People staying at Ellensburg’s Yakima River RV Park can watch real cowboys round up cattle on horseback, hear the flowing waters of the Yakima River and smell the fresh air, and all while they are only four miles out of town.
As one drives down the park’s gravel road, the hustle and bustle of city life fades.
The RV park offers tent and RV camping. There are full hookups for RVs in half the park and the other half has power and water.
The park is unique because it’s next to a working ranch.
Visitors can watch large bulls, horses and other rodeo stock graze in the adjacent fields of the ranch. The park also offers horse boarding. Horse riding is available at the ranch and at the nearby John Wayne Trail.
Darlene Grant, owner of the Yakima River RV Park, is about to celebrate the park’s 15th anniversary.
She said it is always exciting to watch the cowboys at the ranch round up their animals on horseback and that the animals at the ranch, as well as deer that travel down the gravel road at dusk, are a draw for people.
She even has a pet goat she lets children in the park pet.
Rafting down the Yakima River, site seeing in historical downtown Ellensburg, flying kites in the fields, and hiking local trails are among many other activities one can do while staying at this RV park.
“Some people come for a weekend and they float (the Yakima River) three days in a row. They get their sun,” she said.
Just a 1/4 mile away from an area where people looking to float and fish can launch their rafts or boats.
Grant suggests the floaters do the five-hour float that ends just before Rosa Dam.
Grant recently had a new clubhouse built on the property.
The clubhouse has a wooden dance floor and can be rented for graduation parties, potlucks, for large parties at the RV park and for weddings.
“It’s a little rustic. We have an entire wall covered in antiques from (my late husband’s and mine) old farm,” she said. “We farmed draft horses.”
There is a large grassy outdoor area and lots of parking available. The building is wheelchair accessible.
Grant said the beginning of the summer was slow, but that the last four weeks have really started to pick up.
The Yakima River RV Park is located off Canyon Road at 791 Ringer Loop.
Go to YakimaRV.com for more details.
SunCountry RV Park
SunCountry RV Park’s major attraction is the neighboring SunCountry golf course.
General manager and golf course superintendent Jamie Colson said that the golf course is probably the best alpine golf course in the state.
The golf course and RV park are both surrounded by thick forest.
The park offers full hookup and wireless. There is a bathhouse with separate bathroom areas, each with a shower, sink and toilet. There is a clubhouse and parking lot area next to the RV sites and the golf course is “just a stone’s throw away.”
This summer has been a steady one for SunCountry with its busiest months being July and August.
“When the weather is good, we are busy. Things are going great,” he said.
Gas prices have affected how far people are driving to stay at the park.
“I think with higher gas prices, folks are coming from the Seattle area and they aren’t traveling as far on trips,” Colson said.
Numbers have risen slightly due to the Taylor Bridge Fire. A number of evacuees decided to camp put in their RVs rather than go to public shelters.
“People were being evacuated and wanted to bring their RV out and asked for openings,” he said.
Colson wanted to draw attention to Marathon Mondays at the golf course which include being able to golf “all day, as much as you can handle” for $38.
Visit www.golfsuncountry.com for information on both the golf course and RV park.
The Ellensburg KOA is next to the Yakima River with some sites right on its banks, according to the KOA website.
There are both RV and tent sites available.
Grassy areas and trees lining the river banks help visitors to feel farther away from the city than they actually are.
Downtown Ellensburg is only about three miles away and fishing and rafting are available just feet away.
Firewood and propane are sold on site as well and cable TV and wireless Internet are accessible.
Go online at http://koa.com/campgrounds/ellensburg/snapshot/#amenities for more information.