Yakima, Washington, is home to an exceptional and surprising treasure – the Yakima Area Arboretum. I first learned of this beautiful and educational arboretum in 1976 from a co-worker, with my first visit coming in early 1977. Having only experienced arboretums in Seattle, Oregon and western Canada before this, I admit that I was a little underwhelmed at the small stature of many of the trees. Young trees, to be sure. But over the years as Bill and I have visited the arboretum (and become members), we are continually surprised and impressed with its growth, both in stature and in variety.
Home to a fantastic collection of oaks, nut-bearing trees, and stunning maples, you will find that almost all specimens are labeled, and planted with enough space to fully stretch out their canopy. The arboretum fills 46 acres with maintained lawns, perennial beds of both native and introduced plants, a Japanese-style garden, rose garden, large pond, as well as offering spaces of deep shade and full sun. The Yakima River trail (Yakima Greenway) will take you to the arboretum if you want a long, scenic walk but also offers a good-sized parking lot for those arriving by vehicle. Bill and I took the Greenway trail from our hotel to the arboretum and spent a memorable 3+ hours on a warm Sunday morning visiting as much of the grounds as time allowed. A truly memorable way to start a day.
Below are a few pictures of this quiet, lovely place. I hope you will be inspired to visit this large, welcoming arboretum.
Wishing you sunny days, deep shade, and time enough to enjoy it all.