5 can’t miss museums in
Ellensburg, Washington

With the many artists living in and around Ellensburg, it’s no surprise that there are several artistic destinations to explore. Below, in no particular order, are five of the must-see museums found in and around Ellensburg, Washington.

Kittitas County Historical Museum (KCHM)

Located in historic downtown Ellensburg, the Kittitas County Historical Museum has been collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Kittitas County since 1961.

It all started when descendants of Kittitas Valley pioneers decided that artifacts and materials should be collected and maintained to help establish and educate people on the timeline of Kittitas County, Washington.

As the museum exists today, visitors can observe six exhibit galleries, with different offerings in each one. Exhibits include early settler life, World War II, local businesses, farming, geological specimens, a neon light display, an antique automobile room, collection of Ellensburg Blue Agates and much more.

Things to know, before you go:
📍 114 E. 3rd Ave. | Ellensburg, WA
⏰ Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
💸Admission is free, donations are welcome
🚫No photography

For more information and upcoming special exhibits visit kchm.org or connect with them
on Facebook: @KittitasCountyMuseum or Instagram: @KittitasCountyMuseum

1 kchm

Clymer Museum of Art

The Clymer Museum is a gateway to Ellensburg’s Western roots. Preserving, collecting, and interpreting the art and life of artist John Clymer, his contemporaries, and future generations of artists that depict and focus on the life and country of Clymer’s America.

While you are visiting Ellensburg, stop by and view an esteemed collection of Clymer’s work and history that is on display as well as rotating exhibitions of selected talent.

We are talking over 2,050” of wall space dedicated to contemporary regional artists!

With rotating exhibits throughout the year, each time you stop by The Clymer Gallery and Museum — you are bound to discovery a new art piece that will amaze you. Plus, the museum and gallery also feature a gift shop full of unique gifts and regional treasures.

Things to know, before you go:
📍 416 N Pearl St | Ellensburg, WA
⏰ Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m.to5 p.m. | Saturday 11 a.m.- 3p.m.
💸Admission is free
🅿️3 hours of free parking in Downtown Ellensburg

For more information and upcoming special exhibits visit clymermuseum.org/ or connect
with them on Facebook.

Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame

Since 1997, the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame (ERHOF) has been dedicated to the conservation of the Ellensburg Rodeo’s history and traditions. You will find over 2,000 historical rodeo artifacts that provide visitors with a visual, auditory, and three-dimensional illustration of Ellensburg Rodeo history.

A must-see while there, are the hundreds of photographs, posters, jewelry, prize buckles, programs, costumes, saddles, films, programs and many other historical artifacts from the Ellensburg Rodeo donated by local and national competitors, participants, volunteers, and their families!

With exhibits offered continuously, ERHOF also offers with special shows and annual fundraising events. Yee-haw!

Things to know, before you go:
📍 416 N Pearl Street | Ellensburg, WA
⏰ Tuesday- Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Saturday, 10a.m. to 3p.m.

For more information and explore any upcoming special exhibits/events visit
ellensburgrodeohalloffame.org or connect with them on Facebook @bootsoffame

Thorp Mill Town Historic Preservation

Since 1883 until 1946, the Thorp Mill stood to serve the people of Kittitas County. After nearly 40 years of it going unused and slowly deteriorating – former Thorp high school students decided persevering, the old gristmill was the perfect centennial project.

Research revealed that although local mills were once the center of most small communities, nearly all of them are gone—destroyed by fire or dismantled during the Second World War. In addition, the North Star Mill’s unique combination of functions and its early production of electricity drew the interest of industrial historians nationwide.

It turned out that the Thorp Mill was not just a local landmark, but a national treasure, nearly the last of its kind!

The mill has been lovingly restored and maintained, so visitors can take scheduled tours and catch a glimpse of its intrinsic history back to the early days of settlement in the Kittitas Valley.

Things to know, before you go:
📍 11640 N. Thorp Hwy | Thorp, WA
⏰ Friday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (will resume operating hours the first weekend in
June 2023)
🗺️ Throughout the entire year, visitors are welcome during daylight hours to take a self-guided tour of the mill grounds


For more information and upcoming special exhibits visit thorp.org or connect with them
on Facebook @ThorpMillMuseum and Instagram @ThorpMillMuseum

Museum of Culture and Environment

The Museum of Culture and Environment (MCE) cares for a collection of more than 10,000 objects from around the world and across time with a special emphasis on featuring exhibits that provoke visitors’ reflections on the connection to the world we inhabit.

This is not your typical museum — Located in Dean Hall on the Central Washington University campus, CWU students are at the heart of everything MCE does.

While there are rotating exhibits open to the public to explore, MCE is also a classroom and community centered space that hosts events throughout the academic year, from live music to workshops and group discussions.

Things to know, before you go:
📍 1200 Wildcat Way | Ellensburg, WA
⏰ Wednesday– Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
💸Admission is free, donations are accepted
🅿️Parking on campus is free after 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays. Weekday parking
permits for campus lots are currently $6.00 and are needed if coming to campus before
4:30 p.m

For more information on current/upcoming exhibits or local events, click here or connect
with them on Instagram @cwumuseum.

Photo courtesy of Winegar’s