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.

River Rafting

This ride combines a few trails and is great for avid mountain bikers. Start on the Chest Pains trail and cross the irrigation canal and work your way up. Then hook a left, staying left of Oh Deer at the first intersection and then right of Pink Pelvis at the second intersection. You’ll find your way to the top of Manastash Ridge and the downhill of this is exhilarating!


The Iron Horse/John Wayne Trail is located along the Yakima River and is a fantastic cycling trail. It is mostly flat, making for a pretty easy ride. It is filled with a ton of flowers and sunny days make this a very scenic ride! You’ll be meandering through forests, rivers, and desert land, so you’ll never be bored on this long ride!

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.