The Yakima River Valley encompasses a region of south-central Washington that starts just east of Snoqualmie Pass in the Kittitas Valley. It includes the forested eastern slopes and the foothills of the Central Cascades, from Chinook and White Pass all the way down through the Yakima Valley near Benton City. Two interstates meet in Ellensburg. Interstate 90 links Seattle to Cle Elum and Ellensburg before heading east toward Spokane. Interstate 82 branches south off Interstate 90 just east of Ellensburg, and runs through the Yakima Valley to the so-called Tri-Cities (Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick). U.S. 97 is the primary link from Ellensburg north (Wenatchee, Canada's Okanagan Valley) and from Yakima south toward central Oregon.