Ritzville, WA has a population of 1,622 people with a median age of 47.2 and a median household income of $39,554. Between 2015 and 2016 the population of Ritzville, WA grew from 1,603 to 1,622, a 1.19% increase and its median household income grew from $39,250 to $39,554, a 0.77% increase.
Ritzville Elevation:1,825 feet
Land Area:1.29 square miles
Washington State Capitol:Olympia
City of Ritzville Incorporated:1890
Nearest Airport:Pru Field
Nearest Major Airport:Spokane International Airport
The average maximum temperature:86.6 degrees (F)
The average minimum temperature:21.2 degrees (F)
Average total precipitation:11.88 inches per year
Average total snowfall:19.1 inches per year
Average snow depth:2 inches per year
Ritzville is located at the intersection of Interstate 90 and U.S. 395, the major east-west and north-south routes of eastern Washington. It is about an hour drive from Spokane, Moses Lake and the Tri-Cities.
Eastern Washington is on the Columbia Plateau and was primarily high desert until the advent of Grand Coulee Dam. Ritzville has always been an agriculturally based community. Wheat, barley and alfalfa hay fields are interspersed with the basalt rock formations characteristic of the Channeled Scablands.
A spectacular sight, the Channeled Scablands were formed about 12,000 years ago by the Ice Age Floods. Flood waters carved out more than 50 cubic miles of earth, depositing much of it to create other unique land forms. Mountains of gravel as tall as 30 story buildings were left behind, and huge boulders weighing more than 200 tons littered the ground like flotsam. The floods left lasting marks across the Pacific Northwest.
The agricultural industry of the Ritzville area is dominated by dry land production of small cereal grains, primarily wheat and barley. However, other products such as canola, grass seed, livestock and alfalfa hay are grown. Acres of wheat harvest range from 300,000 to 450,000 annually with production on those acres ranging from 12 to 16 million bushels. The wheat produced in the county is mostly soft white wheat of which 90 percent is exported.
Acres of barley harvested range from 60,000 to 100,000 annually, with production on those acres ranging from 2.5 to 4 million bushels. A majority of the barley production is a feed barley, which serve the regional fed market as well as the export market.
Agricultural services make up a significant portion of Ritzville's economy and include grain dealers, fertilizer/pesticide manufacturers and dealers, aerial applicators, farm equipment sales and repairs, trucking companies, farm supplies and seed companies. In addition to these services, the head office of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers is located in Ritzville.
A must see is the historical downtown district of Ritzville. Several blocks have been designated as a National Historic District featuring turn-of-the-century buildings. Two museums are situated in this district. The Northern Pacific Railway Depot, built in 1910, is a historical repository of Ritzville memorabilia. Dr. Frank R. Burroughs was a pioneer doctor for this area. His office, located in his house, has been restored to the original period. His home, the Dr. Frank R. Burroughs' Home, as well as the Ritzville Public Library, the N. H. Greene mansion and the Zion-Philadelphia United Church of Christ are also on the National Historic Register. The Ritzville Public Library carries the distinction of being one of the few Carnegie libraries in the state that is still a functional library.
Sports are abundant in Ritzville. Local athletes have earned state titles in several sports, including volleyball, football and basketball. Summer leagues include softball, Little League and golf while bowling leagues roll along all year long. Walkers and joggers alike will enjoy the Ritzville Walking Path, three miles of fun for any age.
Highlighting the summer is the Ritzville Water Park, a spectacular facility that offers great recreation for the entire family. Visitors and residents take full advantage of two water slides, diving board, lap pool, recreation and wading pools all summer. Adjacent to the water park is the newly renovated city park. Activities found within the park are horseshoes, barbecuing, playground, volleyball and a beautiful gazebo for gatherings and just plain fun. Across the street from the park are the tennis courts, newly refurbished through Ritzville Project 56. On the other side of the water park is the PGA recognized nine-hole municipal golf course.
Game hunting in the Ritzville area offers the opportunity to hunt primarily for deer, geese, ducks, pheasants and partridge. The pasture and stubble lands provide prime hunting environments along with the two creeks that pass through the area. Always remember to acquire permission from landowners prior to hunting on private property.
Another popular sport to be enjoyed near Ritzville is fishing. Eleven lakes located within an hour's drive from Ritzville are filled with a variety of freshwater fish. The Snake and Columbia Rivers, just two hours away, provide the opportunity to catch salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and many others. Other water sports to enjoy during your stay are swimming, boating, water skiing and more.
Ritzville also provides another favorite activity - shopping! A wide variety of retailers provides unique gift items, antiques and collectibles, souvenirs, t-shirts, quilting supplies, sporting goods and a wide variety of services. There's something for everyone!
Hungry from all the recreation and shopping? Try one of Ritzville's fabulous restaurants located near the freeway, in the middle of the commercial district and in historic downtown.
Plan to stay a while. Ritzville has several nice motels to choose from: two are national chains and three are locally owned. For a truly unique experience, a local artist has reinvented a 1940s home into a quaint getaway - complete with everything you need and centrally located within walking distance from the city's amenities.