Yakima is a city in and the county seat of Yakima County and the state's eleventh-largest city by population. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 91,067 and a metropolitan population of 243,231; the unincorporated suburban areas of West Valley and Terrace Heights are considered a part of greater Yakima. Yakima is about 60 miles southeast of Mount Rainier in Washington, it is situated in the Yakima Valley, a productive agricultural region noted for apple and hop production. As of 2011, the Yakima Valley produces 77% of all hops grown in the United States; the name Yakima originates from the Yakama Nation Native American tribe, whose reservation is located south of the city. The Yakama people were the first known 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 Yakima War. The U. S. Army established Fort Simcoe in 1856 near present-day White Swan as a response to the uprising; the Yakamas were forced to relocate 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 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. On May 18, 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens caused a large amount of volcanic ash to fall on the Yakima area. Visibility was reduced to near-zero conditions that afternoon, the ash overloaded the city's wastewater treatment plant. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.69 square miles, of which, 27.18 square miles is land and 0.51 square miles is water.
Yakima is 1095 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 and Lower valleys. Yakima is located in the more urbanized Upper Valley, is the central city of the Yakima Metropolitan Statistical Area; the unincorporated suburban areas of West Valley and Terrace Heights are considered a part of greater Yakima. Other nearby cities include Moxee, Cowiche, Wiley City, Tampico and Naches in the Upper Valley, as well as Wapato, Zillah, White Swan, Buena, Granger, Mabton and Grandview in the Lower Valley; the primary irrigation source for the Yakima Valley, the Yakima River, runs through Yakima from its source at Lake Keechelus in the Cascade Range to the Columbia River at Richland. In Yakima, the river is used for both recreation. A 10-mile walking and cycling trail, a park, a wildlife sanctuary are located at the river's edge; the Naches River forms the northern border of the city.
Several small lakes flank the northern edge of the city, including Myron Lake, Lake Aspen, Bergland Lake and Rotary Lake. These lakes are popular with swimmers during the summer. Yakima has a semi-arid climate with a Mediterranean precipitation pattern. Winters are cold, with December the coolest month, with a mean temperature of 28.5 °F. Annual average snowfall is 21.7 inches or 0.55 metres, with most occurring in December and January, when the snow depth averages 2 to 3 inches or 0.051 to 0.076 metres. There are 22 afternoons per year in which the high does not surpass freezing, 2.3 mornings where the low is 0 °F or lower. Springtime warming is gradual, with the average last freeze of the season May 13. Summer days are hot, but the diurnal temperature variation is large, exceeding 35 °F, sometimes reaching as high as 50 °F during that season. Autumn cooling is rapid, with the average first freeze of the season occurring on September 30. Due to the city's location in a rain shadow, precipitation, at an average of 8.22 inches or 209 millimetres annually, is low year-round, but during summer.
Extreme temperatures have ranged from −25 °F on February 1, 1950, to 110 °F on August 10, 1971. As of the census of 2010, there were 91,067 people with 33,074 households, 21,411 families residing in the city; the population density was 3,350.5 people per square mile. There were 34,829 housing units at an average density of 1,281.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 67.1% Caucasian, 1.7% African American, 2.0% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 23.3% from other races, 4.4% from two or more races. 41.3% were Hispanic or Latino, of any race. 19.1 % of the population had higher. There were 33,074 households of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 35.3% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.3.
28.3% of the population was under the age of 18 and 13.1% were 65 years or older. The median age was 33.9 years. 50.7% of the population was female. The median household income w
Prosser is a city in and the county seat of Benton County, United States, along the Yakima River with only one zip code 99350. The population was 5,714 at the 2010 census. Prosser was long home to Native Americans who fished along the river, they called the area "Tap tut". Colonel William Farrand Prosser first surveyed the area in 1879 claimed homestead in 1882; the Northern Pacific Railroad laid tracks through the area two years later. A town plat was filed by Colonel Prosser in 1885, in 1886 he was elected Yakima County Auditor, he moved to North Yakima to attend to these duties, never returned to the town that he founded. Lewis Hinzerling built a flour mill at Prosser falls in 1887, encouraging further settlement of the area; the first irrigation canal was completed in 1893 by the Prosser Falls Irrigation Company. Prosser was incorporated in 1899 with a population of 229 people. In 1905, Benton County was carved out of the eastern portions of Klickitat Counties; the new town of Prosser was chosen as county seat.
