Yakima is a city in the Yakima Valley, part of the Columbia River Plateau region of Washington State. It is the county seat of Yakima County.

Due to its arid climate, Yakima is sometimes called "The Palm Springs of Washington"


The Yakima Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official tourism office for Yakima, Yakima County and the Yakima Valley.

Get in

By plane

Yakima Air Terminal (IATA: YKM) is a commuter airport served only by turboprop aircraft operated by Alaska & Horizon Airlines to/from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and for general aviation. It is the largest airport in the center of the state.

By bus

By car

Yakima is located along Interstate 82, approximately 143 miles southeast of Seattle, 204 miles southwest of Spokane, and 80 miles northwest of the Tri-Cities (Richland-Kennewick-Pasco).

A scenic alternative route from the Ellensburg region is the old canyon highway, SR 821, a two-lane road that winds through the Yakima River gorge between Exits 3 and 26, bypassing the Interstate over the mountain ridges. During the daytime, the views are lovely and there are several spots midway to stop, fish, and even camp. Be cautious of rocks on the road, though, and stick to the Interstate at night.


Upper Yakima River viewed from Highway 10





Casual Dining

Fine Dining



Yakima Valley Hop Yard, this area produces 77% of the United States hops, a key ingredient in beer making





Stay healthy

Air Stagnation

Sometimes there will be an advisory issued for poor air quality due to stagnation. Because of Yakima's location within a mountain valley, air sometimes settles and becomes stagnate for an extended period of time. During this phenomenon, pollutants often accumulate and subsequently the air quality becomes poorer than usual, and can affect those individuals who have existing respiratory conditions.

You can refer to the National Weather Service website on air quality to see if any such advisories have been issued for the Yakima Valley region.


There have been confirmed cases of hantaviral pulmonary syndrome in the Yakima Valley; the most recent of which occurred during the summer of 2011.

Although this disease is very rare, it is important to always take precautions when entering confined spaces, or places that are dusty and underexposed to sunlight, where conditions may be ideal for the presence of a rodent population.

For more information on prevention and transmission, visit the CDC website on hantaviruses.

Heat Exhaustion

During the summer months, the temperature in Yakima and the greater Yakima Valley often exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are to be outside for long periods of time, be sure to drink plenty of WATER and limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. Should you be planning on venturing off into the surrounding landscape, follow desert survival guidelines. Make sure you KNOW where you are going, tell someone where your destination will be, and take an ample water supply with you.

Stay safe


Yakima has experienced a significant increase in gang activity throughout the past decade due to its population growth. This has resulted in a rise of violent crime within the city limits, although incidents of violence are mostly isolated to particular neighborhoods (mostly on the east side).

During the late summer of 2010, the West Valley area of Yakima experienced a string of burglaries. Take precautions to protect your personal property.

In reality, Yakima is very nice place to visit and the surrounding scenery is just as wonderful as its sun abundant climate. The problems it does have are typical in most mid-size cities and rarely effect the average person.

The best way to stay safe is to just BE SMART. Be vigilant! Most often when people find themselves in a bad situation, it is because they put themselves in that situation. If you need help, there is an often visible police presence in the more troubled locales.



Go next

Routes through Yakima

Ellensburg Selah  N  S  Union Gap Richland
Centralia Mossyrock  W  E  Union Gap Richland
Wenatchee Selah  N  S  Union Gap Bend

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.