Yakima County Spotlight

Yakima County

Located in south-central Washington north of the Columbia River Gorge, Yakima County is a fertile and agriculturally well-rounded county characterized by a diverse landscape and excellent wine production. Bordered by the Cascade Mountains in the west and rolling hills in the east, Yakima County features very fertile farmland filled with mineral deposits from previous volcanic eruptions. Once the county was irrigated in the late 1800s, crops such as cherries, pears, apples, and other tree fruits along with wine and hops flourished, supplemented by the growth of tree, livestock, and dairy farms. Yakima County, sometimes called the state’s fruits basket, has historically relied on agriculture for its economy and still remains an agriculture-based county.

Like Walla Walla County, wine tourism has brought some economic diversification to the region. Renowned for its exceptional wine grapes, Yakima County has received international attention for its burgeoning wine business and continues to support a growing tourism industry as wineries grow.


County Seat: Yakima

Incorporation Date: January 21, 1865

Form of Government: General Law

Area: 4,296 sq mi (11,127 km2)

Population: 255,950 (2019)

Etymology: The Yakama tribe, meaning “runaway [waters]” or “big belly”