Barlow Road banner
    HOME     NorthwestJourney.com     ColumbiaRiverImages.com
"The Barlow Road ... Government Camp to Laurel Hill"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Government Camp ... Laurel Hill ...
Image, 2013, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow Road sign, Foster Farm, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken May 4, 2013.


The Barlow Road ...
The Barlow Road was a part of the Oregon Trail. The road was authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1845, and by September 1846, it made its way around the south side of Mount Hood. This 80-to-110-mile road provided an alternative to the dangerous and expensive route that used rafts to transport wagons down the Columbia River. The Barlow Road began at The Dalles, Oregon, headed south through Dufur and Tygh Valley (which some folks consider the start of the Barlow Road), then turned west at Gate Creek and generally followed the White River before it headed north through Barlow Pass and Government Camp. It then passed through "Tollgate #5" near today's Rhododendron and continued to the community of Sandy, where it turned west and ended up at Oregon City.


Follow the Barlow Road ... (east to west)


 
Government Camp to Laurel Hill

Overview ...

The Barlow Road exits the Still Creek Campground heading northwest (today's USFS Trail #601A) to the Summit Ranger Station, where it then heads northwest, crossing Oregon Highway 26 and heading to today's community of Government Camp. Here the route lies beneath the pavement of the main road through the community. On the west side of Government Camp the Barlow Road heads south to Ski Bowl West, and then to the trecherous Laurel Hill.


Image, 1992, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Detail, 1992 Map, Early Barlow Road from Still Creek Campground to Government Camp, through Ski Bowl West, and heading to Laurel Hill.

Source:   Beckham, S.D., and Hanes, R.C., 1992, The Barlow Road, Clackamas County, Oregon, Inventory Project, Historic Context, 1845-1919, prepared for the Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development, August 1992.

  • Orange - Barlow Road.
  • Blue - Government Camp Loop Road and Oregon Highway 26.
  • Yellow - Road to Timberline.

USFS Barlow Trail #601A ...

From the Still Creek Campground a short 3/4 mile section of Barlow Road goes through the timber and exits at the Summit Ranger Station on Highway 26, north of the ODOT Maintenance Complex. Today this section of Barlow Road is a hiking and cross country ski trail and is purposely kept primitive, reflecting the conditions of the original trail.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.24)


Summit Ranger Station ...

From the Summit Ranger Station the Barlow Road trail continues northwest, crossing Oregon Highway 26 and heading north towards today's community of Government Camp.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.24)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The Barlow Road is obliterated at the east end of Government Camp. The trace of the road turns west at Summit Ranger Station and is covered with Highway 26 and, in the townsite of Government Camp, with old Highway 26. ..."

Image, 2013, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
ODOT Maintenance Complex and site of the Summit Ranger Station, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken July 22, 2013.

Government Camp ...

At Government Camp the Barlow Road trail lies beneath the pavement of the main road through the community (the old Highway 26). On the west side of Government Camp the path of the Barlow Road heads south where it crosses by Oregon Highway 26 east of Ski Bowl West. The road then proceeds through Ski Bowl West, and, at the western end of Ski Bowl West, it again crosses Highway 26. From there, the Barlow Road path stays north of today's Oregon Highway 26 until it reaches the trecherous Laurel Hill.

The small skiing community of Government Camp is located on Oregon Highway 26 between the turnoff to Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge and the eastern end of Laurel Hill. Government Camp was so named when, in 1849, a small regiment of First U.S. Mounted Rifles enroute from The Dalles to Oregon City sent their horses and mules overland on the Barlow Trail. The regiment lost nearly 2/3 of their horses and mules and were forced to abandon 45 wagons before they began their descent down Laurel Hill. Later Barlow Road travelers would pass by the wagons, calling the place "Government Camp".

A boulder with two large bronze plaques honoring Samuel and Susannah Barlow can be seen at the Oregon Trail kiosk, located across from the Government Camp Information Center and Museum.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.23)


Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Historic and Welcome signs, Goverment Camp, Oregon. The original Barlow Road lies under the pavement of old Highway 26, the main road through town. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Main road through Goverment Camp, Oregon, view looking west. The original Barlow Road lies under the pavement of old Highway 26, the main road through town. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Oregon Trail kiosk at Government Camp, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oregon Trail kiosk at Government Camp. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Government Camp, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Samuel and Susannah Barlow plaques at Government Camp. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Government Camp, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Samuel Barlow plaque at Government Camp. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Government Camp, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Susannah Barlow plaque at Government Camp. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow Road route sign on Oregon Highway 26 at Government Camp. Image taken July 6, 2012.

Government Camp Route Segment ...

Excerpts from:
1993, Barlow Road Historic Corridor: Westernmost Segment of the Oregon Trail.




