Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yakima Valley: Prosser, WA Winery's Open in Winter

The Yakima Valley has over 70 wineries. One of the most concentrated areas for winery tasting rooms is in Prosser, WA., 50 minutes south of the city of Yakima, WA. Many tasting rooms in Prosser are open in the winter and listed below.

All wineries in the Yakima Valley will be open for Red Wine and Chocolate Weekend February 18 -20 2011.

Vintners Village wineries off Exit 80 I-82 East hours open during the Winter.

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily

Airfield Estates:11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily
Gamache Vintners: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily
Thurston Wolfe Winery: April to December 31 open Thursday – Sunday 11-5 p.m. closed Jan 1 to March 31 open holiday Mondays

Winemakers Loft in Vintners Village is a winery co-op, housing a number of tasting rooms.
Plaza Winery: Open daily

Apex Tasting Room: Monday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Visit a winery in a Prosser country setting surrounded by vineyards and hops fields nearby
. Exit 80 I-82 East
Pontin del Roza:-Open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily

Prosser, WA Exit 82 off I 82 East, is an area where you will find a concentrated number of tasting rooms, as well as a winery restaurant and winery accommodations.

Desert Wind Winery: October to April 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. / Mojave Restaurant Thursday-Saturday 12-3 p.m. Lodging available.
Snoqualimie Winery: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter)
Hinzerling: Winter hours M-Sat. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday. Lodging available.

visit these tasting rooms, take Exit 82, I-82 East. At the stop sign, turn right onto Wine Country Road. Take the first left on Benitz Road. Travel over the railroad tracks and turn right onto Lee Road.
Kestrel Vintners: Open Thursday- Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. By appt. Tuesday and Wednesday. Friday evenings open for Bites and Flights. Third Friday of each month 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Heavens Cave: Daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hogue Cellars: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, with the exception of major holidays. Please call ahead for winter hours—December 1st through March 1st.toll free (800) 565-9779 ext 3
Mckinley Springs: Closed November - January

South of Prosser in Patterson, WA:

Columbia Crest Winery
: Open 10 a.m. to 4:30 pm daily. Guided tours weekends at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Self-guided tours are available daily.12 - 4 p.m. Sun-Fri Sat 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive additional information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michele Hopkins at (509) 575-3010.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snowmobile Recreation - Where are the Trails?

The Yakima Valley is in close proximity to prime winter recreation areas. Snowmobilers, are you ready for miles and miles of groomed trails? Joe Parsons,(videos of competition) known for his snowmobiling expertise as Winter X Games Gold Medalist spent his early days on the numerous trails in Yakima Valley.

The local popular trails are Ahtanum Meadows and the Ahtanum Guard Station. Take the I-82 Exit 36 Valley Mall Blvd. West to 3rd turn left, at Ahtanum turn right and travel 25 miles to Tampico Food Store (closed) at the Y-intersection, turn right. Ahtanum Meadows, about 8 miles from the Y, features 54 miles of trails and 15 camping spaces. At 9.5 miles the Ahtanum guard station has 100 spaces and 54 miles of trails. This recreation area was due to be closed in 2009 due to state budget cuts to these Department of Natural Resources Land. A local snowmobile club, the Ski Benders raised the money to keep the area groomed and plowed for the 2009-2010 season. This area is so close to Yakima one can take advantage of the hotels and restaurants in the cities of Union Gap and Yakima.

Traveling the White Pass Scenic Byway , turn left on to Tieton road, which is south of Rimrock Lake. There are numerous trail choices for snowmobiling located about 40 miles from Yakima turn left onto Hwy 12, continue to Tieton Road and turn left. If you are coming over the White Pass Scenic Byway from the west, take the Clear Lake exit off Hwy 12 to reach these trails.

These areas on Tieton Road are:
  • Tieton Airstrip-35 spaces and 66 miles of trails.
  • Fish Creek-5 spaces, 66 miles of trails.
  • Cold Creek-85 spaces 66 miles of trails.
  • Pine Grass-5 spaces, 66 miles of trails.
Bear Creek Trail off Tieton Road -Take US Forest Service Road 1204, features 17 spaces and 66 miles of trails.

For Bethel Ridge/Soup Creek trails take US Forest Service Road 1305 off of Hwy 12.

The Washington State Parks winter recreation website offers additional information on fees, maps and trail conditions as well as the Naches Ranger District website.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Yakima River Canyon Marathon & Bike Ride

Run A 26.2 mile marathon , take a bike ride with the family and enjoy the views along the way.
The Yakima River Canyon, framed by sheer basalt rock cliffs, rising 2,000 feet above the river. You will find the densest concentration of nesting hawks, eagles and falcons in the state, and the endangered basalt daisy, growing only in the Yakima River Canyon. The canyon is known for excellent Blue Ribbon fly fishing. In the summertime many float down the river on inner tubes, kayak or rafting for a relaxing and refreshing time. The Bureau of Land Management maintains campsites along the canyon and charges a minimal overnight fee for camping. The Umptanum Recreation area features a hike across the suspension foot bridge over the Yakima River into the scenic canyon area.

Ellensburg to Selah, WA
Saturday April 2, 2011 8:00 am

The Yakima River Canyon Marathon, Saturday April 2, 2011 is a scenic point-to-point marathon course offering spectacular views of the Yakima River Canyon. Starting on Canyon Road .2 mile south of the Berry Road intersection in Ellensburg, Washington, the course follows the Yakima River downstream. The asphalt surfaced highway finishes in rural Selah, Washington, bringing runners to the Yakima Valley orchard and ranch country. The Yakima River Canyon Marathon is the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles and is USATF certified.

