There's no need to get out of the car to experience these top views the next time you travel to Ellensburg! With such a diverse landscape, it is possible to experience many different sights throughout the Ellensburg area, all without leaving the comfort of your car! Enjoy a scenic drive or take the trip up to a local favorite lookout to admire the views. Whether it's to enjoy a vibrant summer sunset or to take in the colorful fall foliage, don't miss one of these scenic views during your time in Ellensburg.
Barn Quilt Trail
Ellensburg is known for its beautiful rolling fields and agricultural history, and you can enjoy the two together in the breathtaking scenes that can be found touring the area in search of Kittitas County's famous barn quilts. Over the years, more than one hundred quilt blocks have been installed throughout the county, making for a picturesque country drive as admirers go in search of them all. These quilts create the Kittitas County Barn Quilt Trail, Washington State's first barn quilt trail, which can be explored via a self-guided driving tour. Download the map to locate and reference the known history of the barn and the significance of the quilt block. The first barn quilt on the trail was on the Dominion Barn, which is currently being utilized as a garden shop at Dusty's Nursery in Ellensburg. Visit as many as you can on your scenic drive through the Ellensburg area!
Don't miss a drive on the scenic Highway 10, where the Upper Yakima River Canyon winds its way through vibrant meadows, steep rock cliffs, and wooded areas sprinkled throughout. It twists all the way up to Cle Elum, offering a chance to see some of the most stunning views around. Take advantage of the turnouts along the way to take in the amazing views. You will not be disappointed!
Lion Rock Lookout
Lion Rock is a stunning location for watching the sunset or picnicking and offers magnificent views that are sure to make for an unforgettable experience. The lookout offers breathtaking, scenic views of the Central Cascades and the Kittitas Valley. As you drive up the mountain, you are treated to picturesque meadows of wildflowers. Pair this with the stunning 360-degree views at an elevation of 6,360 feet to experience breathtaking views throughout your entire visit.
Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway
Canyon Road is a fairly efficient alternative to Interstate 82 between Yakima and Ellensburg, but it also happens to be one of the most scenic routes you will ever drive, regardless of the time of year. This world-class drive follows the Yakima River, dividing the hills of sage covered desert between Yakima and Ellensburg. It embodies the Central Washington experience from its scenic vistas to its diverse recreational opportunities and rich geological, natural, and cultural heritage. Keep an eye on the marvelous basalt cliffs, some rising more than 2,000 feet, as well as the many crevices and cliffs which make a perfect home for the densest concentration of nesting hawks, eagles, and falcons in the state.