DescriptionCle Elum means “swift water” in the Kittitas Indian language, and that's an apt description of the river of the same name, which flows out of Lake Cle Elum 8 miles to the northwest. The town originated from a gold claim in 1883; 3 years later coal was discovered and the settlement gained a sawmill, a school and a stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad line. The last coal was mined here in 1963.
This is the gateway to a vast recreation area encompassing the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie national forests, and as a result nearly every conceivable outdoor recreational activity can be enjoyed. One particularly popular activity is a 3- to 4-hour raft trip down the 16-mile stretch of the Yakima River between Cle Elum and Thorp.
The 4.7-mile Coal Mines Trail follows a former Northern Pacific branch line from Flagpole Park in Cle Elum through Roslyn to the town of Ronald. Interpretive panels along the way describe the region's mining heritage.
InfoOfficeKittitas County Chamber of Commerce—Cle Elum Visitor Information Center 312 W. 1st St. Cle Elum, WA 98922. Phone:(509)925-2002 or (888)925-2204
Attraction PlaceHoldersCarpenter Museum