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Old 05-07-2008, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Default Where does the Willamette Valley start and end?

I think it starts in Cottage Grove and ends in Wilsonville.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I think most regard it going down (as the river runs) through Portland. I-5 runs along the west side of the valley from Wilsonville north.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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Geologically the Willamette Valley runs from Portland and the Columbia River down to where the Coastal Range and Cascade Range start to come together just south of Eugene.

From a "naming convention" aspect most people consider it to be south of the Portland metro area which would start with Aurora and head to just south of Eugene.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:59 AM
 
Location: North Oregon Coast
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Default Depends on where you are

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
From a "naming convention" aspect most people consider it to be south of the Portland metro area which would start with Aurora and head to just south of Eugene.
I would agree that this what most people in the greater Portland area consider to be the Willamette Valley. On the North Coast, however, "The Valley" commonly refers to anything between the Coast Range and the Cascades. People are as likely to say "I'm going into the Valley today" as to say "I'm going to Portland today".

Since I'm originally from the Portland area it took me awhile to get used to this vernacular. I'm guessing that there are probably other local definitions of where the Willamette Valley begins and ends.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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I've always thought of the Willamette Valley as extending from the Columbia River down to Spencer Butte, which is the prominent hill directly south of Eugene. Spencer Butte seems like a suitable natural landmark to highlight the southern end of the valley, although there is a southeastern "spur" of the valley which extends along I-5 through Creswell and Cottage Grove, and another spur which goes out to Lookout Point Lake.

Here is a topographical map of the area, so you can see what I mean.

Note that the Willamette Valley has several knolls, hills, and even some small ranges rising from the valley floor, such as the ridge of hills which brackets the west side of Salem, and separates that area from Monmouth. Monmouth and Independence are not located in separate valleys; they are part of the Willamette.

The valley narrows quite a bit as it approaches Portland, with a series of hills extending out north of the Yamhill-Newberg-Wilsonville axis, along with hills pressing from the east out into West Linn. And then of course, a bit further north, a finger of hills reaches down into Portland itself from the northwest. This is where "Forest Park" is located. But still, the flatlands of Portland and Gresham strike me as the final extension of the Willamette Valley.

Quote:
On the North Coast, however, "The Valley" commonly refers to anything between the Coast Range and the Cascades. People are as likely to say "I'm going into the Valley today" as to say "I'm going to Portland today".
That's pretty much how it works. If you are in Newport, and you say "I'm going to the valley to do some shopping," this probably means Corvallis, Albany, or Salem. It can mean Portland, or it could mean Eugene. It never means Vancouver, Washington, though.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:25 PM
 
3,676 posts, read 6,587,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MimzyMusic View Post
I think it starts in Cottage Grove and ends in Wilsonville.
It starts with a "W" and ends with a "Y".

Any other questions?
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
It starts with a "W" and ends with a "Y".

Any other questions?
Thank you for making me giggle today!!! I'm gonna give you a rep point for that...
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Old 05-10-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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Technically it starts around the Cottage Grove area and ends in Portland because that is the length of the Willamette River. From a sociological or demographic standpoint, it probably is from Cottage Grove to Wilsonville. This is due to the fact that the Portland area is considered to be substantially different from the rest of the Valley.
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Spencer Butte is a good place to end it, but it's not where I'd end it. When you drive from Roseburg to Eugene, right before you enter Cottage Grove you reach a water divide. That feels like the southern end of the Willamette Valley.
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