Hikes Close to EOU

East Tracks 2019 – Hiking along the Snake River in Hells Canyon

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Deal Canyon – 4.6 miles round trip, 1000′ elev. gain, Moderate fitness level

General Hike Description: This hike can be accessed directly from the EOU campus. Once the hike enters the canyon above the homes the route becomes a steep road for about 200 yards. The grade then lessens and is a nice gravel/dirt road hike for the remainder of the way. This is a great hike along Deal Creek with great views of La Grande. Note: this road is a county road and a public right of way. Either side of the road is signed private property, but as long as you stay on the road you are on public property. Hang a left where the road Y’s and go through the green gate. Proceed up this less maintained two-track road for another 1/2 mile to where the trail tops and flattens out. This is the end of the county road and a good place to rest before heading back the way you came.

Directions: Proceed west from Dorian Park on the EOU campus at 6th Street. From 6th go west on I Ave. to Second Street. Turn right and head north for two blocks to K Ave. Turn left on K Ave. and proceed west for five blocks to Sunset Dr. Go north one block and turn left onto Deal Canyon Rd. Proceed up the steep road past all the homes and into the canyon. Stay on the road until you come to a prominent Y – hang a left and go through the green gate. Do not take the right hand road – this is prominently marked with “No Trespassing” signs and is private property. Continue up the less maintained two-track road, cross the creek, continue up the road through a boggy section to where the road climbs and then tops out on a prominent flat bench. You’ll dead-end at a fence. This is the end of the trail. Return via the same route.

Glass Hill – 3.2 Miles round trip, 1,600′ elev. gain, Moderate fitness level

General Hike Description: If you are looking for a hike with amazing views of the Grand Ronde Valley and beyond, then this is the hike for you. The hike is a steady climb from the valley floor, but you are rewarded with unobstructed views of the entire Grande Ronde Valley, Mt. Emily, and eastward to the high alpine peaks of the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Enjoy glorious wildflowers in the late spring and herds of elk in the early fall. The hike is on land managed by ODFW and requires a Ladd Marsh trailhead permit that you can obtain at the ODFW office on 20th street at the junction with Foothill Road. Open April 1 to January 31.

Directions: From EOU on 6th Street go south to C Ave. Turn left and continue down Gekeler to Foothill Road. Foothill is the road on the right straight across from 20th Street and the ODFW office a little less than 2 miles drive from campus. Proceed to drive south on Foothill Road for 3.75 miles to the ODFW trailhead located at the red roofed barn on the right. Across the road is Ladd Marsh. Along with the barn is a trailhead signboard and restroom. Head up the faint road bed to the west of the parking area until you hit a junction with another faint road. Turn left and proceed for 50 yards. Look for a nice scenic viewpoint on your left next to a large ponderosa pine tree. To your right is a trail marked by stacked rocks. Turn here and head up the trail to the west. Continue to follow this trail up to where it leaves the creek and ascends the ridge.

12th Street Hike – 5.5 miles one-way, 1900′ elev. gain, Easy-Moderate fitness level

General Hike Description: This is another hike you can do right from campus. It can also be a really great mountain bike ride and made into a longer loop by connecting with the Glass Hill Road accessed via the Morgan Lake Road. You can make this hike as long or short as you have time and energy for. Keep it short and enjoy nice views of La Grande and Mt. Emily by going up to the end of the paved road, or make it longer by venturing through the green access gates and head into the forest on the flanks of Glass Hill. If you go all the 5.5 miles to the top of the ridge you will be rewarded with a stellar view of the Grande Ronde Valley and the Wallowa Mountains.

Directions: From 6th Street at EOU head south to C Ave. hang a left and continue down to the junction with 12th Street. This is where the Short Stop convenience and gas station is located. Turn right and head up 12th Street for 1.2 miles to the turnaround area at an old farmstead. Proceed through the green gates. Remember to close the gates behind you. Continue up the old dirt road for 2.2 miles to the road junction at elevation 4350′. Hang a right and follow this old road to the top of the ridge. Return the way you came.

Ladd Marsh-Tule Lake Trailhead – Numerous short-loop trails, Easy fitness level

General Trail Description: This trailhead has numerous short-loop hikes you can do around part of Ladd Marsh. Ladd Marsh is a 6,000 acre wetland-focused wildlife area managed by Oregon department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). This protected land is managed for waterfowl and bird hunting. You can see a crazy number of bird species, especially in early to late spring. Dogs are not allowed, except during hunting season and requires an ODFW Ladd Marsh parking permit obtained from the ODFW field office in La Grande.

Directions: From 6th Street at EOU proceed south to C Street. Turn left and go down Gekeler to junction with Highway 30/203. Turn right and head past Flying J truck stop and under the interstate toward Union. As you pass Hot Lake Resort and the road starts to curve and descend after crossing the railroad tracks look for Peach Road immediately on your left. Turn here and proceed north on Peach Road for about 1.5 miles. Look for the Tule Lake access road and trailhead on your right. An information kiosk and restrooms are in the parking area along with an info board with hiking options.

Little Creek Waterfall Hike – 1/4 mile roundtrip, Easy fitness level

General Hike Description: If you are looking for a pretty drive that ends in a really short hike to a lovely little waterfall, well…this is a great adventure for you. Venture across the valley to the town of Union, then follow Catherine Creek for a short distance before driving along Little Creek up to High Valley. At the road end cross the gated bridge to the west and then head up the trail along the creek for a couple hundred yards to the waterfall. In the summer you can scramble up past the waterfall to a lovely series of wading pools that are delightful on a hot summer day.

Directions: From 6th Street at EOU proceed south to C Street. Turn left and go down Gekeler to junction with Highway 30/203. Turn right and head past Flying J truck stop and under the interstate toward Union. In the center of town follow the signs that point you to Catherine Creek State Park and Medical Springs. Continue east on Highway 203 for a little less than 2 miles. Turn left on Kofford Lane. Go a short distance to the junction with the High Valley Road. Turn right and head east along Little Creek through the canyon. When the road emerges from the canyon look for Bates Lane on your right. Turn right and head east past several houses on the left. When the road forks stay left. Drive a short distance down to a large open area and park. Go across the gated bridge to the west. Follow the trail a short distance upstream to the waterfall. Enjoy.