Washington Filmworks uses our Location of the Month newsletters to showcase the diversity of unique looks and resources for production in a number of jurisdictions around Washington State. Find previous installments archived on our website and on the WF Blog.

Yakama Scenic Byway – September 2016

Washington Filmworks wants to continue to share the best that our state has to offer. This month, we are highlighting one of the 29 stunning Washington State Scenic Byways.

The National Scenic Byways Program maintains a system of nationally designated routes. Washington State contains two All American Roads and five National Scenic Byways, which are known collectively as America’s Byways. In addition, the Washington State Legislature has set aside 22 State Scenic Byways to preserve and enhance the unique scenic, historic or recreational qualities found along these routes.

Each byway travels a different route throughout the state, taking drivers all along and into our diverse landscapes and natural wonder. Filmworks is in the driver’s seat – so sit back, hold on, and enjoy the ride!

 How Long is the Byway?

Maryhill Museum. Photo Credit: Maryhill Museum of Art

The 76 mile byway was named for the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. The 90 minute drive (not including stops or scenic detours) runs from just south of downtown Yakima on US-97 to join SR-14 at the Columbia River.

Cities or Towns Along the Way

DowntownToppenish Murals. Photo Credit: Yakima Valley Tourism

Yakima – Centrally located between Seattle and Portland, this is the perfect stop for wine and beer tasting, farmers markets, seasonal festivals and various eateries.

Union Gap – Geographically, it is the perfect springboard to cities in both Eastern and Western Washington, as well as the rich, fertile Lower Yakima Valley. Its central location in the state has favored it with a climate tailored to a variety of outdoor activities. It also serves as the gateway to the Ahtanum Forest, where you can find some of the most incredible snowmobiling in all of Washington.

Toppenish – Known as “Where the West Still Lives” – this small city’s pride and joy are over 70 painted outdoor, historical murals. The mural project depicts the many men and women who have made lasting contributions to the city.

Goldendale – A rural community that consists of sprawling farms and wheat fields, vineyards, timberland and a great view of Mount Adams. This town is also rich in cultural heritage and natural wonder, attracting those who are interested in outdoor adventure, art, wine, culture and wide-open spaces!

Featured Stops and Sights

Central Washington Agricultural Museum. Photo Credit: Yakima Valley Tourism

Central Washington Agricultural Museum – The museum is located within Fullbright Park – in Union Gap at the base of Ahtanum Ridge. The museum tells the story through 29 covered buildings and more than 15 acres of displays and exhibits. Its park like surroundings are home to multitudes of horse-drawn equipment, early mechanical farm machinery, antique tractors, farm tools, farm equipment and homestead exhibits.

Yakama Nation Museum – The museum opened in 1980 and is one of the oldest Native American Museums in the United States. The 12,000 square foot exhibition hall is the result of years of hope, thought, and effort on the part of the Yakama people.

Downtown Toppenish Murals – Splashed across buildings throughout town, the larger-than-life murals lead visitors through a vibrant visual history of Toppenish. Take in the sights by horse-drawn covered wagon or stroll on foot to view scenes of culture, wild west and early American ingenuity.

The American Hop Museum – The museum, located in the heart of the nation’s largest hop producing area, features striking exhibitions, intriguing displays, and a unique gift shop highlighting an array of items devoted to the history and future of hop cultivation. Since most of the hops grown in the U.S. are here in the Yakima Valley, it is a great opportunity to visit.

Fort Simcoe Historical State Park – The park is a 200-acre, day-use heritage park in south central Washington on the Yakama Indian Nation Reservation. The park is primarily an interpretive effort, telling the story of mid-19th century army life and providing insights into the life ways of local Native American culture. Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in an old oak grove watered by natural springs, Fort Simcoe was an 1850s-era military installation established to keep peace between the settlers and the Indians.

Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge – Spread across the Yakima Valley, this refuge offers a broad collection of habitats, and thus species. Natural and managed wetlands, mixed with shrub-steppe and streams, provide homes for just about every species found in the Columbia Basin. The wildlife, in turn, attracts visitors, mainly hunters and bird watchers.

Goldendale Observatory State Park – A 5-acre unique State Park dedicated to year-round telescope viewing and scientific education.

Maryhill Museum of Art – Enjoy stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding vistas during a refreshment break or lunch at Loïe’s: The Museum Café. The museum also has a museum store that offers gifts, books, cards and items to commemorate your trip.

Stonehenge Memorial – Erected as the nation’s first WWI memorial and dedicated in 1918 to the servicemen of Klickitat County who died in the service of their country during the Great War, Hill’s Stonehenge Memorial is a monument to heroism and peace.

Maryhill Winery – Maryhill produces more than 50 award-winning varietals and blends. The winery welcomes more than 80,000 visitors per year, for wine tasting and also to attend outdoor concerts at their amphitheater.

Tours and Transit

A&A Motorcoach Inc.

Budget Car and Truck Rental

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Projects Filmed Along the Byway

Fort Simcoe. Photo Credit: Yakima Valley Tourism

Closest Major Cities

Maryhill Winery Tasting Room. Photo Credit: Dean Davis Photography

Maryhill Winery Tasting Room. Photo Credit: Dean Davis Photography

Yakama Scenic Byway is approximately 142 miles from Seattle.

Yakama Scenic Byway is approximately 80 miles from Tri-Cities.

Film Liaisons For This Byway

Heather Decker, Travel Media & Trade Relations Manager, Yakima Valley Tourism, (509) 575-3010, heather@YakimaValleyTourism.comVisit Yakima

Dana Peck, Executive Director, Goldendale Chamber of Commerce, (509) 773-3400,  execdir@goldendalechamber.org, Experience Goldendale

Accommodations Along the Way

Photo Credit: Troy Carpenter


1411 Fourth Ave., Suite 420
Seattle,WA 98101
(206) 264-0667
Washington Filmworks is the non-profit 501(c)(6) organization that manages the state film and production incentive programs. Its mission is to create economic development opportunities by building and enhancing the competitiveness, profile, and sustainability of Washington’s film industry. We do this by creating possibilities for local and national filmmakers, offering comprehensive production support, as well as financial incentives.