Yakama Scenic Byway

Located in central Washington state, the Yakama Scenic Byway (yes, spelled for the Yakama Confederated Tribe of Indians, not for the city of Yakima) runs south from the city of Union Gap to Toppenish on US-97 through Goldendale then connects with SR-14 at the Columbia River near Maryhill Museum. This byway slices through the Yakama people’s ancestral homeland, much of it now known as the Yakama Reservation.

The byway begins at a point where arid desert hills drop into productive plains—the Yakima Valley is one of the world’s leading agricultural regions. Then the byway leaves farmland behind and begins a slow climb into the desolate beauty of the hills leading into the Simcoe Mountains and across Satus Pass.

The influence and presence of the Yakama people can be keenly felt along this byway; museums and a cultural center, as well as a restaurant featuring authentic Yakama fare, are just a handful of sources of information about the original inhabitants of this land. Byway explorers will also discover farming towns, remote wilderness and the universe itself at a unique public observatory in Goldendale.

Key points of interest:

  • Toppenish – City of Murals, If you have a passion for history, a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables and an appreciation for local art, then Toppenish is your town. Located in the bountiful Yakima Valley and entirely within the boundaries of the Yakama Indian Reservation, our city of almost 10,000 is adorned with 76 historically accurate murals. Toppenish was named one of the 20 best places to live in the West by American Cowboy Magazine, and the town loves to celebrate its unique qualities and attractions with popular events and festivals throughout the year.
  • Central Washington Agricultural Museum – The Central Washington Agricultural Museum is the largest museum of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. It is home to more than 150 antique tractors, over 1,000 pieces of historic machinery and acres of exhibits that showcase life on the farm over the past 100 years.