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75 Free Things to Do - Outdoor Adventure Collection

75 Free Things to Do - Outdoor Adventure Collection

Everybody likes free stuff to do!  Visit the Yakima Valley anytime of the year and you will find something fun to do that is both budget friendly and family friendly. Planning to come for a specific festival, event or activity? Fill in down time and keep the kids happy with some of our suggestions for outdoor recreation that won’t cost you a bundle. Here are the most popular activities and trails, just remember to bring all your favorite outdoor gear!

  1. Check out the Monthly Educational Community Walks in Cowiche Canyon! These guided walks throughout the year focus on a particular theme or topic. Walks are open to all ages.  Of course, you can always visit without a guide and hike or mountain bike the Cowiche Canyon Trail or Snow Mountain Ranch Trails.
  2. Go inner-tubing at White Pass Ski Area! Bring your tube, and children ages 3-5 are free. Minimal charge for ages 6-12, 13+.
  3. Nordic Skiing or snowshoeing around Leech Lake at White Pass Ski Area or along Chinook Pass Scenic Byway  at Hells Crossing, Crow Lake, Pleasant Valley. Bumping Lake.*
  4. Go sledding at Yakima’s Franklin Park’s terraced hill!
  5. Walk, bike, rollerblade or fish in the ponds along the 20 mile Yakima Greenway, following the Yakima River from Union Gap to Naches.
  6. Then walk, bike, rollerblade or jog the 14 mile Lower Yakima Valley Pathway from Sunnyside to Prosser.
  7. Play tennis at the tennis courts at Kissel Park or Franklin Park.
  8. Skateboard at one of the Yakima Valley’s outdoor skateboard parks: the Kiwanis Park, Chesterly Park in Yakima, Pioneer Park in Toppenish or Sunnyview Park in Sunnyside.
  9. Play Disc Golf on the official course in Randall Park.
  10. When the weather heats up, bring the kids to the water playgrounds in Yakima’s Miller Park and Martin Luther King Park.
  11. Walk the Labyrinth at Gilbert Park and McGuire’s Park on the Yakima Greenway.
  12. Go Volkswalking in Zillah. There is a Walk Box with maps at the Best Western Plus Vintage Valley Inn registration desk.  This is an American Volkswalking Association seasonal activity. The route goes through the town of Zillah, passing the historic "Teapot Dome" gas station and Pioneer cemetery. It then follows the Sunnyside Irrigation Canal which winds through orchards in the rural countryside and then returns to residential areas.
  13. Walk, bike, rollerblade the Yakima Powerhouse Canal Pathway.
  14. Let Fido run free in the Off-Leash Dog Parks in the Yakima Greenway Rotary Park or Randall Park.
  15. Pitch some horseshoes at Yakima’s Elks’ Park, Milroy Park or West Valley Community Park, or Sunnyside’s Southhill Park, which has 18 professional horseshoe courts.
  16. Take your ORV or snowmobile on one of the many trails in the Naches Ranger District.
  17. Go swimming at the Roza Recreation Area in the Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway or Bumping Lake along Highway 410.
  18. Beat the heat and float the Yakima River Canyon in the summer.
  19. Launch your canoe, kayak, fish and picnic at Clear Lake or Rimrock Lake along the White Pass Scenic Byway, or at Bumping Lake along the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway.*
  20. Go rock climbing along the White Pass Scenic Byway at the famous Royal Columns, the Cowiche Canyon Trail, or Mt. Rainier. Climbing is free, just bring your gear.*
  21. Hike the Tieton River Trail along the Tieton River on the White Pass Scenic Byway. Cross over from one of three suspension bridges.* This is a popular trail but there are many more trails to enjoy in the Naches Ranger District.
  22. Explore Boulder Cave along Chinook Pass Scenic Byway. There is a one mile hike to the cave entrance with a small waterfall above entrance*. Don’t forget a flashlight!
  23. Hike the Naches Peak along the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway. The wildflowers usually bloom in August!*
  24. Picnic at the rest stop by Lake Tipso along the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway. Walk around the lake in the summer and you will see schools of tadpoles!


*Take advantage of the Fee Free Days offered by the various agencies who manage this land. The activities listed above are free but there may be permits needed, such as a Washington State Parks Discover Pass for Washington State Parks, Fee Free Days on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, Free Fishing Days and National Park Free Days.