In 1907 a power plant began delivering electricity to the town. The following year, a new high school was built, followed a year by a telephone exchange. In 1910 the city received a grant from the Andrew Carnegie for a public library. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s various companies drilled in this area for oil and natural gas. There were no large findings and the Great Depression put an end to exploration. On November 5, 1912, Benton County voters held a referendum to move the county seat from Prosser to either Kennewick or Benton City. Intense rivalry and war of words between Benton City and Prosser preceded the vote. Despite getting a majority of the vote, Kennewick did not receive 60 percent of the vote as required by law. To date, Prosser remains the county seat. In 1919, Washington State College established the Irrigation Experiment Station at Prosser; the program's mandate is to study the problems faced by farmers and ranchers in the dry central part of the state. The station employed scientists from the college in Pullman, who partnered with scientists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The station is still in use, offers a number of agricultural education programs. Prosser at one point had three newspapers, which were consolidated in the 1920s into the Prosser Record-Bulletin, a permanent courthouse was built in 1926; the Benton County Historical Museum was dedicated in 1968. In more recent years, Prosser's location on a major river and highway access has encouraged a growing wine business and associated tourist industry. Several Prosser wineries are located within the Yakima Valley appellation. Prosser Community Awards Banquet In January the community honors hard working citizens and volunteers. Red Wine & Chocolate Sweet Retreat 2nd Saturday in March the Columbia Valley Winery Association hosts the pairing of sweet wine with food. Spring Barrel Tasting In April various wineries offer tasting. Wine Country Spring Fair In May on Mother's Day weekend crafts in the park. Farmers Market Usually runs every weekend through harvest; the Dash Race for the Kids Early June after school lets out Prosser hosts a bicycle competition: a 62-mile "Metric Century" and youth fun run.
Wine tasting after for the adults. Kestrel Festival Sponsored by Kestrel Wines; this takes place in June each year. Old Fashioned 4 July 4 July Weekend, includes a kiddie parade, car show, bingo, stage shows, food vendors in the park. Art Walk and Wine Gala Wine tasting event in the middle of July. A Night Out Beginning of September. Fundraising benefit of food and fun for the Prosser Memorial Foundation. Prosser State's Day Celebration Another one of the top events of the year. On Labor Day. There is a carnival in the city park, a parade in the morning. Miss Prosser is crowned; the Great Prosser Balloon Rally The last of the top events. On September 23, 24, & 25th 2016, Hot air balloons are scheduled to launch just after dawn from the Prosser airport. Balloons glow from within at Art Fiker Stadium during The Great Prosser Balloon Rally Night Glow show. Annual Harvest Festival Same weekend as the Balloon Rally. Arts and crafts downtown with fun and food. Annual Caren Mercer-Andreason Street Painting Festival Same weekend as the Prosser Balloon Rally and Harvest Festival.
Watch local and regional artists create works of art on the pavement in downtown Prosser. Thanksgiving in Wine Country Sunday after Thanksgiving. Sample all the newly released wines. Family Christmas Festival The annual lighting of the Christmas tree takes place with carolers and holiday music. Prosser is located near the eastern end of the Yakima Valley at 46°12′25″N 119°45′56″W, it is 665 ft above sea level. One river, the Yakima River, runs through it. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.53 square miles, of which, 4.49 square miles is land and 0.04 square miles is water. Prosser experiences a semi-arid climate; the median age is 32 years old. The median house value was $98,500. For population 15 years and over in Prosser city Never married: 18.1% Now married: 64.1% Separated: 1.9% Widowed: 7.5% Divorced: 10.9%For population 20 years and over in Prosser: High school or higher: 68.0% Bachelor's degree or higher: 16.2% Graduate or professional degree: 6.0% Unemployed: 6.6% Mean travel time to work: 18.9 minutes As of the census of 2010, there were 5,714 people, 2,023 households, 1,396 families residing in the city.
