Kick-off Your Summer in Ellensburg

Here in Ellensburg, we have plenty of safe activities for you to tackle this summer. Enjoy a stroll through downtown, picnic in a park, explore a market filled with fresh farm goods, or drive through the countryside to track down all of the Kittitas County barn quilts. We invite you to come kick-off your summer in the year-round paradise of Ellensburg and start checking off your bucket list for the season!

Farmer's Market

Ellensburg remains committed to connecting farmers with residents and allowing everyone access to farm-fresh foods. While the Farmer’s Market may look a bit different now, the same incredible vendors remain ready to supply us all with fresh produce and other artisan goods. So drive a few hours or a few minutes to shop our one of a kind market on East 4th Avenue every Saturday. Some of the vendors that grabbed our attention so far were WildCraft Mushrooms, Ellensburg Canyon Winery, Loveland Cookies and Pottery, Churro Genesis, and Lemon thyme Macarons. The list goes on so be sure to check out the Ellensburg Farmers Market website for the full list of vendors and the expectations required for safe operations.

Photo courtesy of WTA

Irene Rinehart Riverfront Trail

This is one of our all-time favorite places to hang around on a warm, sunny summer day. Whether you’re in the mood for laying on the grass and swimming in the water or taking a stroll around Carey Lake, this lush park will meet all your desires to be in the great outdoors. Pack up the car and get ready to swim, picnic, tan, walk, run, boat, or bike at this quaint Ellensburg gem.


Manastash Lake/Manastash Ridge

Looking for a lake stroll with more of a challenge? Say no more, we have plenty of options for you. One of our favorites to feature is the gorgeous hike to Manastash Lake. While this hike is a bit lengthy (8 miles roundtrip) the flowery meadows and breathtaking views quickly make up for the pain in your legs you might experience the next day. This hike will take you to Lost Lake, give you views of the Ellensburg Wind Farm, introduce you to unfamiliar flora and fauna, and allow you to relax at the top of the hike, in a forest oasis. Grab your hiking shoes and get ready for a challenge that won’t disappoint.

Photo courtesy of WTA
Photo courtesy of Gård Vintners

Art Walk and Quilt Hunt

Challenge yourself to take on two unique self-guided tours, then finish it off at one of our many amazing eateries (or wineries if the kids didn’t make it this trip). Ellensburg is home to world-class pieces of art, many of which happen to be outside dispersed throughout the town. So, if you’re a first-time visitor this is the perfect activity to get familiar with Ellensburg and its history. Use this art walk brochure to guide you throughout the town in search of your favorite art piece’ or ditch the map, turn it into a scavenger hunt, and track down the iconic statues hidden throughout town on your own.

If you find yourself wanting to keep the number of steps you’re taking to a minimum during this getaway, hop back in the car and set off on the barn quilt trail. This self-guided driving tour will take you on a scenic route through some of Washington’s stunning ranch land. Take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the historical freestanding quilt squares that celebrate the agricultural heritage and the folk art of the American quilt. The Kittitas County Quilt Trail has over 100 barn quilts, so we challenge you to find as many as you can!


Paul Rogers Wildlife Park

Need a break from the city? This is the place to escape to, one of Ellensburg’s most precious hidden gems waiting to be explored. This 20-acre wildlife park is situated just one mile outside of downtown Ellensburg, which makes this the perfect location for anyone trying to get away from the more popular areas around town. Come down to this spot for a nature run or a walk with your best canine pal. It’s also an ideal spot for children as they will want to explore for hours – we recommend challenging them to find as much wildlife as possible! Another great option is to pick up your favorite meal at a local restaurant and scout out the perfect picnic spot. You can’t go wrong with a freshly made sandwich or a salad from any of these local favorites.
Photo courtesy of Paul Rogers Wildlife Park