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170 Washington Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Washington? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Washington (Geography). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
Related Questions & Answers:   Seattle Mariners (MLB Teams)   Seattle Seahawks (NFL Teams)  
1 The most recognizable building in Seattle is the 600 foot tall Space Needle with its revolving observation deck and restaurant. For what reason was the Space Needle built?
Answer: 1962 World's Fair

The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair. During the fair, a maximum of nearly 20,000 visitors rode the elevator to the observation and restaurant decks. It's possible to see the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, many nearby islands, and many of Seattle's lakes from the observation deck.

The Space Needle was built to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 and category-5 windstorms. It sways about one inch for every 10 mph wind force. Unlike many towers it is not used for broadcasting. At the time of its construction it was the tallest building in the United States west of the Mississippi River.
  From Quiz: The Emerald City (Seattle)
2 What body of water lies to the north of the Olympic Peninsula?
Answer: The Strait of Juan de Fuca

The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates the United States from Canada for about 100 miles. It connects the Pacific Ocean with Puget Sound. Cruise ships leaving from Seattle travel the strait to reach the ocean.
  From Quiz: Olympic Peninsula
3 Which town in eastern Washington has been called the "town so nice they named it twice"?
Answer: Walla Walla

Besides its memorable name, Walla Walla is known for its sweet onions. The town is located in Walla Walla County.
    Your options: [ Walla Walla ] [ Hubba Hubba ] [ Gooba Gooba ] [ Boola Boola ]
  From Quiz: Eastern Washington
4 The large park at the north end of the Island is named after a famous botanist. What is that botanist's name?
Answer: Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank was responsible for developing over 100 new varieties of plums and prunes, 10 varieties of apples, 35 fruiting cacti, in addition to many other new varieties of fruit, vegetables, and flowers. His peers criticized his methods as being too unscientific, but Burbank was more concerned with achieving results than following a prescribed academic methodology.
  From Quiz: Mercer Island, WA - The Rock
5 _____________ is the largest city in Washington.
Answer: Seattle

Settled in the early 1850's, Seattle lies ashore of Elliott Bay to the west and Lake Washington to the east, It hosts a diverse economy that includes international trade (especially with East Asia), heavy industry, technology, and many other forms of commerce. Metropolitan Seattle area is now home to well over three million people.
    Your options: [ Seattle ] [ Bellevue ] [ Spokane ] [ Tacoma ]
  From Quiz: Washington State
6 What is widely believed to be the cause of the Great Seattle Fire of 1889?
Answer: The tipping over of a glue pot.

There are many different stories of how the Great Seattle Fire started. Regardless of how it started, it destroyed, among other things, 29 city blocks.
  From Quiz: I'm Singin' in the Rain: Seattle
7 Who became the mayor of Seattle in 2002?
Answer: Greg Nickels

He took office in 2002 and became the 51st mayor of the city.
  From Quiz: The Best of Seattle
8 This major Washington city was named after the chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
Answer: Seattle

Seattle is the largest city in the state of Washington. It was founded on November 13, 1851 at Alki Point on the shores of Elliot Bay. It was named for the chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. His name has been spelled many different ways but he was Christened Noah Sealth by a Catholic priest.
    Your options: [ Seattle ] [ Yakima ] [ Chehalis ] [ Spokane ]
  From Quiz: Washington State Place Names
9 The Washington State capital is in what county?
Answer: Thurston

The capital of Washington is Olympia and is located on the northwestern side of Thurston.
  From Quiz: Washington State Counties
10 What is the highest mountain in the Olympic Peninsula?
Answer: Mt. Olympus

The mountain is 2,428 meters high. Mount Olympus is the largest mountain in the Olympics and is one of one of a handful of mountains in the state that contain glaciers.
  From Quiz: Washington State
11 Name the body of water directly west of Seattle.
Answer: Puget Sound
    Your options: [ Pacific Ocean ] [ Seattle Bay ] [ Juan de Fuca Strait ] [ Puget Sound ]
  From Quiz: Washington State
12 The Space Needle observation deck provides over views over a wide area of Western Washington. What mountain range would you see looking towards the west?
Answer: Olympic Mountains

The Olympic Mountains are found on the Olympic Peninsula near the Pacific Ocean. They are part of the Pacific Coast Range, also found in British Columbia. The highest mountain in the Olympics is Mount Olympus at 7962 feet.

