With 21 species of raptors, countless songbirds, and desert terrain that lends itself to open sighting areas, the Yakima River Canyon is one of the best bird viewing areas in Washington.
Bullock's Oriole

Bullock's Oriole: Adult males are bright orange with a black back and large white wing patch. The face is orange with a black line throught the eye and a black throat. these beautiful birds show up each spring and seem to enjoy checking in on Chef Kevin's garden.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch: Washington's State bird. The meaning of the goldfinch signifies abundance and prosperity. It symbolizes the improtance of positivity and optimism, and the value of happiness, joy, and simplicity in your life.


Warbler: Although tiny, their brightly colored feathers make them stand out as they flit from branch to branch, hunting insects. There are over 50 species of warblers in the United States, but most don't visit backyards, because they aren't feeder birds.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: This regal bird has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782. Look for them soaring in solitude or chasing other birds to steal their food. Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under Federal protection.

Canyon River Ranch is located in the center of the Wild and Scenic Yakima River Canyon. Surrounded by miles of sagebrush flats and basalt rimmed canyons, a variety of wildlife reside in the surrounding area. Here are some of the visitors we see at Canyon River Ranch:
California Big Horn Sheep

California Big Horn Sheep: Both rams and ewes grow horns that are not shed but continue to grow throughout the animal's life. It may take a ram 7 to 8 years to develop a full curl. A dark band, called an annulus, forms each year on the horns during mating season, making it possible to closely estimate age. The cliff wall across from Canyon River Ranch is a popular lambing area, and we've seen up to 7 lambs born around Easter!

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: They are appropriately named for their ears, which are large like those of the mule. Mule deer are lighter brown in the summer months, and grey in the fall and winter as they develop their winter coats. We have seen a number of spotted white "palomino" mule deer in the canyon.


Bobcat: The bobcat is a medium sized cat with a ruff of fur around the sides of the face. They weigh from 13 to 30 pounds and stand up to 2 feet high. Their stubbed tail appears to have been painted black on top and white on the bottom. They get more active towards evening and blend in very well against the dark basalt wall.

Chukar's Partridge

Chukar Partridge: Native to the Middle East and Southern Asia, the chukar was brought as a game bird to North America, where it has thrived in some arid regions of the West. Chukars travel in coveys and can often be located by the "chuk chuk chuk chuk..." sound of their call from high atop the desert canyons. Successful chukar hunters put in a lot of hiking miles in steep country! As the saying goes, "Your first chukar hunt is for the hunt, after that you go for revenge!"

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Canyon River Ranch

Resort Location

14700 Hwy. 821 Near Mi. Marker 15
Ellensburg, WA 98926

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(509) 933-2100 Lodge Desk
(509) 933-2300 Red's Fly Shop
(509) 933-2309 Canyon River Grill

Mailing: PO Box 159
Ellensburg, WA 98926 

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