Yakima, Washington

Located in Yakima Valley, Yakima is a southeast city of Mount Rainier National Park and principal seat of the Yakima County in Washington, United States. Yakima City is considered as the eighth largest city in the state. According to 2010 U.S Census, it is home to 91,196 residents and has an area of 20.6 square miles, out of which 0.5 square miles is water and 20.1 square miles is land. The city is located in the upper valley of the county which is geographically separated by Rattlesnake Ridge and Ahtanum Ridge into two different regions: the Lower (southern) and Upper (northern) valleys. The city is located in the upper valley. It is considered as a central city of Yakima Metropolitan Statistical Area. It has a steppe climate with Mediterranean precipitation pattern.

The city is a perfect destination for day trips and numerous scenic wonders and historic towns that are just an hour drive. Wildlife viewing and national forests, rivers, streams, lakes, hiking, skiing and picturesque agricultural settings would transport everyone to the great outdoors. This Washington State's land is also the most populated wine region offering some of the greatest wine country attractions.

Central location, weather, affordability, and the diversity and variety of the region offer locals and visitors an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere. Countless outdoor activities are some of the reasons that this city has become a popular tourist destination for people from across the country.

Yakima has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Yakima History

Yakima has a legendary and exciting role in the Pacific Northwest history. There are many theories regarding the translation of the word "Yakima" as nobody knows the origin of its name. The most popular theory is based on native legend on a Chief's daughter who fled from home in Moxie after breaking all tribal rules. She then made her living on the banks of Yakima River. It is in this legend that derived the name "Yakima" which means "runaway."

The first inhabitants in the area were the Yakama people who lived in the valley near the Yakima and Columbia rivers. During those times, the waters were filled with salmon and fertile Yakima Valley was abundant with fruits, nuts and berries. The Lewis and Clark Expedition discovered the region's rich soil and abundant wildlife and prompted them to settle down as homesteaders in 1805. In 1847, a catholic mission was set up in Ahtanum that is located in the southwest corner of Yakima. Throughout 1850s and 60s, increasing settlers moved there, which resulted in conflicts between them and natives that led to the Yakama Indian War in 1855. As an answer to this uprising, the U.S army instituted Fort Simcoe in 1856. Later, the Yakamas were defeated and were relocated to the Yakama Indian Reservation.

The Biles-Longmire wagon train was the first train to cross the Columbia River on its way to Naches Pass in 1853 and in 1861, the first inhabitants arrived in the region. The county was established from Kittitas County, Walla Walla County and Benton County. This region then became a thriving agricultural area.

In 1865, Yakama County was formed. When bypassed by the Northern Pacific Railroad, over 100 buildings were moved with horse teams and rollers to a nearby site. On January 27, 1886, this site was dubbed and officially named and incorporated as the county seat. In 1918, the name was replaced to Yakima and the original site was called the "Union Gap".

In 1884, Northern Pacific Railway Company set up a station that is four miles west. This new settlement was named as "North Yakima" as Northern Pacific did not have the concession to operate from existing Yakima. In 1886, Northern Yakima was incorporated and became the principal seat officially. Soon after this, the county began to increase in its population and became a progressive Western city.

In 1889, water mainlines were installed, the first local telephone company was established, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union set up the first reading room. Electrical utility services were established in 1890. Yakima Republic was the first weekly paper locally in 1899. In 1905, the Yakima Herald became the daily newspaper. Today Yakima's worldwide claim to fame lies in grapes, apples, hops and different excellent agricultural products.

About Yakima, Washington

Yakima city is located in the South Central Washington region where the Yakima and Naches Rivers meet. The city leads the way into the beautiful Cascade Mountains and opens wonderful opportunities in Yakima Valley. This Valley is well-known for its manufacturing of aircraft supplies and parts, production of various forest products, and machinery used for food product packaging. Its flourishing agricultural industry produces and processes hops, tree fruits, vegetables, mint, livestock, wine and dairy. The Wine industry located in Yakima Valley has developed and gained international recognition of vineyards and wines.

