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Painted Hills

Union County: Beautiful Adventures Awaiting

Written by Oregon Media

Union County: Beautiful Adventures Awaiting

Union County sits in the Grande Ronde Valley, the second largest fully enclosed valley in the world. As the hub of Northeast Oregon, Union County supports economic development, state government and higher education, with vast wilderness as its playground. Enjoy immediate access to outdoor recreation like the Mt. Emily Rec Area, with hundreds of miles of motorized and non-motorized trails and three national forests for hiking, hunting and exploring.

fresh air & Charm

The smell of fresh mountain air is abundant in Union County, composed of eight individual towns and twelve unincorporated communities with unique charm. From a rich history dating back before settlers were in the Grande Ronde Valley, to outdoor recreation, to a thriving arts and cultural scene, make Union County your home-base for adventures just a short jaunt away. Whether you’re looking for rafting, hunting, theater, or to slow things down and take your time exploring the rolling hills and lovely terrain of the Union County Farm Trail, make sure to revel in all of Union County’s beauty and adventure.


Located minutes from downtown La Grande, Eastern Oregon University is home to the Nightengale Gallery, Mountaineers Athletics, the Grand Staircase and numerous theater performances throughout the year.

outdoors all around

Union County is the gateway to the spectacular Eagle Cap Wilderness, Hells Canyon and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, where hunting, fishing, skiing, camping and whitewater rafting abound. North Powder is the access point for Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, with thousands of acres of lift-accessed terrain as well as 30 km of groomed trails.

culture & history

The Elgin Opera House, a historic 1911 theater, features live concerts and performances all year round. The Elgin Stampede, with four days of PRCA rodeo action, solidifies this community’s reputation as part of the living West. There are museums and art galleries throughout Union County, including a Carnegie Library converted into a gallery and an old fire museum attached to Union County’s own brewery.