The population density was 1,272.6 inhabitants per squar
Grandview is a city in Yakima County, United States. It is about 38 miles west of Kennewick and 38 miles southeast of Yakima; the population was 10,862 at the 2010 census. Grandview’s economy is agriculture based. Grandview received its name in 1906 due to its view of Mount Adams. Grandview was incorporated on September 21, 1909, it began as the halfway point on the rail line between Prosser and Sunnyside. Grandview is located at 46°15′13″N 119°54′36″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.31 square miles, of which, 6.23 square miles is land and 0.08 square miles is water. As of the census of 2010, there were 10,862 people, 2,996 households, 2,459 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,743.5 inhabitants per square mile. There were 3,136 housing units at an average density of 503.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 55.2% White, 0.9% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 38.8% from other races, 4.0% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 79.7% of the population. There were 2,996 households of which 57.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 9.0% had a male householder with no wife present, 17.9% were non-families. 14.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.60 and the average family size was 3.90. The median age in the city was 26.3 years. 37% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 50.0% male and 50.0% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 8,377 people, 2,431 households, 1,956 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,552.3 people per square mile. There were 2,581 housing units at an average density of 478.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 51.12% White, 0.58% African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 43.27% from other races, 3.03% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 68.04% of the population. There were 2,431 households out of which 49.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 19.5% were non-families. 16.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.40 and the average family size was 3.80. In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 36.2% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 16.1% from 45 to 64, 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $32,588, the median income for a family was $36,165. Males had a median income of $29,321 versus $21,959 for females; the per capita income for the city was $12,489.
About 16.0% of families and 20.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.0% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over. Lorena González, Seattle city councilmember Margaret Rayburn and member of the Washington House of Representatives Janet Waldo, voice-over actress Interstate 82 City of Grandview Grandview Heritage
Sunnyside is a city in Yakima County, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 15,858. On September 16, 1902, residents voted 42 to one to incorporate as the town of Sunnyside. By state law a town needed to have 300 citizens in order to incorporate. With 314 residents, Sunnyside was just eligible to vote for incorporation; the first mayor of Sunnyside was the town druggist James Henderson. The settlement was founded by Walter Granger in 1893; the name "Sunnyside" was coined by a merchant named W. H. Cline. Granger was involved in the financing and construction of the Sunnyside Canal which would allow Yakima River water to irrigate the area. However, due to the Panic of 1893, Granger's creditors foreclosed on the canal, the town's population dwindled to seven families. However, by the end of 1901, the population had doubled exceeding 300 people; the townsite contained "1 bank, 11 stores, 3 hotels, 1 newspaper, 2 blacksmith shops, 2 livery barns, 3 churches, a large and growing school."Sunnyside's population increase at this time was stimulated by the immigration of the Dunkards from South Dakota who were moving to the town.
The population of Dunkards was of such notable size that by 1902 it was noted that they had "built a commodious place of worship at Sunnyside", the largest church in Yakima County at the time. The Dunkards, members of the German Baptist Progressive Brethren, relocated to Sunnyside in order to form what they called the Christian Cooperative Colony; the Brethren bought the entire town site and were the developers of its first bank, a telephone system. They enforced clauses prohibiting alcohol and gambling as a condition on every parcel of land sold; because of this, old maps of Washington identify the town with a halo symbol. In the 1930s, refugees from the Dust Bowl moved to Sunnyside. Under the leadership of mayor William Bright "Billy" Cloud, Sunnyside initiated a project to pave its dirt streets on June 5, 1917; this project was necessary since years of irrigation had raised the water table to the point that the streets had become unbearably muddy. The cost of the entire project was $62,629.45.
In 1948, Sunnyside became the first city in the State of Washington to adopt the Council-manager plan of government. This plan provides for an elected city council, responsible for policy making, a professional city manager, appointed by the council, responsible for administration; the city manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of city government, handles personnel functions and is responsible for preparing the city budget. Under the council-manager statutes, the city council is prohibited from interfering with the manager's administration; the city manager. Sunnyside was awarded the distinction of being an All-America City in 1979. First held in 1989, the'Lighted Farm Implement Parade has been called "the NW's premier lighted parade." Taking place in early December, the parade includes "farm implements: combines, boom trucks, swathers, grape pickers, all types of tractors" decorated with colorful lights. The 2006 edition of the event had more than 70 parade entrants; the A&E network once named the event one of the "Top 10" such parades in the United States.
