The Top 7 Scenic Byways

The Top 7 Scenic Byways


Highway 821

Winding through the Yakima River Canyon, Highway 821 follows the curves of the Yakima River. Starting in Ellensburg, work your way south along the curves of the Yakima River towards Yakima. Keep your eyes peeled for gorgeous views of the river, awe-inspiring views of basalt cliffs, and wildlife sightings. the crevices and cliffs make for a perfect home for hawks, eagles, and falcons. You can frequently find outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the Yakima River either fishing, rafting, or kayaking.

State Route 10

Starting in Ellensburg, hop on State Route 10 for a road trip that zigs and zags through peaceful pastures, stunning cliffs, impressive forests, and even crossing the Teanaway River. Driving along SR-10 you can find picturesque views of railroads weaving through the Yakima River Canyon below. Following the old route of Roslyn's Northern Pacific Railway, you can find yourself taking a step back in time with this 16-mile scenic byway.

State Route 903

From Roslyn to Salmon la Sac, State Route 903 winds alongside Lake Cle Elum and the Cle Elum River. turning into Salmon la Sac Road at the boundary of Wenatchee National Forest, you can continue exploring this scenic byway. Salmon la Sac is known for its history of mineral mining, including gold and silver. Now better known for being a popular recreation area, exploring the Salmon la Sac region will not disappoint. Beautiful scenery is to be found around every corner.

Vantage Highway

Hop on Vantage Highway just north of Kittitas and make your way towards Vantage through stunning canyons and Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. You may be able to see large logs of petrified wood from the road, so plan to make some stops to explore the petrified forest. Winding along valleys, you will catch glimpses of the breathtaking Columbia River. With such unique views, driving along Vantage Highway will make you feel like I-90 is hundreds of miles away.

Thorp Highway

Thorp Highway runs from State Route 10 to US 97. This scenic road runs alongside the Yakima River, through farmlands south of Thorp and then runs parallel to I-90 and the Yakima River until Ellensburg. This is a great detour to explore rural Central Washington and to escape traffic on I-90 or just for a change of pace. Thorp Highway runs through downtown Thorp and past the historic Thorp Mill.

West Taneum Road

Starting where West Taneum Road turns into thorp cemetery road, near I-90, West Taneum Road (also found as nf-3300) winds through the extensive Okanogan-Wenatchee national forest. The stands of Douglas-fir, western larch, lodgepole pine, and quaking aspen may instill a feeling a smallness. Playing peek-a-boo with Taneum creek you have a good chance of seeing various wildlife throughout your drive. Pull off for a moment and embrace the sound of the wilderness.

Barn Quilt Trail

Explore Washington State's first barn quilt tour. Each barn quilt pays tribute to Kittitas County's rich history of agriculture. With barn quilts scattered throughout Kittitas County, from Roslyn to Kittitas, you can use the interactive guide to create your own scenic road trip. Between barns you can enjoy the peaceful scenery of farm lands and homesteads. Celebrate the beauty of Central Washington with local art and gorgeous landscapes.

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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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