rocky Mountains
  2. Pacific Ocean
  3. Cascade Range
    • As stated previously, this range includes Mount St. Helens and a string of other volcanoes. Some volcanoes are active and some are not.
  4. Aleutian Islands
    • A chain of islands in Alaska that contains almost 80% of all volcanoes in the United States
  5. Mount Rainier
    • The largest mountain in the Pacific Region. Located in Washington State.
  6. Lake Tahoe
    • A large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in parts of California and Nevada
  7. Columbia River
    • 1,243 miles long, beginning in the Rocky Mountains and forming the border of Oregon and Washington
  8. Many coastal features
    • Bays, coastal plains, estuaries, islands


Bay: a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inward


Coastal plain: flat, low-lying land next to a seacoast

coastal plain

Estuary: tidal mouth of a large river, where the tide meets the stream


Other notable sites

  1. Rock Caves
  2. Alcatraz Island
  3. Yosemite National Park
  4. Klondike Gold Rush Site


  1. This region has a mixture of climates including temperate rainforests and oceanic climate.
  2. West of the Cascade Mountains, the temperature is wet and mild. Since it rains heavily in this area, there is a lot of vegetation and plants.
  3. In the mountainous areas, the weather is more dry and arid.

For additional information about the Pacific Region and its states, please visit Pacific States by Take your own notes of interesting facts you learn from this website. Find information related to the area's history, culture and major cities.

Continue on to the Got It? section to fill out a map of the region.

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