The small town of Cle Elum sits just off of busy Interstate 90 on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Cle Elum has a rich mining history and surprises people with how much there is to do both in it and around it. Most road trippers drive right by this dot on the map and that is a huge mistake to make.
One of the things I’ve always loved about Cle Elum is its history. There is a very cool railroad related attraction, the nationally recognized South Cle Elum Rail Yard National Historic District, located there that is a very fun way to spend an hour or two. You can also check out some of the historical buildings in town, many dating back a century or more, that still house the locally owned businesses. Nearby Roslyn is home to a historic cemetery that is famous as a tourist attraction (hard to believe, I know). Roslyn also offers up their unique movie theatre, complete with huge Marlon Brando mural on the back. Other local historical attractions in the area include the Thorp Mill, Telephone Museum, Roslyn Museum, Carpenter House Museum & Art Gallery, Kittitas County Genealogical Society, and the Kittitas County Historical Museum. I can be a bit of a sucker for a historical attraction and the Cle Elum – Roslyn area is really good at taking advantage of that.
One place that I like to stay when popping in overnight in Cle Elum is the Chalet Motel. The main reason for this is not the luxury accommodations or five star restaurant on the premesis. No, the Chalet Motel doesn’t offer any of that. What they do offer though is a nostalgic looking building that calls back to the days of the motor lodge. The rooms are very clean and modern and staying there is a very warm and welcoming experience. Plus, you’re right downtown which means going for a walk through the heart of Cle Elum is easy and convenient.
There are a lot of reasons to stop and spend some time in Cle Elum during a road trip. But when it is time to stay the night there, the place to go is the Chalet Motel.