As evinced by its surrounding pastures and farmlands, the small city of Enumclaw owes its existence to agriculture. It began as a homestead owned by Frank and Mary Stevenson in the 1870s. Known as the “Mother and Father of Enumclaw”, the Stevensons worked diligently to form a small frontier community. To achieve this goal, they invited the Northern Pacific Railroad to build railroad tracks through their homestead. The plan worked, and the railroad brought with it trade, access, and newcomers.
Today, Enumclaw, which was incorporated on January 27, 1913, occupies 5.1 square miles in southeastern King County. Located near the Cascade Mountains and famously known as a gateway to Mt. Rainier National Park, the town is a community of just over 12,000 residents surrounded by scenic landscapes. Farms, lakes, pastures, and rivers dot the area, contributing significantly to the town’s excellent quality of life.
Homes for sale in Enumclaw, WA
Over the years, Enumclaw has striven to preserve its rural character. Its downtown area maintains a rustic atmosphere, and the community as a whole feels tight-knit and friendly. The older neighborhoods surrounding downtown are especially treasured for their history and walkability.
Most homes in Enumclaw are “newer” single-family homes — built during the 1970s onwards, that is. They have two or three bedrooms on average, making them ideal for families settling in this quiet, semi-rural community. The median listing for a home in the town ($482,000 as of September 2020) is among the lowest in King County, which has an overall median listing price of $693,000. The median list price of homes also increased by 12.1% year-over-year for September 2020, indicating that property values in the area are on the rise.
Living in Enumclaw
A part of the eastern Puget Sound lowlands, Enumclaw enjoys warm, dry summers and cold winters. Average summer temperatures rarely go above the 70s, while temperatures can drop to the lower 30s during colder months. Because of its high elevation (780 feet above sea level), Enumclaw gets more sunshine than most of the Puget Sound region and also stays 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Seattle.
The state highways 410, 164, and 169 facilitate access to Enumclaw. These same highways make Tacoma, Seattle, and the SeaTac International Airport about an hour’s drive away from town. Closer to town are the city of Black Diamond as well as the unincorporated Osceola, Wabash, Krain, and Upper Mill communities — all of which can be reached in 15 minutes or less.
One of the most scenic drives in the state of Washington, the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway, leads out of Enumclaw and continues east.
Despite its modest size, Enumclaw offers its residents a good range of amenities. A wide spectrum of small businesses and restaurants are open for dining and shopping needs. And the city is served by a hospital (St. Elizabeth) as well as several other clinics and medical centers.
Families with school-age children can enroll their kids into Enumclaw’s school district, which as of 2020 has just under 4,000 students across five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school.
Things to do
Enumclaw’s location makes it ideal for outdoor recreation. Its proximity to the mountains presents its residents access to hiking trails and nearby state parks (Pinnacle Peak, Nolte, Green River). Lakes also populate the area around Enumclaw, giving angler and hunters a variety of fishing and hunting spots to choose from.
During the summer, play a game of golf at Enumclaw Golf Course or go on a hot air balloon ride. You can also visit a local farm to pick your own fruits. In the winter, drive to nearby Crystal Mountain Resort to ski and enjoy great views of the Cascades from the Mt. Rainier Gondola. Alternatively, you can find a cozy cafe and hunker down with a warm drink.
Points of interest
Thanks to its frontier history, Enumclaw is rich in history and culture.
- Downtown Enumclaw. Walk around the historic downtown area to get a glimpse of Enumclaw’s pioneer past. The area is lined with a variety of restaurants, wine bars, boutique shops, antique stores, and more. Cole Street, the area’s center, becomes a lively destination during the summer. On July and August Sundays, two blocks of Cole Street are barricaded to make way for an open-air market. Here for several hours, visitors and residents can buy fresh produce direct from farmers, listen to live music, and scour stalls for vintage finds or locally crafted items.
- Enumclaw History Museum. The museum preserves the town and area’s local history by housing more than 2,000 photographs from as early as the 1880’s, numerous catalogs of newspaper clippings and oral transcripts as well as various artifacts related to the town’s history.
Live out your idyll in Enumclaw
Does Enumclaw’s tight-knit and peaceful atmosphere sound perfect? Then let me, Lori Lewandowski, guide you through your home search in this King County town. As a top-performing Realtor in the county as well as an Accredited Buyers’ Representative, my goal is to provide clients with unique insights into the local area and work with them as they navigate each stage of the home buying process.
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