The Road to Sasquatch: Where to Shop, Eat, and Take in the View

posted by Kelsey Stoulil on May 17, 2013

Photo: The Road to Sasquatch! 2012 by Laura Baker-Finch

George, Washington -- The long and winding road to Sasquatch! in George, Washington (yes, that's a real place) doesn't pass through any major metropolis, or even a series of strip malls. Many rural festivals have their city counterparts, Coachella and Palm Springs, Firefly and Dover, but even Bonnaroo's Manchester have Sasquatch and George (or Quincy, the other local town) beat. This festival is literally in the middle of nowhere.

While this may seem like a pitfall, (who would want to drive three hours out of Seattle into the middle of rural Washington state?) the seclusion around the Gorge Amphitheatre is what makes Sasquatch so special and unique.

The Sasquatch pilgrimage is an almost sacred experience for those of us here in the Northwest. I was 18 the first time I made the trip, which was considered late amongst my friends who had been going for three years prior. As we left the bustle of Seattle behind, I kept questioning my friend's excitement; the drive was supposed to be boring right? I just wanted to get it over with so that the festival could start. Being the newbie, I wasn't aware that it already had.

As any seasoned vet will tell you, the 160 miles to the Gorge is prep time, where you lay the groundwork for the entire festival. You listen to the bands you are most excited to see, make sure you have all your necessary camping supplies, and finally, you stop and eat your last full meal before living off of festival food all weekend. All of these elements are crucial to the remaining days in the middle of nowhere, so let's start with the essentials- camping gear.

If you find yourself on the road without a tent or a sleeping bag, I highly suggest you pick one up. The best place to do this is at Mountain High Sports in Ellensburg. They have all your equipment necessities and see a lot of confused campers, so you're in good hands here.

If you make a pit stop in Ellensburg, it might be wise to get a good meal while you're there. Rodeo City BBQ is located just a few blocks from Mountain High and is a great place to go for some ribs and a frosty beer served in a cowboy boot mug. You can also stock up on camping provisions while in town at Safeway or Grocery Outlet which are the closest full service grocery stores to the festival.

If you feel like sticking to the freeway, Perkins is located right off of I-90 and has good, standard American grub, along with a large selection of pies, something you won't find at the festival. Across the street from Perkins there is a gas station and a mini-mart incase you need to pick up any small items.

The rest of the journey to the Gorge offers amazing views of the Columbia River. Make a quick stop at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest and Wanapum Recreational Area where you can snap some gorgeous shots of the river basin, while exploring one of the nations oldest fossilized forests. Try to time your arrival there around sunset for the best views.

Back in the car, you're on the home stretch. It's time to roll your windows down, blast some pump-up tunes, and get ready for the four-day party awaiting you just down the road in the city of Sasquatch.

Mountain High Sports
105 East 4th Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
+1 (509) 925-4626

Rodeo City BBQ
204 North Main Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926
+1 (509) 962-2727

400 North Ruby Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926
+1 (509) 925-2700

Grocery Outlet
705 North Ruby Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926
+1(509) 933-2385

1504 Highway 97
Ellensburg, WA 98926
+1 (509) 925-4662

Ginkgo Petrified Forest and Wanapum Recreational Area
4511 Huntzinger Road
Vantage, WA
+1 (509) 856-2700

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See Also:

Festival Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend
Cultivora's Must-Have Camping Gear for Summer Festivals
Low-Maintenance Grooming for Camping Festivals