Cultural events and activities take place all ayear round. Downtown Yakima's historic Seasons Performance Hall, Capitol Theatre and Center, present various stage and musical productions. The Yakima Valley Museum exhibits the region's history and geology, restored soda fountain as well as hosts periodic special exhibitions. The city is also home to Yakima Symphony Orchestra which hosts outstanding musicals each year with national performing musicians and artists. In addition, it also hosts a Holiday Concert and Halloween Family concert series. Popular trade shows, music tours and other big events are hosted in Yakima Valley SunDome that is located in State Fair Park. The city's festival calendar is full all year round. Some of them include Central Washington State Fair, Yakima Farmer's Market, Four-Play Hockey Tournament, Yakima Folklife Festival, Fresh Hop Ale Festival and Annual Rockin' New Year's Eve.

The beauty and the pleasures of Yakima Canyon Road at Washington, 821 are breathtaking. The canyon used to provide food for the native tribes who fished and camped along the river. It attracts bald eagles and over twenty raptor species are found in the Canyon. Wildlife viewing is enjoyed by all its visitors, some of which include coyotes, river otters, elk, bear and bighorn sheep. Fly-fishing is considered a fastest growing activity in the Yakima River. Other activities include hiking, boating, skiing, fishing, hunting or merely exploring mountain meadows, high lakes and numerous streams in this wilderness area. Winery hopping in Yakima Valley is a remarkable journey to those seeking for great wines. The wine country features magnificent vineyards with rich and variety grape varietals.

The Yakima city offers excellent shops for household and sporting goods. There are also specialty shops that offer vintage collectible and furnishings that delight everyone. The Downtown Futures Initiative have provided a storefront remodel in the entire downtown street and includes water fountains, new pedestrian-friendly lighting, planters, hanging baskets and banner poles complementing the paver-inlaid sidewalks.

Yakima city is also well served in education field by hosting three different K-12 public school districts, three post-secondary schools and several private schools.

About Yakima County, Washington

Yakima County is regarded as the second largest county in Washington and its county seat is Yakima City. The county was named after Yakama Tribe comprising of Native Americans. According to 2010 U.S Census, the total population of the county is 243,231 and has a total area of 4,312 square miles, out of which 15 square miles is water and 4,296 square miles is land.

The county is situated in South Central Washington, on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. The first wagon train, called The Biles-Longmire wagon train, came along from Yakima Valley and made its way to Naches Pass in 1853. This wagon train crossed the north of the Cascades Mountain at the Columbia River. After eight years, permanent settlement began in Yakima Valley and the F. Mortimer Thorp family was credited as being the first settlers. The family then drove their cattle herd to Klickitat County in 1860 and in 1861, moved their family.

Yakima County was initially formed from Walla Walla County in 1865 and included Kittitas County and Benton County. The County has sunny weather and a rich irrigation water system which made it a major farming and orchard area.

The County is sheltered from Western Washington's heavy rainfall by Cascade Mountains and boasts annual average of around 300 days of sunshine with 8.00 inches of precipitation. Due to its wonderful climatic conditions, the county ranks first in various numbers of fruit trees. The Yakima Valley produces large number of apples, winter pears, mint and hops when compared with any other county. The additional agricultural products include apricots, peaches, beef, cherries, wheat and most importantly, its award winning wines. The county also has surpassed the Whatcom County in dairy production.

Washington is ranked second in the production of wines, after California and Yakima Valley AVA and was regarded as its oldest agricultural region designated by American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Yakima Valley is subdivided into three wine regions known as Snipes Mountain AVA, Rattlesnake Hills AVA and Red Mountain AVA.

Yakima County also offers numerous recreational opportunities. Cross-country skiing and excellent downhill are just one hour drive from the county. Lake fishing, big game hunting, hiking, backpacking, bicycling, swimming, windsurfing, water skiing and boating are available in all seasons.