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Cle Elum Media Room: History of Cle Elum

The name Cle Elum, which means "swift water" in the language of the Kittitas Indians, was given to a river, a town, and also a beautiful tranquil lake created by the construction of the Cle Elum Dam.

Cle Elum was officially incorporated on February 12, 1902.

The town was the birthplace of astronaut Dick Scobee, the commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger on the day of its explosion. Headed by John Bresko, Cle Elum was the first to have 'organized' skiing west of Denver, Colorado.

Starting in 1921, 100-400 people would be on the ski hill every weekend through the winter. 1931 saw the largest crowd est. at 8,000 spectators for the ski jumping events. The depression ended the skiing and jumping events in 1934.












Nature Tours, Hunting, Riding, Special Events & MORE. cle,elum,nature,tours,hunting,horseback,riding,snowmobiling,snowshoeing

For a full list of trails, maps and guides, visit the Cle Elum Visitor's Center on 1st Street.
Share your hiking adventures with us online!
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