Introduction - U.S. Western RegionThe western region of the United States is a huge area where a wide range of landforms, climates, and people can be found. What you will find in the U.S. States that comprise this vast region are some of the most beautiful beaches in the US, temperate rainforests stretching from California up along the coast to Washington, huge mountains like Pikes Peak in Colorado, and natural wonders like the stone arches in Utah's Arches National Park. Below you will find a list of interesting facts about the western region of the US. There are also links to the states that make up this region all with a list of facts about that state. Whether you are kid working on a school project or an adult interested in learning more about the West read on for more interesting facts.
On this site we will not count Alaska and Hawaii as part of the U.S. West Region but will rather include them in the non-Contiguous states section.
List of States in the U.S. Western Region
Interesting Facts about the States in the West Region
- The western region of the United States is often further broken down into the West Coast Region consisting of the three states that border the Pacific Ocean; California, Oregon, and Washington and the Mountain States, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
- Parts of what was to become the western states of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado were acquired in 1818 from France in the Louisiana Purchase.
- This region has both the least populous state in the United States, which is Wyoming, and the most populous U.S. State, California.
- The West Region has numerous large cities. In fact the second largest city in the U.S., which is Los Angeles, is located there. Other large cities include San Diego (California), San Francisco (California), Las Vegas (Nevada), Denver (Colorado), and Portland (Oregon).
- The city of Hollywood California is the center of the film industry in the United States.
- Numerous Indian tribes have inhabited the western region of the U.S.; living there hundreds of years before white settlers arrived. In fact California has more Indian tribes than any other U.S. state.
- The Oregon Trail, which passed through several current day western states, was traveled by settlers from the east to the western territories. At first it was only passable by walking or on horseback but in the 1840s it was cleared enough for wagons to travel and enabled hundreds of thousands of settlers to reach the West; especially during the California Gold Rush of 1849.
- The Transcontinental Railroad connecting the railroad lines in the east to the west coast of the United States was completed in 1869. What once took months, to travel from the east to the west, was reduced to less than a week. The impact on the development of the West was huge.
- U.S. Highway Route 66, which stretches from Chicago, Illinois to California was opened in 1926 and resulted in increased tourism and business for the western states. Later in the 20th century several interstate highways were built resulting in even more tourism and business.