The Benefits of Exploring the Outdoors

The Benefits of Exploring the Outdoors

We are officially past the dark, gloomy days of winter! The summer season is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Central Washington outdoor activities. Not only is it a time to enjoy being outdoors, but also a time to recognize all of the benefits that the sun can offer you! We have put together a combination of health benefits that come from just going outside and being active.


  • When you get outside, you come in contact with different people and places that you normally wouldn't when you workout or do other activities indoors.
  • It can be something as simple as planning a walk around your neighborhood with a friend, or going for a walk to a restaurant or coffee shop!
  • Human interaction helps many people build feelings of community and involvement, which also boosts your mental health!
  • If you are looking for an opportunity to socialize with a friend and other members of the community, check out one of the many Central Washington farmers markets like Thorp Fruit & Antique Mall, Ellensburg Farmers Market, Roslyn Farmers Market and many more!


  • Vitamin D is extremely essential for your bones, blood cells, and immune system to function properly. When you are exposed to more Vitamin D, it is easier for you to absorb minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus.
  • In the summer, it is recommended that each person gets around 5-15 minutes of sun, two to three times a week.
  • If you choose to stay in the sun longer than that (which we encourage), be sure to put on sunscreen of at least 35 SPF every two hours.
  • If you want to enjoy amazing views, get in some physical activity, and soak up some Vitamin D, you should go on one of the breathtaking Central Washington hikes! There are more challenging hikes like Beverly Turnpike or Cathedral Rock, or trails relatively easy like Coal Mines Trailhead or the Forest Discovery Trail.


  • Being productive can feel like a domino effect sometimes. Either you are highly motivated and move from one project or chore to the next, other times you can't get yourself to accomplish even one task.
  • Going outside often motivates you to do other things besides just going outside, like working out, doing yard work, cleaning your house, or running errands.
  • Did you know that going outside and being active can help you maintain a better sleep schedule? Keeping a relatively similar sleep routine helps with productivity because you wake up feeling rested and ready to have a productive day!
  • Something as simple as going for a walk in one of the Central Washington parks can increase your productivity. The combination of Vitamin D and exercise will help you relieve stress, increase serotonin levels, and put you on track for a more productive day. You can visit several parks in Central Washington, some including the Cle Elum City Park, CWU Japanese Gardens, and Lake Easton State Park.


  • Sunlight increases the levels of serotonin in your body, which helps keep up your energy, mood, positivity, focusing skills, and decreases anxiety!
  • When you combine sunlight with exercise it can especially help with being stressed or unfocused, and instead, will give you more patience and happiness.
  • You can even find a peaceful spot outdoors to soak up the sun and meditate. Taking a small break from the craziness of your everyday will make a bigger difference than you think!
  • Go for a boat ride or grab a meal and sit on the docks that overlook Central Washington's beautiful views of the water. You can launch your watercraft at the Vantage boat launch, or enjoy a relaxing evening at the docks at Lake Easton before returning to rest in our local accommodations.

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A Land of Contrasts
From the mighty Columbia River to the snow-capped Cascade Mountains, Kittitas County is a premier destination for outdoor adventure, sunshine, and unique cultural offerings.
Find out more at one of our Visitor Centers:

Ellensburg, WA
609 N. Main St, Ellensburg
(888) 925-2204

Cle Elum, WA
312 W. 1st Street, Cle Elum
(509) 674-6880

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