The city of La Grande is home to a lot of great hikes, including the Mount Emily Recreation Area (MERA). At 3,669 acres, MERA is one of the most elite trail systems in Eastern Oregon — plus it’s only two miles from downtown La Grande.
If you have a day to spare, I highly recommend traveling a little more east to Wallowa Lake, just four miles past the town of Joseph. It’s a beautiful part of Oregon that I encourage everyone to go check out. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has great day hiking areas.