Central Washington Hiking

Central Washington is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the United States. Explore a trail at your own pace or hire a local guide to take you through the breathtaking views of nature. With the vast array of hiking trails in the greater Yakima Canyon area, you’ll be sure to find a trail you’ll love. 

Popular trails in the Ellensburg and Yakima areas:

Umtanum Creek Canyon

Length: 6.5 miles roundtrip

Difficulty: Easy-to-medium with an elevation gain of 500 feet 

Features: Meadows, river views, wildlife

This hike is only 2 miles from Canyon River Ranch and is one of the most popular hikes in the area. Take a pleasant hike in the Yakima Canyon spring through fall and enjoy beautiful views of the river and a chance to see wildlife like bighorn sheep and deer. This hike is good for families and allows dogs on leashes.

Umtanum Bridge (2)

Rattlesnake Dance Ridge Trail

Length: 2 miles roundtrip

Difficulty: Medium-to-hard with an elevation gain of 1,250 feet

Features: Meadows, mountain and river views, wildlife

This short but steep hike features beautiful views of the north end of the Yakima Canyon. You’ll see everything from farmland at the beginning of the hike to Mount Rainier at the peak and everything in between. In the spring, wildflowers bloom along the trail, guiding you to the summit.  

Rattlesnake Dance Trail

Manastash Ridge Hike

Length: 4 miles roundtrip

Difficulty: Hard with an elevation gain of 1,700 feet

Features: Meadows, mountain views, ridges

This hike is a 30-minute drive from Canyon River Ranch and has some of the best views in the central Washington area. Enjoy 360-degree views throughout the hike as you stroll along the drops and contours of the mountain. Dogs are allowed on leash.


For more trail routes and information, visit the Washington Trails Association hiking guide.