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A List of Central Washington’s Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy This Summer

May 5, 2024

Known for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor adventures, Central Washington is the ultimate year-round exploration destination. Offering hundreds of miles of groomed trails, visiting thrill-seekers may enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and biking in the warm months ‘ and the time to start planning is now! Off the trails, experience golfing on our premier courses, fishing the area’s many roaring rivers and peaceful lakes, camping under the stars, and more.

At any given time, you will discover that a variety of outdoor activities are available, making our scenic little part of Washington beyond compare. Ranging from the Cascades to the Columbia, there are over 2,300 square miles to explore and, whatever adventure you come seeking, Central Washington is sure to exceed your every expectation.


Whether you enjoy leisurely rides through town or thrilling trips down a mountain, there are many rides for you to enjoy in our area. Travel off the beaten path by mountain biking Devil’s Gulch – one of Central Washington’s best-known mountain biking locations – or explore many more trails in the Cle Elum and Roslyn, Teanaway, Ellensburg, and Thorp areas. If you’d rather stick to the road, our area has plenty of flat roads and paved trails to be explored. Ellensburg was even named a Bicycle Friendly Community (Silver Level) by The League of American Bicyclists, with only 73 other communities in the nation awarded this honor!


There are few ways to connect with nature that truly compare to sleeping under the stars. Central Washington is a must-visit camping mecca, with campgrounds sprinkled throughout the county and national parks in our backyard. If your ideal campout involves sleeping in a comfy RV bed rather than roughing it on the ground, we have a wide selection of RV parks to satisfy your every glamping desire as well!


Fishing spots in Kittitas County are plentiful and waiting to be discovered on your next getaway. Our location in Central Washington is near many bodies of water, offering options for all whether they prefer shore fishing, fly fishing, or boat fishing!


Test out the pristine golf courses of Central Washington this year to enjoy a new challenge! Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum is home to Rope Rider course for all skill levels, as well as the magnificent 18-hole Mountain course, Prospector, which was created by the Palmer Course Design Company. Also in the area is Sun Country Golf, offering a fun and challenging Alpine course, and Ellensburg Golf and Country Club, located along the Yakima River with a stunning backdrop of the Stewart Mountains.


Surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and lakes, Central Washington is a hiker’s dream. There’s nothing quite like the breathtaking views that can be seen from the top of the area’s mountain peaks. Hikers will find many exciting trails that range from moderate to challenging and have varying terrain, elevation, incline, and length. Top hikes in the area include Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Umtanum Falls, Davis Peak Trial, Swauk Forest Discovery Trail, Coal Mines Trail and more! Central Washington is also an excellent spot for birdwatching, so be sure to pack binoculars and look out for various bird species and other wildlife that are often spotted in the area.


Central Washington is made up of some of the most unique and varied terrain in the Northwest. Numerous desert-like areas, long stretches of valley, and mountain ranges mean a horseback riding enthusiast can take their pick of countless riding locations without having to travel too far out of town. In upper Kittitas County there are hundreds of miles of trails to ride throughout the Wenatchee National Forest, as well as in the Cle Elum, Roslyn, and Ronald areas which are southeast of the forest.


Hunt down some new adventures in Central Washington! This area, part of hunting district 8, has abundant hunting opportunities and is best known for the Yakima elk herd — one of the largest herds in the state ‘ in addition to deer, quail, dove, duck, chukar, pheasant, goose, turkeys and more.


Getting out on the water each summer is an experience that many people eagerly await all year, and Central Washington is bursting with options of lakes, rivers, and streams to be explored! Whether you prefer to tube, swim, jet ski, fly fish or angle fish, or just relax near the water to catch some rays, Central Washington is the ideal spot for you to escape from the everyday.

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