Yakima Sportsman State Park is located within the traditional territory of the Yakama Nation. Historically, Yakama peoples had winter villages located along the Yakima River, which were used for fishing, hunting and gathering.
In the early 1940s, the Yakima Valley Sportsmen’s Association began an effort to preserve and develop a public park for local citizens. Ultimately, land was acquired by Yakima County and then deeded to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in 1945. The park was named Yakima Sportsman’s State Park in 1950 and later shortened to its current name.
In the late 1940s, the Army Corps of Engineers built a system of dikes for flood control purposes within the park that are now also used as trails.