Ellensburg Recreation

Snoqualmie Pass

Ellensburg is a great area for recreation. Fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, motorcycling, AV riding, rafting, kayaking, golfing, snowmobiling, and skiing are all popular area activities. There are four major ski areas within a two hours drive from Ellensburg: Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, White Pass, and Snoqualmie Summit, which is the closest at one hour to the west. Cross–Country skiing is also available at Snoqualmie Pass.

Yakima River Canyon fishing

The Ellensburg area has numerous nearby rivers, lakes, and ponds for fishing. The Cle Elum, Teanaway, and Columbia Rivers are all within a half hours drive and the Yakima River skirts the southern edge of the city. There are several ponds near the river that also make nice fishing spots. South of Ellensburg, the Yakima Rivera Canyon is a particularly scenic fishing spot, with basalt cliffs rising thousand feet above. Fishers will need a license issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Big Horn Sheep in Yakima River Canyon

Ellensburg is also a popular hunting area. Deer, elk, coyote, grouse, pheasant, partridge, quail and duck can be hunted during the appropriate season and adhering to state hunting license laws and restrictions. For more information, check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's website. Other protected wildlife reside in the Ellensburg area. Big Horn Sheep and Bald Eagles can occasionally be seen in the Yakima River Canyon.

Umtanum Recreation Area

There are many excellent hiking and mountain biking trails near Ellensburg. The Umtanum Recreation Area is one particularly good hiking spot. It is located about fifteen miles south of the city on State Route 821 near the Yakima River Canyon, where Umtanum Creek meets the Yakima River. There is a designated parking lot along the river and a footbridge across the Yakima providing access to the areas hiking trails. For more information on Ellensburg area hiking and mountain biking, Trails.com has information on several area hikes. Click here for a map of the Ellensburg Area and to get driving directions.