Hidden Gems of West Yakima!
Head west from Downtown Yakima on Summitview Avenue and you will come into an area known to locals as “West Valley.” There you will find a growing community of artists and entrepreneurs, with acres of orchards and vineyards, interspersed with natural high desert landscape. The small towns of Cowiche, Tieton and the area of Naches Heights are hidden gems, offering hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails, all connecting to wineries, farms and a brewery with scenic views. Here are a few of the activities and unique new businesses that have settled in this unique section of the Yakima Valley.
Hiking, Biking and Horseback Riding
- Rocky Top Trails: Miles of perfect mountain biking trails crisscross on the top of the sagebrush and grass covered hills overlooking Yakima.
- Cowiche Canyon: Cowiche Canyon Conservancy maintains over 30 miles of hiking trails that cater to all fitness levels. And with four different trailheads, that means easily accessible day hikes are just minutes away from Downtown Yakima!
- Mill Lane Winery: Specializing in over 35 different fruit wines made with their special aronia berries. They also have delightful outside seating and lots of event space.
- Wilridge Winery/ Naches Heights Vineyard: Set in a 100 year old farmhouse with a wrap-around porch, these adjoining wineries offer fine wines in a family-friendly atmosphere. There is also live music every Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon. And it’s the perfect place to start and end a hike or mountain bike ride.
- Gilbert Cellars at Hackett Ranch: Set in the middle of a picturesque orchard, this wonderful vineyard location is perfect for weddings and special events. They also feature their Music in the Vines Summer Concert Series in their beautiful amphitheater.
- Apple Tree Golf Course: One of Washington State’s premier 18 hole gold courses, the greens are surrounded by 100 year old apple orchards. Apple Tree Grill restaurant and the Slice Outdoor Lounge feature regular evening live music, along with beautiful views for the course and the surrounding orchards and hills. And take advantage of their Stay and Play deal, where you can rent a beautiful vacation house just steps away from the first tee!
Farm Fresh Fun
- All Natural U-pick. Bring the whole family and enjoy picking farm fresh fruit! Depending on the season, they have cherries, apricots, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, pears, plums, pluots, watermelons, pumpkins, basil, squash, tomatoes and peppers available. There are also toys for children and picnic areas for everyone to enjoy.
- Cowiche Creek Brewery: one of the Yakima Valley’s newest breweries is set in a rustic setting with a great view from its terraced lawn. They also have live music events and new beer releases fairly regularly.
- Swede Hill Distilling: A true craft distillery creating their delightful product with the raw material that Yakima is known for, the apple. Open by appointment only, though, so call ahead.
This quaint little town has developed a reputation as a revolutionary art community, thanks to Mighty Tieton, an incubator for artisan businesses. They host a number of unique and exciting events throughout the year, including:
- 10x10x10xTieton: Celebrate the wonder of small art. The opening reception is Aug 12th at 12:00 pm, and features live music and local food and drinks. The exhibition runs until October 8th and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 - 3:00 pm.
- Shabby and Chic Expo: July 29th, from 10:00 am - 4 pm. This is an event unlike your average craft bazaar. It features a blend of new and old, vintage, rustic, recycled, handmade and new!
- LiTFUSE Poetry Slam: September 22nd at 7:30 pm. Grab a seat or join your fellow poets on stage. The LiTFUSE Poetry Slam is free and open to the public, and this is the kickoff event to the LiTFUSE: A Poets' Workshop, an annual poetry retreat featuring classes, workshops and a rich writing environment.
- Tieton Grand Prix: June 24th at 10:00 am. This is the world's only cyclekart race on city streets! The races go from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and are best viewed from the Tieton City Park. The driving teams come from as far away as New Zealand to participate in the annual event. The cars must be handmade using Honda GX200 engines and draw clear design inspiration from the open wheel race cars from the early 1900’s. Participants work on their cars all year, excitedly awaiting the largest gathering of cyclekarts in the world.
- Outside the Box: an art exhibit featuring works inspired by Cowiche Canyon Conservancy lands. The exhibit opens July 1st and runs through July 29th. Sponsored jointly by Boxx Gallery and Cowiche Canyon Conservancy.
- Pomeroy Memorial Motocross Track: Holding race events during the year for modern and vintage bikes. Monthly races are open for kids 17 and under with parental supervision. Camping space is also available during event weekends.
- Highland Community Days: August 18-20. A classic small town celebration. The Saturday morning parade begins at 10:00 am, and then opens to the street dancing, live bands, food vendors, crafts booths and Mexican dancing horses. It's a wonderful weekend of fun in Tieton!
Where to Stay
- Sunlands Guest Cottage: A relaxing place to stay on a lovely eight-acre vineyard beside a charming two-bedroom guest cottage! Ideal for couples visiting Yakima on a weekend-getaway or a vacation!