The city of Ellensburg sits right in the center of Washington State, nestled in the Cascade Range. This area of Washington has a much drier climate than its rainer counterparts, making it an ideal place to spend some time outdoors with your energetic pup! As you explore this charming city, you’re sure to find many parks to stop at along the way.
The urban park all the dogs are barking about is Mountain View Park. This large park has plenty of grassy areas to sniff and play on, a playground, picnic area, and welcomes leashed dogs of course!
It’s clear that the city of Ellensburg loves dogs, because in 2016 they opened the Rotary Park Off-Leash Area. This park has two separate fenced off areas, one for large breeds and one for the little guys. Features include benches, shady areas, play equipment and picnic tables. Drinking water and waste bags are available too, so all you need to bring is your playful pup!
When it’s time to kick back and spend some time in nature with your best pal, head over to the Ellensburg KOA. This campground features wooded sites along the Yakima River, and they welcome leashed dogs. If camping’s not your jam, the Ellensburg Econo Lodge is right across the highway. They welcome three dogs up to 60 lbs for an extra fee.
With all of these pet friendly parks and amenities in Ellensburg, your canine companion is sure to feel right at home!
In a town filled with parks, the City Center is no acception! If your dogs paws are tired from wandering the brick sidewalks through eclectic shops and antique buildings, head over to the Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park. Your dog’s favorite part about this park will most likely be the 0.5 acre fenced off-leash area. Here your pup can make some furry friends, romp around, and venture into the pond while in a safe environment. To get to this off-leash area, drive into the park past the main grassy area, park at the end of the road, and walk to the tip of the pond. The Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park has many other beautiful areas and walking paths your pup is free to enjoy on-leash. When it’s time for a treat, head over to Cornerstone Pie in the same neighborhood. They offer local coffee, brews, and wine that you can enjoy on the dog friendly patio.
Visitors, residents, and dogs of the Craighill neighborhood in Ellensburg love being in close proximity to some great parks and trails. To get a taste of Washington’s vaste diversity, check out the iconic Iron Horse Trail, which is accessible from the trailhead at N Alder Street in Craighill. This 212 mile, multi-state trail starts at the Iron Horse State Park in North Bend, Washington, crosses through the densely forested Cascade Range, through Ellensburg and continues east into Idaho. The trail passes through mostly woodlands, with views of lakes and waterfalls along the way. If you’re hoping to stay closer to town, try visiting the Memorial Park, also in Craigshill. This park features a playground, large grassy area, restrooms, and sometimes hosts community events. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy both of these areas!
To get transported back to a slower time, visit the Olmstead Place Historical State Park, in the neighborhood of Regal. This 217 acre park is on an original 1875 pioneer homestead. Here, you and your dog can take a stroll through blooming heritage gardens, or the Altapes Interpretive Trail along Coleman Creek. The park also features an original cottonwood log cabin and historic farming equipment. Amenities include restrooms and picnic tables, so don’t forget a picnic basket and the dog biscuits! You may want to spend the whole day in this tranquil area. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on the trails, as long as they stay leashed and are picked up after.
If you and your canine companion are just itching to get into the wilderness, you don’t need to go far. From the neighborhood of Thorp, on the west side of Ellensburg, you can get to the Manastash Ridge Trailhead. The trail starts off with a fork in the road. For more of a challenge, the trail on the left begins with a steep incline for 2 miles on exposed desert terrain, but the views are worth it. At Memorial Point, you can enjoy sweeping views of Ellensburg and the surrounding Cascade Range. The trail on the right brings you to an easier hike under shady trees. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy this hike with their two-legged friends, but be sure to bring waste bags and plenty of drinking water!
From this neighborhood, you can get to the Umtanum Canyon Trailhead. This 8 mile hike may take approximately 5 hour to complete, and will take you past the creek flowing through the canyon, surrounded by rolling desert hills and cacti. Be sure to keep your dog leashed, because wildlife such as coyotes and rattlesnakes are sometimes seen in the canyon. If you want to stay in this area for a while, check in at the The Lodge at Canyon River Ranch in the same neighborhood. This lodge is a cozy place to make yourself at home by the river, and allows dogs of any size for no additional fee!