Yakima is home to four outdoor public pools open in the summer. Best among them is the one at Franklin Park (21st Avenue and Tieton Drive), which sports a slippery spiral water slide. The grassy hills at this park are also a local hot spot for sledding in the winter.
At Eschbach Park (4811 South Naches Rd., 509/574-2435), five miles past the fish hatchery on the Old Naches Highway, rent a tube or kayak and take a lazy float down the Naches River. The day-use, 168-acre county park offers boating, swimming, picnicking, and play areas.
Many locals also float, water ski, or fish (trophy-sized rainbows for catch-and-release fishing only) in the beautiful 27-mile Yakima River Canyon (509/665-2100) between Ellensburg and Yakima owned by the private Nature Conservancy. The river is paralleled by State Highway 821, with several boat ramps and picnic sites along the route and is home to the greatest concentration of nesting raptors in the state.
Before you head out to swish your rod around, pick up a few flies and nymphs from Gary’s Fly Shoppe (423 West Yakima Ave., Yakima, 509/457-3474), whose helpful staff can point you in the right direction if you know what you’re doing or sign you up for one of their guided excursions if you don’t.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition