Ellensburg offers many winter activities


Shawna Hettick, Staff Photographer

Despite what many students say, Ellensburg is not a boring place to live, especially in the winter.  Instead of sitting at home, you could be hiking up my personal favorite trail, the snow-covered Manastash ridge, with your friends.  If the outdoors aren’t your thing, check out on-campus activities or see how you can make a difference in the community.

Personally, I love getting away from homework and spending some time outside in Ellensburg.

There are outdoor activities that only cost the price of fuel.  Have you tried hiking some of the ridges just outside of town before?  Even in the snow, there are still many walkable trails. The views, especially at the top of Manastash Ridge, are breathtaking and worth every minute of the hike.

Ellensburg is filled with small side roads just minutes out of town.  If you have an hour or two, take a drive around. Pick a road and just keep driving.  You never know where it might take you. But be safe if you do! Plan ahead, check the weather and pack for the unexpected.

If staying in town is more your thing, then try some of the museums.  Both the Clymer Museum of Art and the Kittitas County Historical Museum are located in Downtown Ellensburg and have many different exhibits.  Some of the exhibits contain history of the Ellensburg Rodeo, while others have collections that cover the history of the valley. The Historical Museum even has free admission!

If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay on campus, yet do something different, there are lots of options.  If you enjoy sports, you could go to home games and cheer on your fellow Wildcats. Plus, if you’re one of the first ones to the games, you usually can snag some free swag too.  Home basketball games are my favorites to go to in the winter. The teams play their hearts out and I love cheering them on to the win.

The winter time is a great opportunity to get active yourself as well.  With it sometimes being too cold to spend a long time outside, the rec center is a great alternative to outdoor activities.  There, you are able to run, bike, lift, and play one on one games with friends. After a long day at school and work, finishing off the day with a workout makes me feel very productive.  

Instead of rushing back home after your workout, stop by the sauna. There are two dry saunas at the rec center, one in each locker room to enjoy.  

Did you know that every Monday night is Monday Movie Madness at the SURC Theater?  Each week CWU will show a different movie, free of charge for students! Even if you aren’t a student, it only costs $3 to enter.  The theater has a great sound system and it really feels like you are at the theater.

There are over 80 clubs on campus, not including the sports clubs.  If you have some extra time, and want a resume booster, join a club!  Whether you’re interested in fashion, dentistry, or business, there is likely a club here at CWU that you would enjoy.  The marketing club is a great option for students majoring in marketing! They send students down to New Orleans for an amazing marketing conference most every year.

One of the things that many students don’t think about, but which can be extremely rewarding and helpful to the community, is volunteering.  Volunteering can be done at the food bank, animal shelter, the hospital and many other places. All you have to do is call ahead of time and ask if they have any open positions.  Most places will welcome the help.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down. If you’re finding yourself bored or just need to mix it up a little, spend some time outside of school and homework to see what there is to do around town.  You might be surprised at all the hidden treasures Ellensburg has to offer.