Archive for the ‘Where to Go’ Category


KCTS 9 – Explore the Outdoors: Yakima River Canyon

Original articles and images posted to KCTS 9, May 17, 2016

by John Taylor

You might sit on one of these ridges on some warm spring afternoon just to watch the Yakima River glide through the canyon below. You’ll swear that river hasn’t really moved, hasn’t changed, hasn’t heard anything anyone has said for 10,000 years.
The Yakima River Canyon. Photo by KCTS 9

The Yakima River Canyon. Photo by KCTS 9

It’s one of those Northwest constants, you might tell yourself. A comfort in an upside-down world of computerized chaos and political provocation. A free spirit that’s oblivious to the hum of Interstate 82 traffic over the crests to the east, the buzz of boat motors on its surface or the throaty snarls of Harleys that make their way up and down scenic State Route 821 along its banks.
And yet…




Nestled in the hills east of Snoqualmie Pass, Roslyn is a charming town rich in history and beauty. Once known as a logging and coal-mining town, Roslyn today is a gateway to the many recreational opportunities, including access to the spectacular Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

With thousands of acres of mountain forest and high country lakes and streams, the area is a summer paradise for backpacking, camping and fishing. Just minutes from Roslyn, Cle Elum Lakeoffers year round recreation and relaxation. Nearby Salmon La Sac is a favorite base camp for backpackers and kayakers. In the winter, Roslyn’s surrounding hills and mountains draw cross-country skiers, snowshoers and other winter recreationists to follow the many groomed trails or forge their own paths in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and across state lands. The Salmon La Sac Sno-Park offers 38 miles of groomed trails and a designated area for non-motorized recreationists.

Linking Rosyln to the city of Cle Elum, the multi-use Coal Mines Trail follows the original Burlington Northern Railroad line pass several historic mining sites with interpretive signs along the route. The trail is a great place for bicycling, walking, or running; cross-country skiing in the winter; or learning about the mining past of the area.

Incorporated in 1886, the coal-mining town of Roslyn played an important role in Washington State history. The extensive coal fields in the area fueled the Northern Pacific Railroad’s trains during construction and early operation of a direct rail line through the Cascade Mountains. You can celebrate the city’s heritage every September at the Annual Coal Miner’s Festival.

In the 1990s Roslyn gained enormous popularity as the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska on the television show, Northern Exposure. TV fans still gather annually the last weekend in July for Moosefest.

Today, with its old west style building fronts, quaint cafes, and the oldest saloon in the state, Roslyn draws more tourists than its population of just over 1,000 residents. The last Friday of every month you can join the Roslyn Downtown Association for the Roslyn Art & Music Walk from 5ish-8ish. And new this month, Roslyn celebrates the opening of its very own visitor center. Housed at the historic NWI Company Building in the heart of downtown, the center is intended to be a place where people can learn more about Roslyn, and maybe sit down to read history books or chat with the locals. For more about Roslyn, visit or



Ellensburg lies in the Kittitas Valley on the east side of the Cascade mountain range.

The town was first established in the 1860s as a meeting place for cattle herders. The town was originally named “Robbers’ Roost” after the local trading post. Ellensburg has fantastic
access to a wide variety of recreation opportunities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, rafting, fly fishing and horseback riding. Ellensburg falls in the Cascades’ rain shadow, receiving only 9 inches of precipitation and enjoying more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the perfect fall or winter getaway from the rainy west side.

Ellensburg has a vibrant historic downtown area, which earned national recognition for its historic preservation efforts. Visitors can walk to art galleries, restaurants, antique stores, wine shops and museums. The town also hosts many annual events and festivals including the Ellensburg Wine Festival, an art show and auction, Jazz in the Valley, the Kittitas County Fair and many more. Click here for a full listing.

Ellensburg is also home to Central Washington University, which brings a wealth of cultural and community events for residents and visitors alike. Every Saturday, May through October, from 9:00am – 1:00pm Ellensburg hosts the Kittitas County Farmers Market. The Farmers Market is known for its farm-fresh and local produce, textiles and jewelry, baked goods and much more.

If you visit during Labor Day weekend, be sure to check out the Ellensburg Rodeo – the oldest of its kind in Washington State

To learn more about Ellensburg and Kittitas County, visit the Ellensburg website or the Visit Ellensburg page.


Cle Elum

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.

For more information, visit the City of Elum and Cle Elum on the Net for information on lodging, recreation opportunities, and more!

Fish. Families. Farms.
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