The parade was the first of its kind in the Yakima Valley. The Darigold Dairy Fair manufactures cheese, but was noted for its colorful facade and circus-like decorations, which included a pair of cows swinging on a flying trapeze; the Dairy Fair Store was shut down in 2012. Located downtown, the museum houses and displays artifacts and documents with a focus on daily life in Sunnyside during its early years; the building housing the museum was donated to the city by Robert and Martha McIntosh, who had purchased the business from the family of Walter C. Ball & Sons, the local undertaking business. Both were among the pioneering families that founded Sunnyside; the Sunnyside Memorial Cemetery, founded by the Ball Family, is located north of town. The lone structure at that location was designed by Percy Ball to resemble Chingford Church in Walthamstow, England where Walter C. Ball and his wife Amelia grew up together; this building was used to house the retort for cremations. The family plots of the Ball family are located on the east side of the structure.
Many of the original school buildings in Sunnyside, the town of Outlook just northwest of town, have either burned to the ground or been demolished to make way for bigger and better structures. One of the original structures still in use is the Lincoln School Building which sits at the intersection of Lincoln and Sixth Street. Erected in 1927, it is a two-storey structure with an adjacent gymnasium attached to the east wing of the building. In 1928, female teachers were not allowed to marry. Doing so would void their contract to teach; the land that Lincoln School sits on was donated to the school district by H. Lloyd Miller in 1926, he and his wife donated the land next to it between the school and 9th Ave. to be used for play fields for the students. Lincoln still remains as one of the oldest buildings in the school district, it has been renovated to accommodate the administrative offices for the district. Sunnyside High School was named a School of Distinction in 2015 and 2016. According to ESD105, "The Schools of Distinction Award goes to the top 5 percent of Washington schools that have attained the most outstanding levels of sustained improvement in English language arts and graduation rates among their student
A reporting mark is an alphabetic code of one to four letters used to identify owners or lessees of rolling stock and other equipment used on certain railroad networks. In North America the mark, which consists of an alphabetic code of one to four letters, is stenciled on each piece of equipment, along with a one- to six-digit number; this information is used to uniquely identify every such rail car or locomotive, thus allowing it to be tracked by the railroad they are traveling over, which shares the information with other railroads and customers. The Association of American Railroads assigns marks to all carriers, under authority granted by the U. S. Surface Transportation Board, Transport Canada, Mexican Government. Under current practice, the first letter must match the initial letter of the railroad name; as it acts as a Standard Carrier Alpha Code, the reporting mark cannot conflict with codes in use by other nonrail carriers. Marks ending with the letter "X" are assigned to companies or individuals who own railcars, but are not operating railroads.
In another example, the reporting mark for state-funded Amtrak services in California is CDTX because the state transportation agency owns the equipment used in these services. This may apply to commuter rail, for example Metrolink in Southern California uses the reporting mark SCAX because the equipment is owned by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority—which owns the Metrolink system—even though it is operated by Amtrak; this is why the reporting mark for CSX Transportation, an operating railroad, is CSXT instead of CSX. Private freight car owners in Mexico were issued, up until around 1990, reporting marks ending in two X's to signify that their cars followed different regulations than their American counterparts and so their viability for interchange service was impaired; this resulted in five-letter reporting marks, an option not otherwise allowed by the AAR. Companies owning trailers used in trailer-on-flatcar service are assigned marks ending with the letter "Z", the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, which maintains the list of Standard Carrier Alpha Codes, assigns marks ending in U to owners of intermodal containers.
The standard ISO 6346 covers identifiers for intermodal containers. When the owner of a reporting mark is taken over by another company, the old mark becomes the property of the new company. For example, when the Union Pacific Railroad acquired the Chicago and North Western Railway in the 1990s, it retained the CNW mark rather than repaint all acquired equipment; some companies own several marks that are used to identify different classes of cars, such as boxcars or gondolas. If the acquiring company discontinues the name or mark of the acquired company, the discontinued mark is referred to as a "fallen flag" railway. Long-disused marks are revived by the companies which now own them. For example, in recent years, the Union Pacific Railroad has begun to use the mark CMO on newly built covered hoppers and five-bay coal hoppers. CMO belonged to a predecessor of the CNW, which passed it on to them, from which the UP inherited it. During the breakup of Conrail, the long-retired marks of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central Railroad were temporarily brought back and applied to much of Conrail's fleet to signify which cars and locomotives were to go to CSX and which to Norfolk Southern.
