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"The Barlow Road ... Rhododendron to Brightwood"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Rhododendron ... Brightwood ...
Image, 2013, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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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)


 
Rhododendron to Brightwood ... the Road Divides

Rhododendron ...

From the Rhododendron Tollgate Replica the path of the early Barlow Road heads northwest, briefly staying on the west side of today's Oregon Highway 26 until the community of Rhododendron, where it crosses the road and today is under the pavement of East Arlie Mitchell Road. The route then keeps to the ridge north of the Zigzag River and heads west to where the Zigzag River merges with the Sandy River just north of the community of Zigzag. Here the path crosses the Sandy about 1/3 mile above the junction with the Zigzag, at a spot known as the first or "Upper Crossing" of the Sandy River. Roads today following that general route are East Arlie Mitchell Road, Zigzag River Road, East Mountain Drive, and East Lolo Pass Road.


Rhododendron Route Segment ...

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




"Condition of the Barlow Road route through the Rhododendron community is much like the Government Camp segment. The 3/4 mile segment has visible remains toward the east and west boundaries of the community and has apparently been substantially impacted by State Highway construction and commercial development through the town center.

A short 320 foot "pristine" site section was identified in a residential area of east Rhododendron, traversing undeveloped lots near the north shoulder of State Highway 26 just west of the Tollgate Campground.

The road section passes through a small parcel of U.S. Forest Service lands before joining the State Highway 26 alignment. This "pristine" site section, though situated in a dense vegetative area, is readily visible due to the marked rut with distinct earthen berms and treeless corridor. Boulders, possibly rolled aside by early road users, constituted part of the shoulder berms. ...



East Rhododendron Segment ...
"An excellent, short segment. The west end is on U.S. Forest Service lands which has been partially impacted by blading to enhance vehicular use. The character defining features of the excellent portion on private lands is pronounced, high shoulders as the traffic apparently wore deeply into the soft soil surface, numerous boulders displaced to the shoulders, and the lack of any substantial tree growth in the roadbed despite the dense woodland setting. Preservation of the historic setting is good with nearly residential and highway development shielded by an undeveloped woodland setting immediately along the route. The segment is potentially imperiled by its proximity to the State Highway 26 right-of-way north boundary and pending highway widening projects. Natural erosion threats are minimal. There are no associated historical features. Integrity of this segment is good for design, setting, materials and feeling. The location is generally in conformance with 1898 survey plats. Its association with the Barlow Road has been further substantiated through contacts with local informants. It is the best preserved portion of the Barlow Road in the Rhododendron community ..." ... [Beckham and Hanes, 1992]



The Barlow Road route then courses westward through the town center, generally following the State Highway alignment. It is possible the route veered slightly to the south of the current highway alignment through town, but no distinctive remains were found to substantiate this possibility. This section of the route has been heavily impacted by highway construction and commercial/residential development. However, situated only a few hundred feet north of the highway in the town center is an open wet meadow apparently corresponding with one mentioned in emigrant diaries used for briefly grazing livestock while moving through the area. ...

At the west perimeter of the meadow is a large log residential structure apparently built before 1907.

Just west of the town center of Rhododendron, the route becomse visible again in the form of a "used" site section currently servings as a driveway for several residences. The section was formerly labelled Chinook Lane, but the public road has since been abandoned. This "used" segment winds through the residential area of west Rhododendron, north of the State Highway and drops down two river terrace bluffs before a short "pristine" road section terminates at a small open meadow, known locally as "Pioneer Meadow". The meadow, located on public lands on the east bank of the Zigzag River, was apparently much larger but has been diminished by various episodes of highway construction through the past 70 years.



West Rhododendron Segment ...
"Most of this Barlow Road segment is curently used as driveways for several residences. A portion of the segment was formerly used as a single lane private road, Chinook Lane. A part of that former lane that is now used as a residential drive has pronounced earthen berms and numerous boulders aligned along both shoulders, much like the east Rhododendron segment. Only a very short segment remains in "pristine" condition, located at the very west end of the segment as the route enters a natural meadow feature known locally as Pioneer Meadow. This shourt section has pronounced earthen berms on both shoulders as it curves down a bank to the meadow floor. The meadow appears to be on public lands immediatly adjacent to private lands and has been largely impacted by State Highway 26 construction. The meadow likely marks the crossing point by the emigrants of the Zigzag River. Portions of this segment have been totally eradicated by installation of a drainfield and construction of Mitchell Road. Obviously, the historic setting has been greatly altered by the built environment of residences and roads. In sum, much of this segment, through still recognizable and supported by historic accounts, has been largely compromised by modern-day development. The segment rates low in integrity of design, setting and feeling. Integrity of location and association has been established through original surveyors' notes and early Rhododendron town maps. ..." ... [Beckham and Hanes, 1992]



