County Transportation Metrics is a project of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) and will provide a roadmap for setting transportation priorities.

Kittitas County

Kittitas County is located in central Washington. One of the largest counties in the state in terms of land mass, it spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and the Columbia River Its county seat is Ellensburg, which is also the largest city. Kittitas County was formed when it separated from Yakima County in 1883.

The Kittitas Valley was a stopping place for cowboys driving their herds north toward mining camps in Canada and northwest toward the Seattle/Tacoma market. By the late 1860s cattle ranchers established land claims and cattle became the area's foremost industry. Completion of a wagon road over Snoqualmie Pass in 1867, the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1887, the discovery of gold in Swauk Creek (1873) and coal near Cle Elum  (1883) and the 1932 completion of the Kittitas irrigation project are important turning points in the county's history.

Today the main industries are agriculture, manufacturing (food processing), and government (including employment at Central Washington University, Kittitas Valley Community College, Kittitas County and the Ellensburg School District).  Cowboy and cattle ranching culture and history continue to be celebrated at the yearly Ellensburg Rodeo.

Population (OFM Databook, 2011) 

Population (2011) 41,300
Population Change (2000 to 2010)      1.7%
Land Area (Sq. Mi.)
Density (Population/Sq. Mi.) 17.98


Cle Elum                                                        1,875
Ellensburg 18,250
Kittitas 1,430
Roslyn 895
South Cle Elum 535

Major Highways

  • Interstate 82
  • Interstate 90
  • US Route 97

County Roads (CRAB and OFM, 2011)

Total Center Lane Miles
Maintenance Expenditures
$ 3,775,476
Preservation Expenditures
$ 7,770,690
Improvement Expenditures

County Revenues  & Expenditures (OFM Databook, 2011)

Total Revenues
$ 48,989,723
Total Expenditures
$ 38,312,147
Transportation Expenditures
$ 6,652,216


Performance Measures

Links & Sources

Washington State Association of Counties
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