Mount Emily Recreation Area (MERA) offers 3,670 acres of outstanding forest recreation just two miles north of downtown La Grande, Oregon. Visitors can enjoy trails dedicated for motorized and non-motorized uses. Trails throughout MERA offer both gentle routes and challenging terrain.

MERA Map – Mobile QR Code

MERA Map – Printer Friendly

MERA Special Events Application


MERA Ordinance

MERA Rules

Check this site often for news, updates, and other information.

Signage on the ground is a work in progress as we have recently updated our maps. Signage in the field is not entirely consistent with new maps and will be updated this Spring.

The eastern half of MERA is dedicated to non-motorized use. Recreationists can enjoy miles of trail to hike, bike, and horseback ride.

Motorized use including ATV’s, side by sides, Jeeps, and motorcycles can be enjoyed above the rim, on MERA’s western half.

There is also a corridor providing limited motorized access through the eastern half of MERA. This corridor and trails east of the rim are seasonally closed from October 1 to March 31, to motorized use. This area is the winter range to a large number of elk native to the valley.

Once the snow falls, cross-country skis and snow shoes can be enjoyed throughout the park.

Over the snow travel by machine is allowed on the western portion once snow depths have exceeded 18 inches.

Whatever your mode of transportation, the views of the Grande Ronde Valley from Mount Emily are breathtaking!

Mt. Emily Recreation Area, Camping Ground, OHV Park SignFox Hill Trailhead– Is the exclusive motorized OHV access point. The parking area is spacious making trailer maneuvering a breeze.

Camping is also available at this location with four primitive pull through RV spaces and four back in spaces.

To access Fox Hill Road from La Grande, follow Second Street north to Black Hawk Trail Lane.

Turn left on Black Hawk Trail Lane, which becomes Fox Hill Road.

The road turns to gravel and the grade is very steep 17%, if towing 4WD is recommended.

Fox Hill trailhead is on the right at the top of hill.

WARNING: There is a steep grade of +17% on Fox Hill for those with heavy loads trying to make the campground!

Mt. Emily Recreation Area, Grand Opening, With Commissioner Mark Davidson and Steve McClureMERA Campground Sign
View of Mt. Emily from the Grande Rhonde ValleyView of Grande Rhonde Valley from Fox Hill-MERA

Owsley Canyon Trailhead– Is the primary non-motorized access point. To access Owsley Canyon Road from La Grande, take Second Street north to Black Hawk Trail Lane. Turn right on Black Hawk Trail Lane. Turn left on Owsley Canyon Road. Stay right and trailhead is on right.

Owsley Canyon Parking LotBiker on an Biking Trail from Owsley Canyon

Igo Lane Trailhead– There is no trailer access or turnaround at the trailhead, limited to passenger car access. The trailhead is meant to provide access to the properties’ longtime neighbors who have traditionally recreated here. To access Igo Lane from downtown La Grande, head northeast on Island Ave. just under the railroad overpass, turn left onto Monroe Avenue, then turn right on North Spruce St. Travel along North Spruce to Mt. Glen Road. Stay on Mt. Glen Road as it veers to the left. Turn left on Igo Lane. Trailhead is on right at the top of Igo.

Arial View of Igo Trail Head and Grande Rhonde ValleyWinter View of the Igo TrailHead, Entrance Sign

Mount Emily has long been enjoyed by residents of Union County for its natural resources and outstanding forest recreation. To protect this spectacular resource, MERA was purchased by Union County in 2008 to preserve the area as a recreation destination for all visitors. Please share the trail and respect one another. We hope you enjoy the mountain!

MERA Rules

  • Please stay on designated trails.
  • Respect private land. No trespassing.
  • Motorized use on designated routes only.
  • No target shooting, woodcutting, or fireworks.
  • Hunting is allowed.
  • Camping allowed at the Fox Hill Campground.
  • Campfires permitted in designated fire rings only on Fox Hill. Observe seasonal fire restrictions.
  • Keep control of dogs at all times.
  • Clean up after your animals.
  • Pack it in pack it out.
  • ATV Oregon Safety Card or equivalent out-of-state card required, per state law.
  • ATV stickers required for all vehicles entering MERA trails. Available at AC Power Sports.
  • ATVs are not allowed on Fox Hill Road.
  • Spark arrestor is required at all times.
  • Silencer required 99db max.
  • June 1- Oct. 15 cattle in pasture close gates.
  • Seasonal closure below rim to motorized use, October 1- March 31.


Union County Public Works
Sean Chambers, Parks Coordinator
10513 N McAlister Road, PO Box 1103, Island City, OR 97850
541-963-1016 Fax: 541-963-7822 TTY: 1-800-735-1232