Nothing beats a lovely park on a beautiful day — The parks in Central Washington are heavy on the sunshine. From Japanese Gardens and Wind Farms to Memorial Parks and Disc Golf Courses the variety of parks in this area is amazing.

Pack a picnic and your favorite photography device and join us for an afternoon (or several afternoons) on your next visit.

Which Central Washington park is your favorite? What’s your favorite park activity?

West 2nd St & Reed Avenue
Cle Elum, WA 98922

Picnic tables, BBQ grills, restrooms, shelter, playground equipment and horseshoe pits furnish this treed park just north of downtown Cle Elum.

400 E. 8th Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Garden represents the bonds of friendship and understanding which exists between people of Japan and those of the Central Washington Region.

Each year the Garden is visited by Masa Mizuno of Masa and Associates Inc., the Japanese landscape architect who designed it. During his visits he provides consultation and training to Central’s grounds crew in the ongoing maintenance of the Garden.

431 Coal Mine Way, Cle Elum, WA 98922


Dawson Park is named in honor of James Dawson, a land planner, architect and environmentalist. Amenities include, Disc Golf, a coal mine-themed play structure, a dog park, park activity and equipment cabin, tennis courts, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, soccer/baseball fields and equipment, restrooms, and parking.

815 E. Sixth Ave.
Ellensburg, WA 98926
This park provides picnic shelters, barbecue grills, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a basketball court and an open area for community events and festivals. The park grounds are where the Kittitas County Fair and Rodeo is held each year.

Also on the site sits the City Pool. The building has a full sized Olympic pool with regular swim hours, a weight room, jacuzzi, sauna, and children’s wading pool.
6061 Vantage Highway
Vantage, WA 98950

3 heated indoor tennis courts, 3 racquetball courts, and a fitness-weight room.  Men & women’s locker rooms with saunas.  Recreational activities including birthday parties, Tiny Tots Sports for children 3-5 years old, In-Line Hockey, Indoor Playground and indoor senior walking.

N Pearl St
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Ramps, jumps and rails for skate boarders.  Located at 2nd and Pearl St and across from the Police Station.

Coordinates: 47.1860581, -120.9207542


Hanson Ponds Park is multi-seasonal and is home of the 18 basket Hanson Disc Golf Course, one of the top Disc Golf destinations in the state, and is known for its ever-changing course. Amenities include Bathrooms and parking.

Thrall Road & the Yakima River Canyon
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Helen McCabe State Park is a relatively undeveloped park located at the entrance of the Yakima River Canyon, just a few miles south of Ellensburg. The park was named in memory of Helen McCabe, a Central Washington University recreation professor, who cherished the outdoors and Washington’s recreational opportunities.

The Washington State Parks department maintains the park year around with the help of local agencies. There is an eight acre stocked pond located in the park for fishing and there are also several hiking trails around the area.

An interpretive center is being built in the park to share information on the natural and cultural values of the 33 mile Yakima River Byway.

1081 Umptanum Rd.
Ellensburg, Wa 98926
Irene Rinehart Park has plenty to offer for visitors and locals as well! Immediately at the entrance is a spot to put into the Yakima River for fly fishing enthusiasts. Down the road from the entrance is Carey Lake and the picnic area.  There is plenty of room for a picnic, swimming, Frisbee or just lying in the sun.  It is a great spot for all ages for bird watching, biking or walking the trails. Other amenities include a boat launch, sand volleyball area, barbecue facility and a large open lawn near the lake.

There is an easy trail that follows along the river that wraps around the other side of the lake.

The trail is used for fishing, a leisurely walk or for cross-country skiing in the winter.  Another trail heads toward the Ellensburg Rotary Park ball fields and is the starting point of many road biking loops.

The park is located off of Umptantum Road about a mile from Main Street in Ellensburg. Umptantum turns off of Main Street at McDonalds Restaurant.
Hours: May 16 — September 14

Ellensburg, WA 98926


Amenities include a picnic shelter, children’s play area, basketball court, junior baseball field, and restrooms. Follow Main Street north until you reach the park on the right near 14th Avenue.

