Welcome to the Yakima Valley

The pure pleasure of living and working in the Yakima Valley has been one of the Pacific Northwest’s best-kept secrets. But it’s a secret no more!

  • Nearly 300 days of sunshine each year entice visitors and residents alike.
  • Year-round recreational opportunities make our Valley hard to resist.
  • The Valley’s agricultural bounty provides rich lifestyle opportunities

The region’s steady economy, affordable housing, superior medical facilities, and excellent educational opportunities make our Valley special.

But it’s the people who are our greatest resource – friendly caring people who reflect the Yakima Valley’s rich, multi-cultural heritage.

The Yakima Valley enjoys a rich history. Native Americans were the Valley’s original inhabitants. During the 1800s ranchers, miners and other opportunists can to and through the area. By the early 1900s the Yakima Valley was fast becoming a farm community. Our region has continued to blossom and today the Yakima Valley is a vibrant urban center located amidst beautiful rural landscapes

Yakima County lies within the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountain Range, making the total amount of precipitation within the region relatively low. The climate includes, dry hot summers, and winters that are cool with light snowfall. The maritime influence is strongest in the winter when the prevailing westerlies are stronger and steadier. The modifying influence of the Pacific Ocean is less evident in summer.

Elevation: 1,068 feet above sea level
Sunshine: 270+ days
Rain: 7-10 inches (includes snowfall)
Snow: 14-25 inches
Temperature Range: Highs 37Fº to 90Fº / Lows 20Fº to 58Fº

The Yakima Valley enjoys many unique cultures. From French Canadian to Dutch Reformed to East Indian, we are a proud home to people and communities from around the world. Diversity runs deep in our Valley due, in part, to the history of the Yakama Nation, officially known as the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. The Yakama Nation treaty was signed in 1855 and combined 14 Southeastern Washington tribes and bands into one. It is believed these people have lived in the region for thousands of years. The Nation today owns 1.3 million acres of Yakima County and operates many business ventures including the Yakama Nation Cultural Center.

Our Latino community currently makes up 45+ percent of our Valley’s population. Many of these families have lived in the Yakima Valley for generations working in the agricultural sector and own a number of the region’s orchards, ranches, and businesses. We are fortunate to enjoy exceptional authentic Mexican cuisine throughout the valley and experience numerous cultural events such as Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos.

The Yakima Valley enjoys a relatively diverse and stable economy. The region has the largest and most varied farm base in Washington State. A long growing season, excellent soils, and extensive irrigation systems allows farmers to grow 39 different commodities. The area is also Washington State’s leader in beef and dairy production. Yakima County produces over $1.2 billion of agricultural products annually which makes it the 12th largest farming area in the nation.

The region’s agricultural base is complimented by significant economic activity taking place in warehousing,manufacturing, health care and services. Most warehousing activity is tied to storage and shipment of agricultural commodities. Yakima’s farm products are shipped around the world so the region has a multitude of storage, packing and shipping facilities. These warehouse activities are complemented by regional distribution companies that operate within the area because of its central location within the Pacific Northwest economy. Ace Hardware and Walmart operate significant distribution centers in the Yakima Valley. These facilities are complemented by locally owns logistics companies like Horizon Distribution and RE Powell. 

Yakima County’s manufacturing activity is concentrated in food processing.  Local companies manufacture fruit juice, industrial food ingredients, cheese, tortilla shells, and canned vegetables.   

These value added food processors are complemented by a significant concentration of metal fabricators, aerospace companies, plastics firms, and machinery manufacturers. Food processing represents about 40 percent of the manufacturing sector and gross sales in 2013 exceeded $1.1 billion.  Yakima’s more than 250 manufacturing firms employ nearly 10,000 workers.

Professional business, education and health care services combine for 18 percent of the Valley’s economy.  Health care is a significant driver of local employment – the sector has added jobs almost continuously over the last decade.  As the center of a seven county region for health care, Yakima County has five local hospitals, numerous specialty clinics, and a growing array of medical services.  As the commercial center of Central Washington, Yakima also enjoys a concentration of accounting, legal, financial, and insurance firms.