The Northwest Coast Ranges have very clear boundaries. The northern and southern edges are well defined by two great ocean inlets, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north and San Francisco Bay to the south. The eastern edge is the continuous lowland trench used by Interstate 5--the Sacramento Valley, the Willamette Valley, the Puget Sound lowlands, and the connecting valleys. To the west, the Northwest Coast Ranges rise almost directly out of the Pacific Ocean for their entire length.
By far the most alpine and spectacular individual range in this grab-bag is the Olympic Mountains of Washington, a knot of dense rainforest and glacier-mantled peaks. Most of the Coast Range of Oregon and California is relatively low but rugged, well-forested terrain, occasionally breaking out of the trees for nice peaks like the Trinity Alps.