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Iconic Barge Hall at Central Washington University

Ellensburg is a city of 21,000 people (2019) in the North Cascades region of Washington State.

Get in[edit]

Ellensburg is located at the junction of Interstates 90 and 82, approximately 110 miles east of Seattle and 170 miles west of Spokane. Road is the only practical way in, there is no air or rail service. Greyhound has four departures daily to Seattle from a stop at the western edge of town (see below).

  • (I-90) is located south of town. Ellensburg is accessed from Exits #106 (W. University Way & Thorp Hwy) and 109 (S Canyon Rd). It is 110 mi/165 km (1 hr 38 min) east of Seattle and 170 mi/272 km (2 hr 44 min) west of Spokane.
  • (I-82) begins southeast of Ellensburg at Exit 110 from I-90. I-82 goes southeast through Yakima (36 mi/57.5 km), Toppenish, Sunnyside, Tri-Cities (113 mi/181 km) and down into Hermiston, Oregon (142 mi/227 km) to Interstate 84. From I-84, I-82 starts from Exit #179.
  • US 97 goes another 160 mi/256 km (3 hr) north to Omak and another 48 mi/77 km (45 min) from Omak to Osoyoos, BC by Lake Osoyoos, just over the U.S./Canadian border. From I-90, access to US Hwy 97 northbound is off of Exit #106 and the first left (north) from the eastside of the freeway. Going southbound, US-97 follows I-82 to Union Gap just to just south of Yakima where it branches off again on a separate road to Toppenish and south to Biggs Junction, Oregon (Exit #104 along Interstate 84 in Oregon).

By bus[edit]

The 1 Love's Travel Stop on 1512 Hwy 97, on US Hwy 97 & University Rd (Exit #106 of I-90) in the outskirts of town serves as a de facto bus station for:

  • 1 Greyhound, (bus stop) Love's Truck Stop @ 1512 US Hwy 97 (Hwy 97 & University Dr, off of Exit #106 along I-90), +1 509 925-1177, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Travels primarily on Interstate 90 (Seattle,Ellensburg, Moses Lake and Spokane) and another branch continues east on Interstate 82 (Ellensburg, Yakima, Sunnyside, Pasco (in Tri-Cities), Stanfield/Hermiston OR at I-84).
  • Travel Washington Apple Line (Operated by Northwestern Trailways), (bus stop) Love's Truck Stop @ 1512 US Hwy 97 (Same stop as Greyhound.), +1 509 838-4029, . goes north from Ellensburg to Omak via Quincy, Pateros, Wenatchee, Okanogan, etc. twice daily along US Hwy 97. See schedules.
  • BellAir Airporter, (bus stop) Love's Truck Stop @ 1512 US Hwy 97 (advance reservation required for pick up and drop off on the eastbound service; automatically stops there on the westbound trip), +1-866-235-5247. Goes from Sea-Tac to Cle Elum, Ellensburg & Yakima. Additional stop at Starbucks CWU @ 908 E 10th (prior reservations required for going both directions).

Central Transit Rt #15 (to 4th & Ruby in downtown) and 16 (to Central Washington University) pick up at the Greyhound stop for the ride into town.

The 1 Starbucks near CWU on E 10th & E University Ave (908 E 10th) serves as the other de-facto stop for Flixbus and BellAir Airporter (stop here by appointment only). In additional they may also have stops in other parts of town too. See the below links:

  • 2 Flixbus (operated by MTR Western), (bus stop @ CWU) 900 E 10th Ave (bus will board at the curbside on E 10th Ave, directly north of the Starbucks; look for the yellow curbside near the CWU parking lot off E 10th Ave). Buses along I-90 between Seattle, Ellensburg, Moses Lake and Spokane. Some of the routes continue south from Seattle to Portland on the I-5 corridor. They also have another stop over at Love's Truck Stop. Check tickets and schedules.
  • 3 Wheatland Express, (bus stop) McDonald's Parking Lot @ 1304 Canyon Rd (the McDonald's on Canyon & Umptanum Rd in the southside of town), toll-free: +1-800-334-2207. Regularly scheduled shuttle between Moscow, Pullman, Ellensburg, Bellevue and Tukwila (in the Seattle area). Every Friday, their Weekend Express takes you from Pullman and Moscow to Seattle and return on Sundays. A special service is also deployed during the holiday season and university breaks. Journeys take 2 hours to Seattle from Ellensburg and 3 hours to Pullman.
  • 4 Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter (Yakima Transit Rt#11), (bus stops) 11th Ave & N Maple St, Safeway, Golden Dragon Restaurant, +1 509 575-6175. Commuter bus between Ellensburg and Yakima funded by Central Washington University and Yakima Transit.

Get around[edit]

Map of Ellensburg

The city is small enough to walk on foot in less than an hour.

By bus[edit]

  • 1 Ellensburg Central Transit, (main bus stops) E 4th Ave & N Ruby, +1 509 933-2287. Central Transit operates local buses in/around Ellensburg and the Central Washington University campus (Rt #12, 13, 14, 15 & 16) and to Cle Elum with the Kittitas Conector. The main transfer points for all bus lines are at the southwest corner of the Safeway parking lot on E 4th Ave & N Ruby, at opposite sides of the street (N Ruby) from each other.


Kittitas County Historical Museum
  • 1 Central Washington University, 400 E University Way, +1 509 963-1111. The ten thousand undergraduates of CWU very nearly outnumber all the other residents of Ellensburg. Central Washington University (Q1054064) on Wikidata Central Washington University on Wikipedia
  • 2 Kittitas County Historical Museum, 114 E 3rd Ave (E 3rd & Pine next to post office), +1 509 925-3778. Located in the historic Cadwell Building in beautiful downtown Ellensburg and consisting of over 9,000 square feet of display space, the Kittitas County Historical Museum seek to collect and preserve the history and heritage of Kittitas County.
  • 3 Clymer Museum & Gallery, 416 N Pearl St (Along N Pearl St, closer to 5th.), +1 509 962-6416, . M-F 11AM-5PM, Sa 11AM-3PM. Ellensburg's art museum.
  • 4 Olmstead Place State Park, 921 N Ferguson Rd (5 miles SE of downtown along Kittitas Hwy), +1 509 925-1943. Summer 6:30AM- dusk, winter 8AM-dusk. This 217 acre state park has farm houses, barns and other outbuildings functioning as a museum of sorts depicting pioneer farm life in the 19th century. Olmstead Place State Park (Q14713863) on Wikidata Olmstead Place State Park on Wikipedia
  • 5 Dick and Jane's Spot, 101 N Pearl St (NW of 1st & Pearl St, across from the fire dept.). A private home where the entire house and yard are covered in art. Entry is not allowed, but the house is completely visible from outside the fence. free.
  • 6 Gallery One Visual Arts Center, 408 N Pearl St, +1 509-925-2670. M-F 11AM - 5PM, Sa 10AM - 4PM, Su noon - 4PM. Gallery One Visual Arts Center is dedicated to the creation, exhibition and appreciation of visual arts in Central Washington. Gallery One Visual Arts Center (Q16891519) on Wikidata
  • Paul Rogers Wildlife Park, 2400 Judge Ronald Road, +1 509-962-7204. Walking trails through a natural area.


  • 1 Wild Goose Casino, 1600 Currier St (I-90 exit 106, along W University Way going into town), +1 509 925-5825. W-Su. Poker, table games, and pull tabs (no slots). Has a sport bar and grill and happy hour 3-6PM.
  • 2 Ellensburg Rodeo, toll-free: +1-800-637-2444. Held every Labor Day weekend (usually the first week of September), the Ellensburg Rodeo has been called one of America’s top 25 rodeos. Within the Northwest, it is second in size only to the Calgary Stampede, in Calgary, Alberta. Established in 1923, it regularly attracts more than 600 contestants $16-36. Ellensburg Rodeo (Q5365131) on Wikidata Ellensburg Rodeo on Wikipedia
  • Jazz in the Valley. Annually, last weekend of July. Jazz in the Valley is a three-day festival with over 23 jazz artists in 10 intimate venues, all within walking distance in Historic Downtown.