Three closely spaced 1898 "Mount Hood Toll Road" surveyor observation points are located in close proximity to the meadow immediately south of the State Highway alignment. These surveyors points essentially mark the pioneer crossings of the Zigzag River and Still Creek. This western "used" portion of the road varies greatly in integrity including a near-"pristine" section immediately east of Arlie Mitchell Road which winds slightly and has pronounced shoulder berms of earth and displaced boulders. ..."


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.


North Route and South Route ...

The Barlow Road opened in 1846 and, while it generally followed the same path over the years, the route did change. Problems developed and improvements were made.

Excerpt from Beckham and Hanes, 1992:
"Use of the orignal Barlow Road route in its entirety, as pioneered in 1845 and used by wagons in 1846, was short-lived. According to emigrant diaries, the difficult north bank route from present-day Rhododendron to just above Brightwood was largely abandoned by late summer of 1847 in favor of crossing the Zigzag River at the Rhododendron location. Henceforth the road followed the south bank of the Zigzag and Sandy rivers past present-day Wildwood Park before crossing to the north bank. From there the emigrants followed the original 1846 route along the north bank of the Sandy River, passing over Devils Backbone by generally following the current Marmot Road alignment, crossing the Sandy a second time near the later location of Revenue's Bridge, and then generally following the later route of Ten Eyck Road, Tupper Road, and the Sandy-Woodburn Highway to Philip Foster's farmstead at Eagle Creek. From Foster's farmhouse to Oregon City, the route is now followed by Doty Road to Feldhammer's Ford on the Clackamas River, Feldhammer Road, Springwater Road and Baker's Ferry Road to Clear Creek, and then Dick Drive, Holcomb Road and Abernethy Road."

The 1882 Cadastral Survey (Tax Survey) map for T2S R7E shows the "South Alternative" route with the path of the Barlow Road going from Rhododendron to Brightwood following the south side of the Zigzag and Sandy Rivers and then keeping south of the Sandy River and north of the Salmon River. Today's Oregon Highway 26 roughly parallels this route. This southern route of the Barlow Road crosses the Sandy River west of Brightwood, near the Sandy's junction with the Salmon River just. From there the route turns north and connects with the northern route of the Barlow Road and heads to the Marmot area and the Devil's Backbone.

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... West of Rhododendron the route of the Barlow Road is problematic. The route divided at Rhododendron. One segment continued west along the north bank of the Zigzag River. ... The part of the Barlow Road on the north bank of the Zigzag River is compromised by development in the 1930s of the Old Oregon Trail Summer Homes, road construction, and right-of-way for power lines. It is difficult to identify road segments with certainty between Rhododendron and the Sandy River. The part of the Barlow Road on the south bank of the Zigzag River is probably identical to old Highway 26. This route is paved and passes through a residential area before entering the Zigzag Ranger Sation at Wemme, Oregon. ..."

Image, 2012, Cadastral Survey detail, T2S R7E, Barlow Road and the South Alternative of the Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Map detail, 1882 Cadastral Survey of T2S R7E, Sec.29, 30, 31, and 32, showing both the northern route of the Barlow Road and the "South Alternative of the Barlow Road". Cadastral Survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's website, 2012.


 
Rhododendron to Brightwood ... North Route ... Following the Zigzag and Sandy Rivers
  • North Bank Route Segment ...
  • Rhododendron ... East Arlie Mitchell Road
  • Rhododendron ... Henry Creek Crossing
  • Following the Zigzag River ...
  • Zigzag River Road ...
  • East Mountain Drive and East Lolo Pass Road ...
  • Sandy River ... "Upper Crossing"
  • Following the Sandy River ...
  • East Barlow Trail Road ...

North Bank Route Segment ... (Rhododendron to Brightwood)

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




"The approximate six mile North Bank segment is the most problematical of the Barlow Road segments. Apparently, the original route closely followed the north bank of the Sandy River, primarily using the lower river terrace. ...