The Cascade Mountains are east of Seattle and divide the states of Washington and Oregon into different climatic regions. The coastal regions have moderate temperatures and significant precipitation. The eastern regions are much drier and have wider temperature variations.

The Siskiyou Mountain range is in California and Southern Oregon.
  From Quiz: The Emerald City (Seattle)
13 What is the tallest mountain on the Olympic Peninsula that can be seen from Hurricane Ridge?
Answer: Mount Olympus

Greece is not the only country with a "Mount Olympus"! Mount Olympus of Washington state is 7980 ft. in elevation and is the central feature of the Olympic National Park.
  From Quiz: Olympic Peninsula
14 Most people know that the Columbia River forms much of the southern border of Washington, but what river marks a small section of the eastern border? (Step carefully on this one.)
Answer: Snake River

Hells Canyon, carved by the Snake River, is the deepest river gorge in North America. It's beautiful, but hardly as impressive as the Colorado River's Grand Canyon.
  From Quiz: Eastern Washington
15 Eastern Washington sports some magnificent coulees. How were they formed?
Answer: Massive floods

During the end of the ice age, glaciers dammed up the Clark Fork River in Montana, creating Lake Missoula. Periodically, the water pressure burst through the dam and rushed into Washington. Scientists believe that these floods, racing toward the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean, could have been as fast as 500 miles per hour. This build up and flooding happened repeatedly. These repeated floods carved the coulees, which means 'to flow' in French, out of the landscape. These coulees appear as deep, steep canyons.
  From Quiz: Washington's Natural Geography
16 Why was the "Lid Park" given that name?
Answer: The park was built on top of a freeway tunnel, so it's the "lid".

In the late 1980s the state of Washington widened Interstate 90 to accommodate the increasing traffic flow from the east side of Lake Washington to Seattle and vice versa. As part of this project, the state agreed to cover part of the freeway with a "lid" and build a large green space on top of it to compensate the city for the loss of usable space. Today the Lid Park is used for many types of activities from Little League Baseball to family picnics.
  From Quiz: Mercer Island, WA - The Rock
17 Paul Allen and Bill Gates, who were both born in Seattle, were co-founders of what successful software company?
Answer: Microsoft

Who would have guessed that two boys from Seattle would get together and form arguably the largest software company in the country?
  From Quiz: I'm Singin' in the Rain: Seattle
18 What is the name of the airport you'd most likely fly into if you were to visit Seattle?
Answer: SeaTac International Airport

Considered the "Gateway to the Northwest," the SeaTac airport is situated in between Seattle and Tacoma, another major Washington city.
  From Quiz: The Best of Seattle
19 This county seat was named after George Washington's estate.
Answer: Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is the county seat of Skagit County. It was originally founded as a fur trading post on the Skagit River. George Washington's Mount Vernon was named in honor of Admiral Edward Vernon of the British Navy.
    Your options: [ Mount Vernon ] [ Potomac ] [ Monticello ] [ George ]
  From Quiz: Washington State Place Names
20 In which county do you find Wenatchee, Leavenworth, and Cashmere?
Answer: Chelan

Chelan is named after its big and famous lake in Central Washington.
    Your options: [ Snohomish ] [ Kittitas ] [ Douglas ] [ Chelan ]
  From Quiz: Washington State Counties
21 What landmark on the coast in Washington did British Captain John Meares name?
Answer: Cape Disappointment