  • 1 Campus U-Tote-Em, 810 E University Way, +1 509 925-1600. Sa-Th 7AM - 9PM, F 7AM - 9:30PM. No-frills, old-school nook with counter service for signature burgers, sandwiches, fries & shakes.
  • 2 El Caporal II, 201 W University Way, +1 509-962-5228. Daily 11AM - 10PM. Laid-back Mexican outfit featuring margaritas and classic eats such as tacos and enchiladas.
  • 3 Ellensburg Pasta Company (EPC), 600 N Main St, +1 509-933-3330. M-Sa 11AM - 9PM. Family-friendly Italian cafe with local beer & wines, plus gluten-free options, in comfy digs.
  • 4 Safeway, 400 N Ruby St (E 4th & N Ruby), +1 509 925-2700. Daily 6AM-midnight.
  • 5 The Tav, 117 W 4th Ave, +1 509-925-3939. Daily 11AM - 2AM. Down-home watering hole offering American pub grub, tap brews, simple cocktails, pool & pinball.
  • 6 Wing Central, 1801 N Walnut St #2, +1 509-962-5400. M-Sa 11AM - 10PM, Su 11AM - 9PM. Lively hangout for sports on flat-screen TVs, plus chicken wings, burgers & over 100 beer choices.
  • 7 The Palace Cafe (The Palace), 323 N Main St, +1 509 925-2327. M-Th 6AM - 9PM, F Sa 6AM - 10PM, Su 7AM - 9PM. Storied cafe serving American eats amid tin ceilings & wainscoting in a 1908 brick storefront.


  • D&M Coffee, (Headquarters & roasting plant) 307 E 5th Ave (Same location as 'Pie-Hoe'), +1 509 925-5313. M-F 9AM-5PM. Locally roasted coffee in three locations locally.
  • 2 D&M Coffee Downtown, 323 N Pearl (SE of intersection of N Pearl & E 4th Ave), +1 509 962-9333. Daily 7AM-7PM. Popular hangout in the middle of downtown, and the locally-roasted coffee is tasty indeed.
  • 3 D&M Coffee Pie Hole, 307 E 5th Ave (E 5th Ave & N Sprague, north of the Safeway parking lot), +1 509 925-5813. M-F 6AM-4PM; Sa Su 7AM-1PM. Popular hangout for uptown, and the locally-roasted coffee is tasty indeed.
  • 4 D&M Coffee Drive-Thru, 204 S Water St (Along S Water St between W Capitol & Washington Ave), +1 509 962-6333. M-Sa 5AM-7PM; Su 6AM-7PM. A small hangout in the SW edge of town for locally-roasted coffee is tasty indeed.
  • 5 D&M Coffee Canyon, 1711 Canyon Rd Suite #2 (Small drive-thru kiosk across street from Chevron SE part of town), +1 509 925-5313. Daily 9AM-6PM. A small drive-thru kiosk for travelers to order coffee from their cars on their way into or out of town or passing through town along I-90.
  • D&M KVH, 603 S Chestnut (KVH Hospital Cafeteria), +1 509 933-8777. M-F 8AM-5PM.
  • 6 Iron Horse Brewery, 412 N Main St (Along N Main St between W 4th & 5th Ave), +1 509 933-3134, . Su 1-7PM, M-W 4-9PM, Th 2-9PM, F Sa 1-9PM. Small microbrewery and pub in downtown Ellensburg.
  • 7 The Tav, 117 W 4th Ave, +1 509-925-3939. Daily 11AM - 2AM. Down-home watering hole offering American pub grub, tap brews, simple cocktails, pool & pinball.
  • 8 Whipsaw Brewing, 704 N Wenas St (along Wenas between W University & 7th Ave, northwestern part of town), +1 509 968-5111. Whipsaw Brewing is one of the newer breweries in Ellensburg and has a great lineup of beers. There is indoor and outdoor seating with a few games about in the beer garden. A food truck is there pretty much every day. There are mostly common styles of beer brewed here, with maybe a dozen on tap. This is quite a local place, lots of friendly people that are happy to talk beer. $5 pints.


