Introduction to Ellensburg, Washington

Ellensburg, Washington, in Kittitas county, is 27 miles N of Yakima, Washington (center to center) and 93 miles SE of Seattle, Washington.

Ellensburg History

The area presently known as Ellensburg was initially called Robber's Roost. The Yakama Indians were the original inhabitants of this region. The white settlers arrived in the early 1860s. The area was formally incorporated on November 26, 1883. Its first postmaster, John A. Shoudy, named the city after his wife Mary Ellen. The Daily Record, the newspaper of Ellensburg, started reporting on Kittitas County in 1909. Around 1889, the city was under consideration to become the capital of Washington. However, the bid went to Olympia when downtown Ellensburg was damaged by fire on July 4, 1889.

Ellensburg and nearby Attractions

  • Ginkgo/ Wanapum State Park
  • Kittitas County Museum
  • Olmstead Place State Park
  • Ginkgo Interpretive Trails

Things To Do In Ellensburg

During your stay in Ellensburg, you can visit the Clymer Museum of Art, Kittitas County Museum, and Bouillon Library to explore the city’s history. The local parks include Whitney Park, Reed Park, Kiwanis Park, Memorial Park, West Side Park, and Mountain View Park. Golf enthusiasts can spend their leisure hours at Carey Lakes Golf Course, Ellensburg Golf and Country Club, and Sun Country Golf Resort. The Showplace Antique Mall and Thorp Fruit and Antique Mall are also worth visiting.

Ellensburg Transportation

Air transportation is available from Yakima Air Terminal/Mcallister Field Airport.

Ellensburg Higher Education

Central Washington University is the local university. Higher educational facilities are also offered at Yakima Valley Community College, University of Washington-Seattle Campus, and Wenatchee Valley College.


Total Population 18,637
Male Share of the Population 47.7%
Female Share of the Population 52.3%
Senior Citizens 9.2%
Employed Population 16+ 8,690
Age of the Population 24


% of people married 26.3%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 39.6%
Median Earnings25+ $28,592
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $13,952
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,625


Median Family Income $63,086
% Above Poverty Level 61.5%
% Below Poverty Level 38.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 3.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 21.4%
% Using Public Transportation 0.6%


People Living Alone 38%
Median Gross Rent $758
Median House Value $195,000


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 22.6%
US/American 0%
English 10.9%
Irish 14.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ellensburg Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 27 miles N of Yakima, Washington (center to center)
Nearest Large City 93 miles SE of Seattle, Washington
County Kittitas
Standard Zip Codes 98926
P.O. Box Zip Codes 98950
Phone Area Codes 509
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 46.996
Longitude -120.546

Ellensburg Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 2.2 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 34 F
Apr Temp 34 to 60 F
Jul Temp 53 to 83 F
Oct Temp 33 to 62 F
Annual Precip 9.1 inches
Station CLE ELUM
Distance 23 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 36 F
Apr Temp 34 to 58 F
Jul Temp 53 to 80 F
Oct Temp 35 to 60 F
Annual Precip 22.8 inches
Distance 32.3 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 34 F
Apr Temp 40 to 63 F
Jul Temp 60 to 87 F
Oct Temp 40 to 62 F
Annual Precip 8.5 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Ellensburg, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Doris (98950)

Thrali (98926)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Cle Elum 2,544 $48,000
Kittitas 1,387 $38,553
Naches 881 $50,096
Selah 7,531 $49,788
South Cle Elum 552 $65,625
Tieton 1,391 $46,645

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ellensburg Hospitals

(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
(509) 962-9841
Emergency Service: Yes

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Ellensburg High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

1300 E 3RD AVE
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 952 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.2

Serves 17 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17

Ellensburg Colleges

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Additional Details
Ellensburg Colleges
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