Girls with Grit encourages women to explore Yakima Valley’s vast outdoor activities

There’s something for all seasons. Sponsored by Yakima Valley Tourism.

YAKIMA, Wash. — If you’re going to take an outdoor lesson, Rimrock Lake is the perfect classroom.

“This lake is so special, it’s breathtaking. It’s huge,” said Shannon Mahre. “You’re not even going to see everything today, because it’s so big.”

Mahre has been an athlete all her life. But it was sharing her love of outdoor activities with other women that led her to create classes called, girls with courage.

“Coaching definitely brings an aspect to my life that nothing else does. So I decided to start coaching all the sports I loved,” Mahre said. “So Girls with Grit kind of started, and it’s only grown since then. I keep adding sports that I love and bringing more women together and building community.”

The session at Rimrock Lake was a paddleboard clinic.

After reviewing safety tips and boarding basics to begin the session, the group heads out into the water.

Mahre said paddleboarding is something people of any age or skill level can do.

“Beginners come to our clinics, even on the river, and they do really well,” Shannon said. “You can have elderly people. You can have people with disabilities. You can have people who aren’t, you know, in athletic shape to maybe even hike, but they can paddleboard.”

It also allows people to have fun and be adventurous while working out.

“You can move on it while you’re paddleboarding, but you’re working out even if you don’t realize you’re working out, which is probably the best part.”

Mahre said when she moved to the Yakima Valley, she didn’t know there were places like Rimrock Lake. As someone who once lived in western Washington, she imagined the area as a desert.

“I mean, you drive 20 minutes outside of Yakima, and you have trees and mountains and trails. The amount of outdoor activities we have access to very close to Yakima, it’s crazy “Shannon said.

From boating and fishing to paddleboarding and swimming, the area offers plenty of outdoor activities.

“You name an activity that’s outdoors and there’s something here that’s spectacular.”

Spectacular and stimulating — Shannon’s girls with courage encourages others to try something new.

“Helping people grow, giving them confidence. Showing them they can do things they never thought they could.”