Explore Ellensburg on your own terms! View our list of self-guided activities that can found in the area.
The work of many sculptors and painters have found a home in Ellensburg, WA. Though the town may be small, it’s beautiful architecture and flash from the past make this the perfect place to getaway and step back in time. The local art that one finds while roaming around this charming town only add to the beauty of the location.
Ellensburg was established in 1875 by John and Mary Ellen Shoudy with the original core of downtown Ellensburg being First Avenue to Sixth Avenue, Water Street to Ruby Street. The town quickly grew as people and businesses moved to the area. With the Northern Pacific Railroad entering the area in 1885, it enabled the community to grow even quicker.
Make a splash during your time in Ellensburg by renting river rafts and other outdoor equipment to enjoy your own thrilling excursion on nearby waters! Local outdoor shops offer rentals for a variety of adventure necessities, and some also act as a guide service if you’d like a local to take you out on the waters!
There’s a trail and road for every biking level in Kittitas County, with the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail being one of the longest, most scenic and flattest. Several area roads are great to check out as well, with minimal traffic to worry about.
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The Yakima River is a fly fisherman’s favorite for catching Rainbow, Steelhead and Cutthroat trout. Summer’s the best time to fish in this blue-ribbon river, but fishermen come here year-round. Miles of scenic river meander through the Yakima Canyon, making the area one of the premier spots for fishing in the Northwest. The canyon is 27 miles long, with 21 of those in Kittitas County.
Whether you’re an avid golfer or simply looking to experience something new during your visit, golfing in the scenic Ellensburg valley is a must. Enjoy a backdrop of surrounding canyons as you battle the famous Ellensburg winds, which pose an exciting challenge to even the most experienced golfers.
Ellensburg, as well as surrounding Kittitas County, is located in some of the most unique and varied terrain in the Northwest. Because there are deserts, long stretches of valley, and mountain ranges, a horseback-riding enthusiast can experience a huge variety of riding locations.
Ellensburg is surrounded by several ski resorts, the closest one being the Summit at Snoqualmie. Shred the slopes of this popular local mountain, or find a local trail to cross-country ski or snowshoe on your own! When your adventure ends, Ellensburg offers a place to rest and refuel with a wide selection of restaurants, breweries, and lodging to choose from.
With more than 500 miles of groomed trails in the upper portion of Kittitas County, the area is said to be the most popular snowmobiling spot in Washington State. The fairly recent introduction of Sno-Parks — areas where you can park your car right near groomed trails — have made the sport even more popular. There are trails for all skill levels, and the county has several spots to purchase or repair snowmobiles. Sno-Parks also offer groomed cross country skiing and dog sledding.
The Ellensburg Blue agates in the valley came from a layer of basalt lava north of Ellensburg, the Teanaway basalt, which is 47 million years old. Both locals and rock enthusiasts from around the world come to hunt the Ellensburg Blue agate stone here.