Leah Polacek Butterfly Garden

400 E. University Way CWU
Ellensburg, WA
Serves as a unique and educational sanctuary for butterflies and as a place of reflection for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus.
Located on campus next to Mitchell Hall
1200 East Seattle St.
Ellensburg WA, 98926

This park has two soccer fields, an outdoor roller hockey rink, baseball field, picnic shelter, barbecues, toddler and youth play structures, and restrooms. Find it at 1200 East Seattle St. in Ellensburg, WA.

1703 Brick Road
Ellensburg, WA 98926

This park includes a walking and jogging trail, pond, natural area, picnic tables and a natural play structure for the kids.

921 Ferguson Rd.
Ellensburg, WA 98926

The Olmstead State park is a working pioneer farm and hails as one of the first homesteads in the Kittitas Valley. Many of the original buildings still stand including a log cabin built in 1875 by the Olmstead family. In addition there is a dairy barn, a grainery, a wagon shed, a hay barn as well as the Olmstead family home.

The park consists of 217 acres of farmland and encompasses activities such as hiking, fishing, interpretive trails, wildlife viewing, and a living farm museum. During the winter there is also cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the site.

Several picnic tables are available and can be reserved by contacting the park.


Summer 6:30 AM — Dusk
Winter 8:00 AM — Dusk

1200 E. 6th
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Get a panoramic view of the valley from Ellensburg’s Reed Park! Directly above the Ellensburg Rodeo and Fairgrounds, the park provides a panoramic view of the city, Central Washington University, Kittitas Valley and the Stuart Range. The hill becomes a popular sledding run in the winter and in the summer there is a sagebrush trail that can be explored.

Also in the park is the American Legion ‘Vista House.’ The building has castle turrets topped by fortress-like parapets, looking like it is guarding the city from unwanted intruders.

Reed Park is a great spot during Rodeo and Fair time when the fair grounds are busy with activity.

3rd Street & Idaho Avenue
Roslyn, WA 98941

This park is next to downtown Roslyn and provides picnic tables, a gazebo shelter, restrooms, a softball field and a tennis court.

900 West Third Avenue
Ellensburg, Ellensburg, WA 98

Park amenties include picnic shelter, two children’s playground structures, restrooms, 4 youth baseball fields, 2 full sized softball fields, 2 full sized baseball fields, walking-bike trail which connects to Irene Rinehart Park, and 15 acres of multi-purpose turf area.

Madison Ave & Main St
Cle Elum, wA 98922
Located just east of Memorial Park on Grant St. this city park is run by the volunteers at the Cle Elum Fire Department. The park is for day use only and offers a picnic shelter, enclosed cooking facilities, restrooms, horse shoe pits and two fire rings.

This park is by reservations only; please call Kyle Nicholson at 509-674-9356 for reservations details. Reservations for this park will not show up on the park reservation calendar of this web site.

Two miles south of Vantage, the park’s grassy, tree-filled area features picnicking, swimming, boat ramp, trailer park and camping. This is a popular area for water skiing and soaking in the sun.

25901 Vantage Highway
Ellensburg, WA 98926

The Wild Horse Wind Farm, which sits atop the Whiskey Dick Mountain, is just a few miles from Ellensburg on high open range tops.  Built by Puget Sound Energy, it consists of 149 wind turbines.  Wild Horse takes advantage of the region’s strong, consistent winds and abundant sunshine to produce clean, renewable energy.

The visitor center and solar facility is open daily from April through November. On a clear day views of the entire valley are prevalent of the Kittitas Valley, from the Stuart Range to the Columbia Plateau to the east. The Renewable Energy Center is free and offers Wild Horse visitors a first-hand look at how energy can be made from the wind and the sun.

The Washington Department of Wildlife maintains the natural setting of the park along the Yakima River, providing public fishing and scenic nature trails that follow the river. The park is located 3 miles south of Ellensburg. Follow Canyon Road to Ringer Loop Road and turn right. Follow the road until you see the public fishing sign. A parking permit is required and can be obtained from any store location that sells hunting and fishing licenses.