A long segment of the North Bank was severely impacted by the December 1964 flood and subsequent river stabilization activities by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In some areas, the major portion of the terrace itself disappeared in the flood. In addition, much residential development has occurred immediately along the river course and the current county road likely follows some of the same alignment as the earlier emigrant road.

Therefore, approximately the first 4 miles of the Barlow Road route from the projected river crossing above Brightwood downstream to the Rock Corral site section yielded very little road remains. ... "

Two short section of road remains were identified in this 4 mile section. A shallow swale was observed through a residential area near the north shoulder of the county road west of the intersection with McIntyre Road. ...

Another short, but more distinct, rut was found on public lands near the confluence of the Salmon and Sandy rivers. This section, located near the south shoulder of the county road, is truncated by 1964 flood damage at its east end and merges with the county road at the west end. ..."


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.


Rhododendron ... East Arlie Mitchell Road

East Arlie Mitchell Road in the community of Rhododendron follows the general route of the Barlow Road, crossing Henry Creek before turning northwest where it becomes the Zigzag River Road and follows the north bank of the Zigzag River.

(T3S, R7E, Sec.11)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road, East Arlie Mitchell Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Following the Barlow Road ... East Arlie Mitchell Road, Rhododendron, Oregon. Image taken November 7, 2012.

Rhododendron ... "Henry Creek Crossing"

From the Rhododendron Tollgate Replica the route of the Barlow Road heads west, following the ridge north of the Zigzag River, crossing many tributaries into the Zigzag. One such tributary is Henry Creek, located approximately one mile from the Tollgate and now within the community limits of the town of Rhododendron.

(T3S, R7E, Sec.11)


Image, 2012, Henry Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Henry Creek looking upstream, as seen from the East Arlie Mitchell Road. East Arlie Mitchell Road follows the old Barlow Road. Image taken November 7, 2012.
Image, 2012, Henry Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Henry Creek looking downstream, as seen from the East Arlie Mitchell Road. East Arlie Mitchell Road follows the old Barlow Road. Image taken November 7, 2012.

Following the Zigzag River ...

(to come)


Image, 2012, Zigzag River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Zigzag River, Oregon. View from the East Brightwood Bridge Road over the Zigzag River. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Zigzag River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Zigzag River, looking downstream, Oregon. View from the East Brightwood Bridge Road over the Zigzag River. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Zigzag River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Zigzag River, looking upstream, Oregon. View from the East Brightwood Bridge Road over the Zigzag River. Image taken November 15, 2012.

Zigzag River Road ...

At one time the Zigzag River Road followed the old Barlow Road on the north side of the Zigzag River between the Oregon communities of Rhododendron and Zigzag. Today (2012) sections of the road are washed out and not drivable.

(T3S, R7E, Sec.2)


Image, 2012, Sign, Zigzag River Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road sign located at the junction of Zigzag River Road (visible on left), East Arlie Mitchell Road, and East Henry Creek Road. Image taken November 7, 2012.
Image, 2012, Sign, Zigzag River Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Following the Barlow Trail ... Zigzag River Road. Image taken November 7, 2012.

East Mountain Drive and East Lolo Pass Road ...

East Mountain Drive, the western segment of the washed-out Zigzag River Road, follows the Barlow Road route north of the Zigzag River. At the junction with today's East Lolo Pass Road, the Barlow Road route turns north, goes approximately 1/10 of a mile, and heads to the Sandy River where it crosses the river at what is now known as the "Upper Crossing".

(T2S, R7E, Sec.34)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road at East Mountain Drive and East Lolo Pass Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road route at East Mountain Drive and East Lolo Pass Road, Zigzag, Oregon. View looking north along the East Lolo Pass Road, with East Mountain Drive heading right in the foreground. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road at East Mountain Drive, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Following the Barlow Road ... East Mountain Drive. View looking east up East Mountain Drive. Image taken November 15, 2012.

Sandy River ... "Upper Crossing"

(T2S, R7E, Sec.34)


Image, 2012, Sandy River Upper Crossing, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sandy River looking downstream at the Barlow Road "Upper Crossing" of the Sandy River, Sandy River Mile 43. View from East Lolo Pass Road just north of East Mountain Drive. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Sandy River Upper Crossing, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sandy River looking upstream at the Barlow Road "Upper Crossing" of the Sandy River, Sandy River Mile 43. View from East Lolo Pass Road just north of East Mountain Drive. Image taken November 15, 2012.

