Yakima is a city southeast of Mount Rainier National Park and the county seat of Yakima County, Washington. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 71,845 and a metropolitan population of 229,094. According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management's July 1, 2008 estimate, the city has a population of 84,074. Yakima is situated in the Yakima Valley, which is noted for being one of the best apple-producing areas in the world, and produces approximately 75% of all hops grown in the USA. The name originates from the Yakama Nation. The Yakama Indian Reservation is located to the south and southeast of the city of Yakima. Because of the sunny climate relative to the rest of the state, a local developer erected a sign at the edge of the city that proclaims Yakima as "The Palm Springs of Washington." Although it is not an official city sign, it is widely known and recognized by visitors to the area.
HistoryThe Yakama people were the first inhabitants of the Yakima Valley. In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition came to the area and discovered abundant wildlife and rich soil, prompting the settlement of homesteaders. A Catholic Mission was established in Ahtanum, southwest of present-day Yakima, in 1847. The arrival of settlers and their conflicts with the natives resulted in the Yakama Indian War of 1855. The U.S. Army established Fort Simcoe in 1856 near present-day Toppenish as a response to the uprising. The Yakamas were defeated and relocated to the Yakama Indian Reservation. Yakima County was created in 1865. When bypassed by the Northern Pacific Railroad in December 1884, over 100 buildings were moved with rollers and horse teams to the nearby site of the depot. The new city was dubbed North Yakima and was officially incorporated and named the county seat on January 27, 1886. The name was changed to Yakima in 1918. Union Gap was the new name given to the original site of Yakima.
In 1994, the City of Yakima received the All-America City Award, given by the National Civic League. Ten U.S. cities receive this award per year.
Yakima is sunnier compared to other parts of Washington State. On average, the yearly precipitation is 8 inches. There are about 70 of precipitation a year in Yakima. On average, there is 24.6 inches of snowfall a year. The average temperature in July is 69F, and the average in January is 29F. There are thirty two days on average a year with a temperature above 90F. One hundred forty eight days on average of a temperature below freezing.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 square miles, of which, 20.1 square miles of it is land and 0.5 square miles of it (2.33%) is water. Yakima is 1066 feet above mean sea level.
The city of Yakima is located in the Upper Valley of Yakima County. The county is geographically divided by Ahtanum Ridge and Rattlesnake Ridge into two regions: the Upper (northern) and Lower (southern) valleys. Yakima is located in the more urbanized Upper Valley, and is the central city of the Yakima Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The cities of Selah and Union Gap lie immediately to the north and south of Yakima. In addition, the unincorporated suburban areas of West Valley and Terrace Heights are considered a part of greater Yakima. Other nearby cities include Moxee, Tieton, and Naches in the Upper Valley, as well as Wapato, Toppenish, Zillah, Harrah, White Swan, Granger, Mabton, Sunnyside, and Grandview in the Lower Valley.
Districts and their Neighborhoods
Ahtanum / Summitview
16th Ave / Washington Ave
Tieton Dr. / 24th Ave
Chestnut Ave / 25th Ave
Lincoln Ave / 16th Ave
Willow St. / 6th Ave.
11th Ave / Spruce St.
Mead Ave / Cornell Ave
6th St / Nob Hill Blvd
The Yakima Sun Dome is a local landmark. There are numerous churches as well.
KNDO (Kndo NBC News)
KIMA (Kima CBS Action News)
KAPP (ABC Kapp 35 News)
KCYU (Fox News 41)
Yakima Business Journal
Yakima Valley Business Times
Yakima Family Times
Viva, Yakima Valley's Hispanic Newspaper
Baseball: Minor League: Yakima Bears
Baseball: ALB: Yakima Beetles (3 time world champions)
Football: WFL: Yakima Mavericks
Indoor Football: AIFA: Yakima Valley Warriors
Soccer: USL: Yakima Reds
Central Washington State Fair Raceway
Yakima has two major hospitals. Providence Yakima Medical Center and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.
Interstate 82 is the primary way of reaching Yakima, but U.S. Route 12 crosses through the city from White Pass. U.S. Route 97 joins I-82 from Yakima for approximately 40 miles (64 km) north to Ellensburg. State Route 24 terminates at Yakima and is the primary means of reaching Moxee City and many of the area's agricultural areas to the east. State Route 821 terminates near Yakima and is also called Canyon Road because it passes through the Yakima River canyon. It is an alternate route to Ellensburg which bypasses the I-82 summit at Manastash Ridge.
Yakima Transit services Yakima, Selah, and Union Gap.
Yakima's airport, McAllister Field, operates commercial air flights via Horizon Airlines to Seattle. Numerous private aircraft call the Yakima Airport home and several freight companies operate out of the airport. It is also a popular test site for military jets and Boeing Commerical Production Test Flights.