Except the Rainbow Inn and Motel 6 most of the listed hotels in the below are either 2.5 mi (4.0 km) NW of town at W University Way & I-90 (Exit #106) or 2 mi (3.2 km) south of town at Canyon Rd & I-90 (Exit #109):

  • 1 Best Western Lincoln Inn & Suites, 211 W Umptanum Rd, +1 509 925-4244, toll-free: +1-866-925-4288, fax: +1 509 925-4211.
  • 2 Comfort Inn, 1722 Canyon Rd (behind ConicoPhillips 76 Gas station from Canyon Rd), +1 509 243-6026.
  • 3 Days Inn, 901 Berry Rd (behind Flying J Truck Stop at Berry and Canyon Rd south of the freeway (Exit #109)), +1 509 933-1500. There's also a lot for RV parking & 'camping' if travelers choose that option.
  • 4 Econo Lodge, 1390 N Dolarway Rd (SE of the University Way/Dolarway Rd roundabout, behind Mini-Mart store), + 1 509 925-9844.
  • 5 Hampton Inn, 2705 Triple 'L' Loop (behind Ihop Restaurant along US Hwy 97, across street from Loves Truck Stop (Greyhound Lines, Apple Line bus)), +509 933-7500. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
  • 6 Holiday Inn Express, 1620 Canyon Rd (behind Starbucks & Taco Del Mar from Canyon Rd), +1 509 925-9400. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. There's also a Tesla (electric car) charger on site too. $125+.
  • 7 Ellensburg KOA Journey, 32 Thorp Hwy (US Hwy 97 & Thorp Hwy, opposite side of freeway (Exit #106) from the gas stations, restaurants and a couple of other hotels.), +1 509 925-9313. They have little cabins or RV parking/camping spots for rent instead.
  • 8 Motel 6, 403 W University Way (W University Way & N Columbia), +1 509 962-5585.
  • 9 Rainbow Inn, 1025 W University (W University & Cascade Ct behind China Inn Restaurant), +1 509 933-7100.
  • 10 Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center Ellensburg, 1700 Canyon Rd, +1 509 925-9800.
  • 11 Super 8, 1500 S Canyon Rd, +1 509 962-6888.


  • 1 Ellensburg Public Library, 209 N Ruby (SW corner of N Ruby & E 3rd Ave), +1 509 962-7250. M-Th 10AM-7PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa Su 1PM-5PM. Internet access on the library computers or wifi for personal laptop and mobile devices.


The area code for Ellensburg is 509.

By mail[edit]

  • 2 Ellensburg Post Office (US Postal Service), 100 E 3rd Ave (E 3rd Ave & Pearl in downtown), +1 509 962-4360, toll-free: +1-800-275-8777. M-F 8AM-5PM. The zip code for Ellensburg, Central Washington State University (CWU) and the surrounding areas is 98926
  • 3 Kittitas Post Office (US Postal Service), 107 Main St, Kittitas (Main St & 1st Ave on southside of town), +1 509 968-3577, toll-free: +1-800-275-8777. M-F 8:30AM-1PM and 1:30PM-4PM. The zip code for the little area of Kittitas 7 mi (11 km) southeast of Ellensburg is 98934.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Ellensburg
END  N  S  SelahYakima
SeattleCle Elum  W  E  Moses LakeSpokane
WenatcheeCashmere  N  S  SelahYakima

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