Located in the beautiful Teanaway Valley, the town of Cle Elum has access to a range of world-class outdoor recreation activities in both winter and summer. The name Cle Elum comes from the Kittitas word “Tle-el-Lum,” meaning “swift water” after the Cle Elum River.
First settled in 1883, Cle Elum boomed in 1886 with the discovery of coal deposits in the area, leading to a growth in population and the construction of a railroad station for easy access to the coal mines. Cle Elum was the first town west of Denver, Colorado to have “organized” skiing; downhill skiers participated in popular ski jumping events and drew crowds of up to 8,000 spectators! Today, the town’s location in the foothills of the North Cascades offers year round access to outdoor recreation. In the summer, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and climbing are popular activities, while the winter brings opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.