"The Barlow Road segment across private lands in the Government Camp community is slightly over one mile in length. The eastern half of the segment has been intensively developed; the western half remains relatively open, primarily impacted by highway construction. ...

Two major historic site sections were identified ... A 1/4 mile mostly "pristine" segment was identified in the residential area of east Government Camp, located near the north shoulder of Government Camp Loop road. The road remains, beginning at the northwest corner of the Summit Inn near the U.S. Forest Service bounday winds through an area of homes ...

An 1884 "Mt. Hood & Barlow wagon road" surveyor's reference point is situated just east of the current Summit Inn location conforming with the observed alignment. The road alignment is also apparent on a 1965 Oregon State Highway Department aerial photo. Though in an altered setting, the character of the road itself is well preserved. The roadbed is a compacted earthen, treeless surface, which creates a break in the contour of the gentle south facing slope. For the next 1/4 mile to the west the road has been greatly impacted by road and commercial development. No remains were identified in this central portion of town.



East Government Camp Segment ...
"The major portion of this relatively short road segment has essentially survived development of a high density residential area of town. The central and eastern portions of the segment have limited direct alterations of the roadbed by the intersection of a public road and the use of a short section as a driveway. This road section lies in close proximity to an 1884 surveyor observation point. The western portion of this segment has been built more directly upon as the lots are smaller nearer the town center. However, a short section of road is still visible just east of the route's descent to the present-day town center. The character defining features of this road segment is a narrow, compacted soil surface. The fragile pumice surface has retained small, but continuous berms on both shoulders of the roadbed and the compaction of the roadbed provides a break in the natural contour of the south facing hillside. Though the roadbed has been only slightly altered directly, the setting is very altered. Natural deterioration forces are not great but some active erosion is apparent where runoff follows the old roadbed as it descends a gentle slope. There are no associated historical features. ..." ... [Beckham and Hanes, 1992]



The road alignment is visible again as a treeless, compacted earth corridor with intermittent shoulder berms and occasional bordering boulders, located on the north shoulder of Government Camp Loop road immediately west of the Government Camp post office. This site is also the location of another 1884 surveyor "Mt. Hood wagon road" observation. The alignment quickly curves to the south, crossing the Loop road and proceeding less than 1/4 mile in a southwest direction in the current form of a "used" two-track road through a meadow until nearing the north shoulder of State Highway 26. Near the highway a short "pristine" segment overgrown in brush and associated wooden bridge remains were found. The archaeological remains of an early residence, including square nails and an undisturbed privy location, were identified at the northeast boundary of the meadow on the Barlow Road alignment.



West Government Camp Segment ...
"The majority of this lengthy segment remains in a natural woodland setting with a brief section traversing a natural meadow. The most dramatic alteration is because of the intersection of State Highway 26. Much of the old road segment north of the highway is used as a two-track road and has 19th century historic settlement debris along the road course, in the meadow area. South of the highway is a lengthy "pristine" segment in a woodland setting. The only, and very limited alteration, is where the route passes an isolated residence. Associated historic features on the southern subsegment is a series of possible mid-19th century cache pits used by travelers over the route. Character defining features of this section are distinctive earthen berms on both shoulders of the narrow roadway, lack of tree growth or boulders on the roadbed, and a break in the natural contour of the gentl hillslopes that it traverses. The southern subsegment is well maintained and protected by a local resident, and is not threatened by natural erosion. There is adjoining public ownership and ownership by an environmentally protrective organization. In sum, the roadbed and setting has only been slightly altered. ..." ... [Beckham and Hanes, 1992]



The Barlow Road alignment next follows the State Highway alignment for a short distance west before becoming apparent once again at the south shoulder of the State Highway. For slightly less than 1/4 mile, a "pristine" segment of the Barlow Road winds through a largely undeveloped wooded area before passing into U.S. Forest Service lands ... This intermittent stretch of historic roadbed from the Post Office location to the Forest Service boundary constitutes the second site section at Government Camp."


Source:    Clackamas County (Or.), 1993, Barlow Road Historic Corridor: Westernmost Segment of the Oregon Trail: Background Report & Management Plan, Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development.


Government Camp ... Mount Hood Cultural Center & Museum

According to the Museum's website (2015):

"The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum is housed in a beautiful structure in the heart of Government Camp. Located along the ruts of the historic Barlow Road, the building site offers a wonderful view of Mount Hood. The museum consists of six galleries plus a rentable meeting/multipurpose room."

Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood Cultural Center & Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood Cultural Center & Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, Fire Lookout on the top of Mount Hood, Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.


Model, Fire Lookout which existed on the top of Mount Hood between 1916 and 1941.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, Fire Lookout on the top of Mount Hood, Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.


Model, Fire Lookout which existed on the top of Mount Hood between 1916 and 1941.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, Fire Tower somewhere in the Cascades (???), Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.


Model, Frissell Point Fire Lookout W-23, Willamette National FOrest, showing the D-6 Cupola.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, Frissell Point Fire Lookout W-23, Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.


Model, Frissell Point Fire Lookout W-23, Willamette National FOrest, showing the D-6 Cupola.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, Fire Lookout mock-up, Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.


Note Barlow Road painting/sign through window, middle right.
Image, 2012, Government Camp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, U.S. Forest Service Sign, Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Goverment Camp, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.

Ski Bowl West ...

The path of the Barlow Road cuts through Ski Bowl West (old Multorpor), entering on the east and exiting on the west. Views of the ruts can be found in the treed strip between the Ski Bowl West parking lot and Oregon Highway 26. Park in the center of the Ski Bowl West parking lot at an area with a good view of the ski slope. Enter the treed strip via a short trail nearly opposite the large Ski Bowl sign.

(T3S, R8E, Sec.24)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... On the western end of Government Camp, the trace of the Barlow Road enters private land ...   A finely defined set of ruts passes along the southern margin of Collins Lake. The route is then crossed by three lanes of Highway 26. The Barlow Road continues south of the highway through private property ...   The Barlow Road is crossed by the eastern access road (old Highway 26) at Multorpor recreation area. The trace of the road is on the floor of the forest in a narrow island between old and new segments of Highway 26 due north of the recreation facilities at Multorpor. At the west entrance into Multorpor, the road trace turns northwesterly, is crossed by Highway 26, and enters a virgin forest in the vicinity of Enid Lake. ...   The trace is visible on the floor of the forest east of old Highway 26 to the crest of Laurel Hill and the declevity into the Little Zigzag Canyon. ..."

Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Ski Bowl West, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow Road sign at the Ski Bowl West. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Ski Bowl West, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow Road at the Ski Bowl West. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Ski Bowl West, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow Road at the Ski Bowl West. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at Ski Bowl West, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking towards Ski Bowl West from the Barlow Road trace. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Ski Bowl West, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking up towards the location of the Barlow Road remnant, from the parking lot at Ski Bowl West, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Ski Bowl West, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign, Ski Bowl West, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Ski Bowl West, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Ski Bowl West, Oregon. Image taken August 14, 2012.

Government Camp to Laurel Hill

From Ski Bowl West, the path of the Barlow Road crosses Oregon Highway 26 and heads towards the crest of Laurel Hill, passing on the east side of the Glacier View Sno-Park and the west side of Enid Lake. This part of the Barlow Road route is maintained as a hiking, horse riding, and winter cross-country ski trail and is the eastern part of the Pioneer Bridle Path. Traces of the original Barlow Road can be seen along this path.

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The Barlow Road segment north of Highway 26 at Multorpor and running to the crest of Laurel Hill was cleared by the Civilian Conservation Corps and used as part of the Pioneer Bridle Path, a recreation feature connecting Government Camp and Rhododendron. ..."

Glacier View Sno-Park ...

A section of the Barlow path can be seen from the entrance of the Glacier View Sno-Park.

"... park near the entrance [of Glacier View Sno-Park] and climb the bank on your right. You will find a small trail 20 feet or so in back of the bank. Turn right and walk about 100 feet. There will be a wooden sign to your left on a big tree [not found in 2013]. Turn left and the ruts are very visible. ..." [USFS Zigzag Ranger Station handout, "Where to find Oregon Trail wagon ruts on the Mount Hood National Forest", 2012]

(T3S, R8E, Sec.24)


Image, 2013, Glacier View Sno-Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Glacier View Sno-Park with Oregon Highway 26 in background. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Trail at Glacier View Sno-Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow trail at Glacier View Sno-Park, heading towards Laurel Hill. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Trail at Glacier View Sno-Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow trail at Glacier View Sno-Park, heading towards Laurel Hill. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Trail at Glacier View Sno-Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barlow trail at Glacier View Sno-Park, heading towards Laurel Hill. Image taken October 22, 2013.



  • NEXT: Descending Laurel Hill
    • Overview ...
    • Laurel Hill ...
    • Laurel Hill ... Historical Marker
    • Laurel Hill ... 5 Chutes
    • Laurel Hill ... Chute #1
    • Laurel Hill ... Chute #2
    • Laurel Hill ... Chute #3
    • Laurel Hill ... Chute #4
    • Laurel Hill ... Chute #5






HOME
NORTHWEST JOURNEY
COLUMBIA RIVER IMAGES
THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY



*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Lat/Long were obtained from plotting location on National Geographic's TOPO! program, 3.4.3, 2003.

Sources:    [See Barlow Road Sources]

TheBarlowRoad.com/barlow_road_government_camp.html
© 2016, Lyn Topinka, "TheBarlowRoad.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
October 2013