Race Headquarters: Selah Civic Center 216 South 1st Street Selah, WA

Runner Testimonial...
"A marathon that you really should consider for the whole weekend's experience is the Yakima River Canyon. It simply beats any other marathon experience PERIOD...not ready for a marathon, who cares? There are many, many slow runners and walkers and they are as well embraced, perhaps more so, than the front runners.
You'll rub elbows with many wide-eyed first timers and many knurly veterans that will astound middle of the packers, back of the packers, all equals at the end of the day."

Attend the Awards Ceremony and Pasta Feed with guest speaker Dick Beardsley: International best selling author and motivational speaker.

Relax after the exhilarating race with new friends, attend a show at Selah’s' newest venue, Carmen’s Comedy Club or Expore downtown Yakima, enjoy live music, wine tasting and art gallery walk.

Your Canyon For A Day! Bike Tour

They are closing down the Yakima River canyon for you and your family to take a ride on your bikes and enjoy the scenery!
Sunday May 22, 2011 9:00am to 3:00pm
A perfect ride for the whole family!

A 35-mile round trip ride, a great family event, riding through the scenic Yakima River Canyon. The road follows the Yakima River up a gentle grade with few hills. The highway will be closed to thru- traffic. PRE-REGISTER before May 1, 2011 to get your a free t-shirt mailed to you..

Begin the ride from either the South-Yakima end of the canyon or on the North-Ellensburg end of the canyon. The staging area is at the Roza Recreation Site at milepost 7 on SR 821 for those coming from the South-Yakima end.

Enjoy the beauty of the canyon with your family!

The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive additional information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michele Hopkins at (509) 575-3010.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Spirit of A.E. Larson(1862-1934) is Alive & Well in the Yakima Valley

A.E. Larson wanted a building that *"will stand as a sentinel of the Yakima Valley, beautiful in the perfect harmony of architecture and decoration." The plan was to build a modern eleven story office building by consulting with the best architects from around the country and using the best materials available

In 1931, during the great depression, A.E. Larson built the Yakima landmark, The Larson Building. The 188 feet high building, built in the Art-Deco style, houses 225 offices and is one of the tallest buildings in Yakima.

The spacious main lobby features walls of black and red Italian Marble, cast ornamented plastered ceiling. Floor inlay designs of marble and brass-dividing strips embedded into the terrazzo, marble walls and special cast bronze elevator fronts.

Larson wrote upon completion of the building:* "The decision to erect this building was based upon a deep-seated faith in the further development and continued future prosperity of Yakima and of the Yakima Valley."

"Perhaps present conditions do not warrant, from a return or earning standpoint, in investment of three-quarters of a million dollars in this building, but that phase of the project has been over-shadowed by an earnest desire to do something in a substantial and a serviceable way for Yakima and it’s people."

In 2011, this same spirit and deep-seated faith exists in the City of Yakima, Committee for Downtown Yakima, New Vision:Yakima County Development Association, Yakima Visitor and Convention Bureau and the people of Yakima. The only difference being, instead of one man’s desire for Yakima now an entire community believes in the future prosperity of Yakima and the Yakima Valley. What could explain the extraordinary cooperation between different businessmen, service groups, tourism professionals, Yakima residents, crafting the Downtown Futures Initiative and the driving force to convince Washington State representatives that Yakima needs to be ready for its future?

*Since 2006, the Washington State has devoted more than $8 million dollars to help with the renovation and revitalization of Downtown Yakima. The funding has helped repair and widen sidewalks to encourage outside dining, added street lights and improve walking areas and curb appeal with trees, decorative lighting, planters and hanging baskets.

In response,
by 2010, business and property owners have invested nearly $50 million for additional renovations to downtown Yakima. New businesses, such as the Hilton Garden Inn, Ummelina's world class spa, Stems Gift Shop, 2nd Street Grill, SportsCenter, The Seasons Performance Hall, Garden Dance,The Little Soapmaker, Kana Winery, Gilbert Cellars, The Lofts condo style living, Tony's Steak House, new Holiday Inn have moved into downtown. Art installations now exist on 2nd Street, Front Street Historic District and at the new 2nd Street performance park. Buildings are being renovated for new businesses to come, occupy and add to the community by those who have caught site of this vision. Like A.E. Larson, who built when times were very tough, these business professionals, and community members have “an earnest desire to do something in a substantial and a serviceable way for Yakima and it’s people."

In 1931 A. E. Larson’s building met his goals and dreams and instantly became a landmark in the city of Yakima.

In 2010 the downtown revitalization has met the goals and dreams of many and Yakima is the beautiful gathering place envisioned.

Come visit, let us share our community with you.

*Excepted from:
Yakima Valley Museum Yakima Memories page:

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Perfect Day - Yakima River Canyon Para-gliding

The Yakima River Canyon is known primarily for Blue Ribbon Fly Fishing and lazy summer days floating the river, but did you know that experienced para-gliders have discovered the canyon ridges. There are two distinct ridges where para-gliders can be seen, at the northern end of the Yakima River Canyon, Baldy Butte and the southern, Selah Butte.
In the Yakima Valley, experienced para-gliders fly off Selah Butte, where the city of Selah, WA can be seen in the distance in this video, "Perfect Day."

Located at the northern end of the Yakima River Canyon, Baldy Butte is a popular for Paragliding. The launching area is the highest point along the Umtanum Ridge and privately owned. Members of NWPC have access through a site use agreement. The Northwest Paragliding Club sponsors a Fly-in at Baldy Butte in September.

Accommodations along the Yakima River Canyon range from exclusive upscale to camping.
  • Canyon River Ranch a beautiful rustic lodge in the center of the Yakima River Canyon, with breathtaking views.
  • The North Park Lodge -Rustic lodge pole furniture in the large rooms, Indoor pool, tanning beds and more. Located in Selah, WA only minutes from Downtown Yakima, offering many restaurant and evening entertainment choices.

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