The Community and Region

CWU’s exceptionally beautiful and well-maintained residential campus occupies 367 acres in Ellensburg, the largest city and county seat of historic Kittitas County, one of the ten fastest growing counties in the country. The city is situated in the geographic center of the state and on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Central Washington is a world-class destination for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, whitewater rafting, boating, skiing and snowboarding.

As one of Washington’s founding communities, Ellensburg’s downtown is composed of beautiful brick buildings largely constructed between 1889 and 1917, and located just three blocks from the CWU campus. Weekends bring delicious local food, fresh produce, regional crafts, and eclectic entertainment downtown at the Kittitas County Farmer’s Market. Ellensburg is home to many top arts and cultural events in Washington, including Jazz in the Valley, Dachshunds on the Parade, Buskers in the ‘Burg, The Ellensburg Rodeo, and Winterhop Brewfest.


Ellensburg is located approximately 100 miles east of the Seattle metropolitan area. Top employers either headquartered or with a large presence in the region include Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Starbucks, Boeing, Costco, Nordstrom, and Qwest Communications.
Also located two hours from Ellensburg are the “Tri-Cities” of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, set at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of the United States Department of Energy’s major national laboratories, is a major economic engine for the area. Central Washington is a premium wine leader in the US, with  more than 100 wineries. Among the world's top hops producers, the area also is home to regionally well-known micro-breweries.

For more information about CWU and the community in Ellensburg, please visit