Some of these cars still retain their temporary NYC marks. Because of its size, this list has been split into subpages based on the first letter of the reporting mark. Railinc, a subsidiary of the AAR, maintains the active reporting marks for the North American rail industry. Railinc offers a free online look-up of reporting marks and other industry reference files through the Railinc's Freight Rail 411 website. A railway vehicle must be registered in a national vehicle register using a 12-digit number derived from the old UIC system of vehicle numbering; the number contains the register country in the fourth digit. The keeper of a vehicle is indicated with a company abbreviation of maximum five letters, called Vehicle Keeper Marking which must be registered with OTIF and ERA and is unique throughout Europe and parts of Asia and Northern Africa; the VKM must not contain special digits. The VKM is preceded by a hyphen; some examples: When a vehicle is sold it will not be transferred to another register.
The Czech railways bought large numbers of coaches from ÖBB. The number remained the same but the VKM changed from A-ÖBB to A-ČD; the UIC introduced a uniform numbering system for their members based on a 12-digit number known as UIC number. The third and fourth digit of the number indicated the owner, or more the keeper of the vehicle, thus each UIC member got a two-digit owner code. With the introduction of national vehicle registers this code became a country code; some vehicles had to be renumbered as a consequence. The Swiss company BLS Lötschbergbahn had the owner code 63; when their vehicles were registered, they got numbers with the country code 85 for Switzerland and the VKM BLS. Example for an "Einheitswagen" delivered in 1957: delivered as BLS B 831 renumbered with UIC number 50 63 20-33 801-5 rebuilt 1991 and renumberd 50
Granger is a city in Yakima County, United States. The population was 3,246 at the 2010 census. Although it was classified as a town in 2000, it has since been reclassified as a city. Granger was founded in 1902 and named after Walter Granger, superintendent of the Washington Irrigation Company who laid out the cities of Zillah and Sunnyside. Granger was incorporated on September 28, 1909. In the 1910s and 20's, the town had several large industries including a tile and brick company and a cider mill; the Granger Farm Workers Camp, which opened in May, 1941 two miles north of the city, became known as the Crewport, Washington Farm Labor Camp. It was built by the Farm Security Administration to house Dust Bowl refugees White, Mexican Americans, who were brought in to work in the Yakima Valley as a result of World War II labor shortages; the camp closed in the late 1960s. The Latin radio station "Radio Cadena" or "Radio KDNA" building is in the town of Granger, was first built in 1979, it was an activist radio station that educated farm workers, advocated farm workers' organizations, provided Spanish language programs to non-English speaking families.
In 2008, a new station building was built. Granger is located at 46°20′40″N 120°11′29″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.80 square miles, of which, 1.79 square miles is land and 0.01 square miles is water. As of the census of 2010, there were 3,246 people, 774 households, 675 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,813.4 inhabitants per square mile. There were 813 housing units at an average density of 454.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 48.6% White, 0.4% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 46.9% from other races, 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 88.2% of the population. There were 774 households of which 66.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 9.4% had a male householder with no wife present, 12.8% were non-families. 10.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 4.14 and the average family size was 4.41. The median age in the city was 22.2 years. 43% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 50.5% male and 49.5% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,530 people, 570 households, 501 families residing in the town; the population density was 2,019.7 people per square mile. There were 609 housing units at an average density of 486.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 20.20% White, 0.79% Native American, 76.36% from other races, 2.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 85.53% of the population. There were 570 households out of which 60.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 12.1% were non-families. 9.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.44 and the average family size was 4.69.
In the town the age distribution of the population shows 43.0% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 12.2% from 45 to 64, 5.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.8 males. The median income for a household in the town was $26,250, the median income for a family was $28,026. Males had a median income of $21,458 versus $20,000 for females; the per capita income for the town was $8,111. About 28.5% of families and 34.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.3% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over. There are 32 life-size dinosaur models on display around the town of Granger, they are made from a skeleton of steel rods and chicken wire, packed with a cement mix. The idea of using a dinosaur exhibit to attract tourists was first mooted in 1993 and the first dinosaur was produced in 1994. Fred Oldfield, a cowboy and noted artist, is from Alfalfa, a subdivision of Granger
The Yakima River is a tributary of the Columbia River in south central and eastern Washington state, named for the indigenous Yakama people. The length of the river from headwaters to mouth is 214 miles, with an average drop of 9.85 feet per mile. It is the longest river in Washington state; the river rises in the Cascade Range at an elevation of 2,449 feet at Keechelus Dam on Keechelus Lake near Snoqualmie Pass, near Easton. The river flows through that town, skirts Ellensburg, passes the city of Yakima, continues southeast to Richland, where it flows into the Columbia River creating the Yakima River Delta at an elevation of 340 feet. About 9 million years ago, the Yakima River flowed south from near Vantage to the Tri-Cities, turned west straight for the ocean through Badger Canyon west of Kennewick. Badger Canyon was once a waterway of the Yakima River, this pre-existing channel led the Yakima River to make tribute to the Columbia River at the current location of the city of Kennewick. Beginning nearly 15,000 years ago the Columbia Plateau was transformed by the successive Missoula glacial outburst floods.