It was named by John Meares, a British naval captain who was looking for a mighty river that was supposed to be in this area.
  From Quiz: Washington State
22 What is Washington's state flower?
Answer: Rhododendron

More specifically, the coast or western rhododendron. In 1892, women of Washington chose this flower as the state's official flower to enter an exhibit at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Rhododendrons grow on evergreen shrubs in clusters of pink, red, or purple flowers.
  From Quiz: Washington--The Evergreen State
23 What is the highest mountain in Washington?
Answer: Mt. Rainier

Mt Rainier: 14,410... Mt. Baker: 10,778... Mt. Olympus: 7,965... Mt. St. Helens: 8,366
  From Quiz: Washington State
24 A favorite postcard from Seattle is the view of a massive snow-capped mountain to the south. What is the name of this mountain?
Answer: Mount Rainier

Mount Hood (11,250 feet high) and Mount St Helens (8366 feet high) are both about 50 miles from Portland Oregon. Mount Baker (10,281 feet high) is about 30 miles from Bellingham, Washington - which is very near the Canadian border.

Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the Cascade Mountains at 14,411 feet high. It is a stratovolcano, which last erupted between 1820 and 1854. It is the most heavily glaciated mountain in the lower 48 states and is topped by two volcanic craters. Although it is listed as dormant, it is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, one of sixteen tracked in the Decade Volcano list. An eruption could cause melting of the glaciers and devastating mudslides over a wide region.
  From Quiz: The Emerald City (Seattle)
25 What two lakes were drained when their dams on the Elwha River were removed?
Answer: Lake Aldwell and Lake Mills

The dam removal project on the Elwha River is one of the largest in U.S. history. The Elwha River restoration benefits both land and aquatic animals, as well as plant life and the local tribal community.
  From Quiz: Olympic Peninsula
26 Just south of the business district is a park that is often referred to by Island residents, particularly those with small children, as "The Train Park". What is the Train Park's formal name?
Answer: Mercerdale Park

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the Mercer Island School District was considering the development of a second high school on the property that is currently Mercerdale Park. However, district enrollment began to decline, the plans for the second high school scrapped, and the property was sold to the city for park space. Today, the Island Arts Council and other organizations present the "Music in the Park" series each summer and a host of other activities throughout the year for members of the community to enjoy.
  From Quiz: Mercer Island, WA - The Rock
27 The _______________ Mountains divide the more arid eastern Washington and more lush western Washington
Answer: Cascade

The Cascades stretch from southern British Columbia to Northern California. It includes many famous peaks, including Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Hood.
    Your options: [ Cascade ] [ Rocky ] [ Olympic ] [ Okanogan ]
  From Quiz: Washington State
28 The second-largest and fastest-growing city in Clark County is named after an event that never took place. What was the event that never happened?
Answer: A battle

The city is Battle Ground, where no battle ever occurred- what actually happened is that a battle may have been prevented!

In 1855, Yakima Indians in southern Washington, reacting to the large numbers of settlers pouring into their territories, staged an uprising. The soldiers of Fort Vancouver, fearing that the uprising would spread to the local non-hostile Klickitat tribe, rounded up the natives and took them into custody within the fort. Some of the Indians did not take kindly to this treatment, and packed their bags and left. The soldiers followed them to the area now known as Battle Ground and took them back into custody- without a battle.
  From Quiz: Communities of Clark County, Washington
29 This channel separates Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands.
Answer: Deception Pass

Deception Pass was named by British explorer George Vancouver because it had appeared to be a narrow bay rather than a passageway. There is a bridge across it that affords a beautiful view.
    Your options: [ Deception Pass ] [ Deadman Bay ] [ Deepcreek ] [ Obstruction Island ]
  From Quiz: Washington State Place Names
30 Bellingham and Mount Baker are in what county?
Answer: Whatcom

Mount Baker is one of the major tourist attractions for winter sports in Washington.
  From Quiz: Washington State Counties
31 What Indian tribe lives in the northwest corner of the state?
Answer: Makah

The Makah have lived in this part of the state for hundreds of years and it is now the Makah Reservation. They have gained to the right to hunt gray whales a few times a year.
  From Quiz: Washington State
32 What is the body of water directly to the east of downtown Seattle?
Answer: Lake Washington
  From Quiz: Washington State
33 What mountain range changes the weather on the Olympic Peninsula?
Answer: The Olympic Mountains

Temperate rainforests are found on the west side of the mountains. The mountains stop water-carrying weather patterns from the Pacific Ocean, which results in the area east of the mountains being much dryer and almost desert-like in rainfall amounts.
  From Quiz: Olympic Peninsula
34 What lake was moved by the eruption of Mount Saint Helens on May 18, 1980?
Answer: Spirit Lake

While all of these lakes are in the state, Spirit Lake is the only one near the volcano. Helicopter pilots' efforts to rescue survivors on the mountain that day were hampered by the moving of Spirit Lake and other landmarks. The once pristine lake was devastated by the eruption, killing its inhabitants with toxic gases. The volcano has shown scientists that major geographical changes can occur within minutes.
  From Quiz: Washington's Natural Geography
35 Which city is Washington's capital?
Answer: Olympia

Incorporated on January 28, 1859, Olympia earned its name due to the spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains to the northwest. It is located at the southern point of Puget Sound, abut 60 miles south of Seattle and 110 miles north of Portland, Oregon.
    Your options: [ Olympia ] [ Tacoma ] [ Seattle ] [ Bellevue ]
  From Quiz: Washington State
36 Named after a wildflower, this city on the banks of the Columbia was once known primarily for its paper mill, belching sulfurous fumes into the sky. Now it is gaining a better reputation as the hub of high-tech industry in Clark County.
Answer: Camas

Although the paper mill still befouls the atmosphere, even after environmental controls, Camas is now just as well-known as the site of campuses for Hewlett-Packard, Sharp Microelectronics, Wafer Tech, Underwriters Laboratories, and others. And the blue camas still blooms in forest meadows there.
    Your options: [ Chelatchie Prairie ] [ Washougal ] [ Camas ] [ Amboy ]
  From Quiz: Communities of Clark County, Washington
37 Which company was founded in Seattle?
Answer: Starbucks

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! Seattle is generally accepted to be the coffee capital of the United States. Other companies founded in Seattle include Amazon.com, Nordstrom, and Rainier Beer.
    Your options: [ Starbucks ] [ Disney ] [ McDonalds ] [ Krispy Kreme Doughnuts ]
  From Quiz: I'm Singin' in the Rain: Seattle
38 The name of this funny sounding Washington town is derived from the Nez Perce word 'Walatsa' which means 'running water'.
Answer: Walla Walla

Walla Walla was first mentioned by Lewis and Clark as Wollaw Wollahs. Its name comes from the Nez Perce word Walatsa which means running waters. The repetition makes it mean 'many waters'. Walla Walla is the location of the main state prison.
    Your options: [ Walla Walla ] [ Mabana ] [ Queet ] [ Spangle ]
  From Quiz: Washington State Place Names
39 Tacoma is in which county?
Answer: Pierce

Tacoma looks as if it is in Thurston county, but it is really in Pierce. Tacoma is home of the AAA baseball team called the Tacoma Raniers.
    Your options: [ Thurston ] [ King ] [ Lewis ] [ Pierce ]
  From Quiz: Washington State Counties
40 What famous Indian chief was buried in the Colville Indian Reservation?
Answer: Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph was the chief of the Nez Perce who tried to go to Canada to escape reservation life. They were captured and Chief Joseph was brought to the Colville Indian Reservation a few years later where he died from "a broken heart."
  From Quiz: Washington State
The rest of the questions and answers can be found in our quizzes here:
Washington Quizzes