La Grande Travel Guide

La Grande

Home to Eastern Oregon University, a small state college, La Grande is a quiet little city of 13,000, which sits at the center of the Grand Ronde Valley. It's a convenient stop if you're heading to the Wallowa Mountains and La Grande's historic frontier character charms visitors. The city started life in the late 1800s as a farming community. It grew slowly while most towns along the Blue Mountains were booming or busting in the violent throes of gold-fueled stampedes. When the railroad companies were deciding where to lay their tracks through the valley, a clever local farmer donated 150 acres to ensure that the Iron Horse would run through La Grande. With steam power fueling a new boom, the town quickly outgrew its neighbors, took the title of county seat from fading Union City. Today the city is home to a handful of attractions and restaurants, and makes a good base for hiking and other outdoor adventures in the mountains.

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