Much of the flood water made way down the Columbia river Channel where a'choke-point' known as Wallula Gap caused the restriction of flow. Floodwaters began ponding near the Tri-Cities resulting in the back-flooding of the Columbia's tributary valleys. Badger Canyon was an entry point for back-flooding of the Yakima Valley, successive floods left behind thick deposits of sediments in Badger Canyon and the Valley beyond; these flood deposits which were deposited in large quantities in short amounts of time changed the ground elevation within badger canyon causing the Yakima River to re-route north of Red Mountain and enter the Columbia River by present-day Richland. During the last ice age, the Missoula Floods further altered the landscape of the area, opening up the Horn Rapids area to the Yakima River; the West Fork of Amon Creek now utilizes Badger Canyon. The first western explorers to visit the river were Lewis and Clark on or about October 17, 1805, they stopped at the confluence of the Yakima and the Columbia, although they did not proceed upriver.
The river was known to local Native Americans as "Tap Teel", although the area has been inhabited since prehistory. The Yakima River is used for rafting and fishing around the Ellensburg area and near the confluence with the Columbia River during the summer months; the Yakima River is ranked between Class I and Class II rapids, depending on the circumstances and season. In the Tri-Cities, the delta where the Yakima meets the Columbia has several hiking trails; the dry climate, with over 300 sunshine days a year, draws visitors from Seattle, about two hours' drive away. The Yakima River Basin consists of 6,150 square miles located in south central Washington state, it is bounded by the Cascade Mountains on the west, the Wenatchee Mountains on the north, Rattlesnake Mountain and the Rattlesnake Hills on the east, the Horse Heaven Hills to the south. The basin encompasses areas designated by the Washington Department of Ecology as the Upper Yakima Water Resource Inventory Areas 38 and 39 and the Lower Yakima WRIA 37.
The dividing line between these northern and southern sections is the confluence of the Naches and Yakima Rivers. The Yakima River provides irrigation for the dry but fertile land in the valley, irrigated agriculture is the economic base. Agricultural land totals 1,000 square miles, including irrigated pastures, grapes and field crops. A significant portion of Washington apples and cherries are grown in the valley, as well as most of the United States's hops. Since the late 20th century, the wine industry has grown in the area, it is the location of a designated American Viticultural Area. Major landowners in the valley include the Yakama Indian Nation. Private ownership accounts for 1,246,818 acres; the United States Forest Service manages 892,509 acres, the Yakama Nation owns 889,786 acres within the basin. Forested areas in the northern and western portions of the basin occupy 2,200 square miles and are used for recreation, wildlife habitat, timber harvest and tribal cultural activities. Range lands comprise about 2,900 square miles and are used for military training, wildlife habitat, tribal cultural activities.
Major population centers include the city of the Tri-Cities area. Population growth for the 1990s was projected at 7.9% in Kittitas County, 19.7% in Yakima County, 22.7% in Benton County. While much of the growth in Benton and Yakima counties has been in and around the incorporated areas, most of the growth in Kittitas County has been in unincorporated areas. In addition to irrigated agriculture, the major economic driving forces include timber harvest and processing and outdoor recreation. With the significant reduction in timber harvesting on federal lands and the implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan to protect the endangered northern spotted owl, the timber economy has been eroded in recent years; the proximity to high population areas of the Puget Sound has caused a rapid increase in the demand for outdoor recreational experiences in the basin. The Yakima River and its tributaries have been altered for the purpose of irrigated agriculture. There are numerous dams and irrigation canals.
Irrigation runoff is in places returned to the river through canal drains. The irrigation system in the Yakima's watershed causes periods of both severe river dewatering and elevated flows, relative to the historic streamflow regime; as a r