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The Historic Yellowstone Trail
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The Yellowstone Trail from Ellensburg to Richland
Summer of 2012

Leaving Ellensburg going south on Main St. The old road crossed the tracks in a southerly direction to meet up with S. Main St again on the south side of the tracks. Today the road veers to the left onto Canyon Rd.

Turn right onto Umptanum Rd and cross the interstate and river. This part of the road is about where the original one was. After crossing the freeway and river, Umptanum Rd heads south. This is on the original alignment all the way to Wenas. The route continues south and up the hill. When you reach the hill the pavement ends and then it is about 30 miles of dirt road until you get to Wenas.

Umptanum Rd turns into N. Wenas Rd and continues on into Wenas. You drive through Wenas and continue on N. Wenas Rd all the way to Selah. I am sure this is on the original alignment.

In Selah you continue south on N. Wenas Rd / SR823 and then take a left onto E. Naches Ave. then right onto S.1st St. / SR823 and continue south. Just before the road turns into 4 lanes and crosses the Yakima river the original route curved a little more to the left to connect with Golf Course Rd. Here is a little stretch of original concrete pavement. Golf Course Rd used to be the old Hwy and it crossed the river to meet up with what is today US97.

The map of 1901 shows the road from Selah into Yakima followed the route of the trolley. The trolley over the Naches river was built in 1912. So I believe the road had to be realigned along Golf Course Rd.

The route then continued south on S. 1st St into Yakima as it turns into Main St. as you come into Union Gap. Just before Union Gap the original road veered right onto Old Town Rd the left onto W. Valley mall Rd and then right onto Rudkin Rd and continued south as it turns into Main St.

As you leave Union Gap the route continued south and the old road took what is now the US12 on ramp and just before you get to US12 the old road curved a little more to the right onto an abandoned alignment. This old part follows the NP RR tracks to about where US97 curves to the right and it crosses the NP and then the UP tracks and meets up with US97 at the point where the Highway road marker is.

Heading southbound on US97 you take a left and cross the Yakima River at Parker on the Parker Bridge Road. The original alignment you could turn left but today you have to go one block south turn onto 2nd St. go north and turn right onto Parker Rd. east to Yakima Valley Hwy.

The road then continues south on Yakima Valley Hwy for about a mile to Parker Heights Rd. This was the old alignment. The road met back up with Yakima Valley Hwy and veered to the left and onto Buena Rd into Buena.

Back on Yakima Valley Hwy to Zillah. The road turned right onto Roza Dr / 5th Ave into Zillah and then left onto 1st Ave. At this intersection is where you can see the Yellowstone Trail sign. If you turn right onto 1st Ave and go about a mile you will find the Tea Pot Gas Station.

Leaving Zillah you go east on 1st Ave across the Yakima Valley Hwy and onto Division Rd. Continue on Division Rd and curve right and then left and then the first right onto Durham Rd. Stay on Durham Rd as it heads southeast along the freeway and meets back up with the Yakima Valley Hwy.

Stay on the Yakima Valley Hwy all the way into Granger. the old road used to continue south into Granger but now veers left because of the Interstate.

Leaving Granger the old route headed east on Van Belle Rd. and then turns right onto Scoon Rd and south into Sunnyside. The route turns right onto North Ave then left onto N 16th St and heads south out of town.

N 16th St turns into the Sunnyside-Mabton Rd / SR241 and after a couple of miles turned left onto Grandview Pavement Rd. After crossing the tracks into Grandview the road turned left onto Division St then right onto 4th St. After going through town on 4th St the road turned right onto the N. Elm St / Old Prosser Rd. and heads south.

In about 2 miles the road turned left onto Robinson Rd then right onto S. County Line Rd. and meets back up to the Old Prosser Hwy then left and head for Prosser.

The Old Prosser Hwy becomes the Old Inland Empire Hwy otherwise known as the O.I.E. The road then turned right onto Wine Country Rd crossed the river into Prosser. The road turns left onto Grant Ave through Prosser and turn meets back up to the O.I.E.

After Prosser it is the O.I.E for about 5 miles and then the old road turned left across the tracks then right onto District Line Rd. The old road then follows the track on the north side. In about a mile the old road turned left onto W. Rayhill Rd. then curves right and crosses the O.I.E then curved left and then meets back up with the O.I.E.

In about a mile and because of the terrain the old road turned left onto E. Corral Creek Rd. through the gulch and then curves right and then onto Whitmore Way. The road then winds it's way down the hill than onto W Williams Rd. Then right onto Highlands Rd and south to the O.I.E

The road then heads east into Benton City and right onto W. 13th St. then left onto Della Ave. and into town. once in town it is right onto SR225 and south across the river into Kiona. After you cross the river you turn left onto SR225 / Kennedy Rd and head east.

About a mile and a half east on Kennedy Rd, the old road veered to the left and went in a northeasterly direction to meet up with SR224 and into West Richland. This part is a dirt road and shows up on the Google satellite.

The road then continues down SR224 and then onto Fallon Rd as it curves right and left onto SR224 and into Richland.

Through Richland it gets confusing so I am not completely sure of the exact route. I do know it meets up with George Washington Way / SR240 and heads toward Kennewick.

 


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