The city of Vancouver, Washington is the county seat of Clark County, which shares a border with Cowlitz County and Skamania County. The city lies just about 9 miles north of downtown Portland, Oregon, and is a part of the Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Area. Often confused with Vancouver, British Columbia in southern Canada, Vancouver, Washington was established nearly 30 years before its Canadian counterpart. Both were named after Captain George Vancouver, an English officer in the British Royal Navy during the 1700s.
Vancouver works under a council-manager form of government, which “empowers the citizens of Vancouver and provides responsive, progressive leadership and a vision for our community,” as stated by the official city website. The City Council is responsible for establishing policies and passing ordinances while the City Manager serves as Chief Executive Officer, carrying out budget developments and advising the Council on various policies. The Clark County Court House is located at 1200 Franklin St. in downtown Vancouver.
On clear days, residents and visitors get spectacular views of iconic Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, both semi-active volcanoes in the Cascade Volcanic Arc which reaches from southwestern British Columbia in Canada all the way down to Northern California. Vancouver hikers, nature lovers and adventure seekers frequently take advantage of the lush outdoor recreational activities prominent throughout the Pacific Northwest. There are many parks, trails and natural areas for residents to explore, including Bella Vista Park, Burnt Bridge Creek Trail, Cascade Park, Discovery Historic Loop Trail and the Evergreen Highway Trail at Columbia Springs.