Inland Northwest (United States)

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Map of the Inland Northwest. Counties highlighted in red are always included, while counties in pink are only occasionally included.

The Inland Northwest[1]or Inland Empire is a region adjacent to and just east of the Pacific Northwest centered on the Greater Spokane Area, that includes all of Eastern Washington and all of North Idaho. The region also contains the Tri-Cities. The portion of Montana west of the Continental Divide is often included as part of the region. Included in the region are the counties of:

Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima
Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Shoshone

Montana (Sometimes Included)

Flathead County, Lake County, Lincoln County, Mineral County, Missoula, Ravalli County, and Sanders County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated population as of 2016 was 2,240,645 making it, in population, comparable to New Mexico. Its Canadian counterpart, north of the border, is the British Columbia Interior.


The region is bounded by the Cascade Mountains on the west and the Rocky Mountains (following the spine of the remote and rugged Cabinet Mountains) on the east, the Blue Mountains (Oregon) and foothills of the Wallowa Mountains to the south, southeast, and encompasses the Columbia river basin (or Columbia Plateau). Between the three mountain ranges are large, sweeping areas of semi-arid steppe, part of which has been irrigated due to the Columbia Basin Project, resulting in expansive farmland in central Washington. The Palouse, original home of the Appaloosa, is another major agricultural region located in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Washington and extending into Idaho; in Idaho, the Silver Valley is a mineral rich region of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains in northern Idaho noted for its mining heritage, dating back to the 1880s.

The largest city in the region, Spokane ("The Lilac City"), is located near where the arid, and largely unforested Columbia plateau meets the lush forests of the Selkirk Mountains, the urban area stretches east into Idaho along the I-90 corridor through the Spokane River valley across the border of Idaho to Post Falls, Idaho and the city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on the north bank of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The Northeastern Washington and Northern Idaho portion of the Inland Empire are mountainous and forested, and the crest of the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains forms part of the eastern boundary of the Inland Empire region, while the Columbia River forms a significant part of its southern boundary.



The Washington side is generally semi-arid, while the Idaho side experiences mostly a humid continental climate.

Largest cities by population[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stratton, David H., ed. (2004), Spokane & the Inland Empire: An Interior Pacific Northwest Anthology, Washington State University, ISBN 0-87422-277-X 

Coordinates: 47°00′N 118°00′W / 47.0°N 118.0°W / 47.0; -118.0 (Inland Northwest)