Yakima River Canyon

The gentle Yakima River winds through rolling desert hills and basalt cliffs, some rising more than 2,000 feet, for 27 miles between Ellensburg and Yakima, Washington. The canyon offers excellent wildlife watching, fishing for Blue Ribbon trout, family-friendly rafting, and camping. The canyon's crevices and cliffs make a perfect home for the densest concentration of nesting hawks, eagles, and falcons in the state. The BLM manages over 9,000 acres in the Yakima River Canyon area, and the Yakima River State Scenic Byway provides access to BLM's four developed river access sites including Umtanum, Lmuma Creek, Big Pines, and Roza.

Know Before You Go:

  • Open Season Yakima River Canyon Recreation Sites are open YEAR ROUND.
  • Four Campground and Day-Use Sites available, including Roza, Big Pines, Lmuma Creek, and Umtanum.
  • Fees - $15 overnight, $5 Day-Use
  • Campsite Reservations May 1 to September 30; first come, first serve October 1 to April 30.
  • No Drinking Water or hookups available.
  • Cellular Phone Coverage is limited in many areas of the Yakima River Canyon.

Point of Interest:

Located just south of Ellensburg, the non-motorized trails at Ringer Road Trailhead offer visitors glimpses of the wildlife and birds that inhabit the riparian areas next to the Yakima River.

Yakima River Canyon Brochure

Explore Washington Recreation: Yakima River Canyon

Adventure is at Your Fingertips

Geographic Coordinates

46.85461, -120.479565


From Ellensburg, Washington, take Hwy 821 (Canyon Road) south into the Yakima River Canyon. Umtanum is located at milepost 16, Lmuma Creek is located at milepost 12, Big Pines is located at milepost 10 and Roza is located at milepost 7, a half mile above Roza dam and about 25 miles south of Ellensburg.


Fees - $15 overnight, $5 Day-Use