Umtanum

BLM

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Canyon Rd.
Ellensburg, WA 98926
509-536-1200
Official Website

GPS: 46.855, -120.4824

Last Price Paid: $7
Pad Type: gravel
Open Seasonally: May-Sept.
Elevation: 1403 ft
Tent Camping: Yes

2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

Cell Phone Coverage

2bars
Verizon 4G
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boondockinglife
Vashon, WA
Dodge Ram 3500
1999 Lance 1010
14 reviews
Nightly rate: $7
Days stayed: 10
Site Number: 4

boondockinglife would stay here again

“Decent fishing/hiking/tubing basecamp in Yakima Canyon”

Reviewed Oct 09, 2016

Overall Rating

Umtanum is a BLM managed primitive campground on the Yakima River with 6 mostly gravel sites on a loop. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, at least space for 1 tent, and easy access to vault toilets. Camp sites were $15/night or $7.50/night with an America the Beautiful, Senior, or Access pass. There is a 7-day limit due to it being a high use area. -- I didn't see this posted, but a friendly ranger knocked on my door and let me know about the limit on day 8, but still honored my payment for 10 days.

This appears to be a very popular location for fly fishing, and day hiking. Central Washington University seems to have a heavy presence here as well -- I saw 2-3 vans loaded with students a few times mid-week. Just a few hundred feet north of the campground there is a neat suspension bridge crossing over the river, leading up to the Umtanum Creek Canyon Trailhead, and Umtanum Ridge Trailhead. I did both hikes and preferred the views from up on top of the ridge.

This was the only one of the 4 BLM campgrounds in the Yakima River Canyon I was able to pull an unboosted Verizon signal.

Biggest downside: the train noise. Bring earplugs or you will be woken up at least once a night. They are infrequent, but loud.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
2bars
Verizon 4G

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


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Evergreengirl
WA
Escape 19
2009 Honda Ridgeline
49 reviews
Nightly rate: $15
Days stayed: 1

Evergreengirl would stay here again

“Small and Scenic”

Reviewed May 30, 2016

Overall Rating

The Ellensburg Canyon is a beautiful scenic route between Ellensburg, WA and Yakima, WA. The route follows the course of the Yakima River through dramatic hills and cliffs. It's popular with hikers, mountain bikers, river rafters and fishermen. The BLM maintains several primitive campgrounds in the canyon on the east side of the river. We think Umtanum is the best, not only because it is small and intimate (there are only 6 sites) but also because it's the only place in the canyon where you can cross over to the west side without having to swim. A suspension footbridge over the Yakima River leads to an extensive trail system. Watch out for rattle snakes though, especially in the summer!

This campground has fairly spacious sites suitable for small to medium sized RVs, camper vans, truck campers and tents. There are vault toilets and garbage receptacles, picnic tables and fire pits, but no water and no other amenities. When we camped here in March, 2016 our site was free because it was the off season, but as of May 15, 2016 the BLM is moving to a year round fee system. The price will now be $15 a night year round. Also, sites may now be reserved through recreation.gov.

One drawback to this campground is that trains run somewhat frequently on tracks just on the opposite side of the river. We didn't find it too objectionable. Also, during the summer especially, all of the campgrounds in the canyon can become very busy and noisy. If you like your camping to be on the quiet side, try to come in the spring or fall.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


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Hookups:
  • dry camping
Recreation:
  • fishing
  • picnic area
  • recreation trail
  • swimming beach
  • water access
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
Facilities:
  • restrooms: vault
  • trash
Pets:
  • pets

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