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Ellensburg's Top Outdoor Escapes

Ellensburg is located in the Pacific Northwest, which is arguably one of the most beautiful, scenic places in the United States, offering spectacular waters, lots of greenery, and many mountains. As such, it is to no surprise that there is such a wide selection of outdoor activities that one can participate in while being in this area.


Biking is a versatile activity that can be done at varying degrees of difficulty and in a vast array of landscapes. Ellensburg offers biking opportunities for everyone. If you are looking for a space for your kiddos to ride their bikes, there are many parks in the city perfect for that, and to name a few you can look into West Ellensburg Park or Memorial Park. If you are looking for a slightly more scenic place to ride a bike, or for children that are of an older age, you can look into Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, Rotary Park, or McElroy Park. For those who are older and more of an outdoor enthusiast, you can choose any of the trails that are in the area to go biking on, just make sure that they are multi-access trails. Some suggestions for trails like that include the Wilson Creek Trail 1387, Manastash Ridge Trail, and Cougar Bait Trail.


There are many trails to choose from in the area that range from low to high difficulty and everything in between. One suggestion is Umtanum Creek Canyon which includes a historic swinging bridge, a canyon filled with flowers, basalt cliffs, and the possibility of seeing bighorn sheep. Another option is Rattlesnake Dance Ridge. This trail isn't long, but it isn't necessarily easy since it has an incline and many switchbacks. The reward is that you will have an amazing view of colorful rocks, beautiful flowers, and the Yakima River winding through the Yakima Canyon. If you are looking for a more laid-back, family-friendly hike you can always opt for a visit to the Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park. This is a location with endless opportunities as you can have a picnic, take a walk, bird watch, and so much more.

Photo by Lia Simcox

River Rafting

Similarly, you can also choose to river raft if you prefer to have even more thrill and excitement as you explore the Yakima River. With three different vendors offering this excursion, you are bound to find the perfect fit for you. If you are interested in river rafting, make sure to check out Mountain High Sports Inc., Red's Fly Shop, and/or River Rafting at Rill.

Photo courtesy of Rill Adventures


If you want to be outside, but want to engage in an activity that is more laid back, golf is the sport for you. Golfing is a unique experience in Ellensburg, as there are frequent winds that make golfing even more challenging, but you are rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding canyons. If you are in Ellensburg and would like to go golfing, you should definitely consider the Ellensburg Golf & Country Club. This semi-private club offers a 9-hole course and they offer public daily rates in addition to the memberships. It is a full-service golf course, with a restaurant, bar, pro shop, locker rooms, driving range, and putting green.

The Ellensburg area offers a wide selection of outdoor escapes that are suitable for many people of different interests. No matter what your goals are for an outdoor escape, you are sure to find an activity that suits your needs.

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