Following the Sandy River ...

After following the north bank of the Zigzag River and crossing the Sandy River at the "Upper Crossing", the route of the Barlow Road heads west, following the north bank of the Sandy River for nearly 20 miles before it dips south to cross the Sandy River near today's community of Sandy, Oregon. Today this route is generally followed by the East Barlow Trail Road and SE Marmot Road.


East Barlow Trail Road ...

For nearly six miles the East Barlow Trail Road follows the early Barlow Trail route and links the communities of Zigzag and Brightwood, traversing between the Sandy River's "Upper Crossing" and the junction with today's Marmot Drive. The "South Alternative Route" rejoins the original Barlow Road at Brightwood.


Image, 2012, East Barlow Trail Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Road sign, East Barlow Trail Road, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, East Barlow Trail Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Road sign, East Barlow Trail Road, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken November 7, 2012.


 
Rhododendron to Brightwood ... South Alternative of the Barlow Road
  • "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" ...
  • South Bank Route Segment ...
  • Re-crossing the Zigzag River and Crossing Still Creek ...
  • Zigzag Ranger Station ...
  • Wildwood Recreation Site ...
  • Heading North ...
  • Brightwood ...
  • Brightwood ... Salmon River
  • Crossing the Sandy River ...
  • North and South routes rejoin ...

"South Alternative of the Barlow Road" ...

Sometime before the Survey of 1882, the route of the Barlow Road was relocated to the south side of the Zigzag and Sandy Rivers and to the north of the Salmon River. This is an area where pioneers were settling. This "South Alternative" route of the Barlow Road roughly parallels today's Oregon Highway 26. The route passes through today's Zigzag Ranger Station and Wildwood Recreation area, crossing the Sandy River near the junction with the Salmon, just west of the Oregon community of Brightwood. From there it turns north and connects with the earlier northern Barlow Road route to the Marmot area and the Devil's Backbone. Today this southern route from Rhododendron to Brightwood is referred to as the "South Alternative of the Barlow Road". In 1974 the Wildwood section of this "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Event #74001679).


South Bank Route Segment ...

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




"This segment, somewhat greater than 4 miles in length, traverses the broad river terraces along the south bank of the Zigzag and Sandy rivers. Due to the level character of the terraces, drainage is poor and many wet areas are present along the route. Vegetation is dense making visibility of road remains difficult in winter as well as spring and summer. Despite increased development in recent years immediately along the State Highway route, residential development away from the highway has progressed more slowly, consequently much of the route remains are largely unaffected.

Two major site sections were recorded and two smaller, isolated sections were noted. The first major site section was identified at the east end of this major route segment between the communities of Faubion and Rhododendron. An approximately 1/2 mile "pristine" and "used" section courses through an undeveloped wooded area south of State Highway 26 and through the residential area of the former James Creighton homestead. Three primary structures constitute the homestead complex: the residence, a barn/garage and a lodge building. All are believed to date from around 1912. An old privy location was found south of the residential structure near the property boundary. It is likely the homestead was established to serve travelers on the old route during the early auto touring days. The "used" portion of the Barlow Road is the closest portion of the diveway to the building complex and the segment passing through the complex itself. The "pristine" portion is now used as a hiking trail for the present camp facilities, to the west of the residential/lodge area.

The second major site section begins immediately west of a trailer court on the west side of Wemme community, and proceeds westward in "pristine" condition diverging from the south shoulder of State Highway 26 near the trailer court into an undeveloped wooded area behind residential and commercial developments fronting the State Highway east of Arrah Wanna Road.

The old road course was more recently used as Chinquepin Road prior to ultimate abandonment. The course was only minimally improved, thus retaining the primitive road character today. Apparently, a power line did once follow the old road course as a fallen power pole was observed across the roadbed with threaded wooden insulator mounts still attached to the pole. The road course has been impacted by logging and residential development in both directions form its corrsing of Arrah Wanna Road but becomes evident again in a recent clear-cut further west.

The road course again regains "pristine" condition west of the clear-cut area as it courses through a wet, wooded area toward the community of Wildwood. Through the Wildwood residential area, the road, still located south of the Sate Highway, becomes less evident in one wooded area and is used as a single lane residential road for one short section. The obscure, wooded short section through the Wildwood residential area is shown on the Clackamas County property map as an abandoned road way still labelled "Barlow Road".

The road course again becomes a "pristine" segment in BLM's Wildwood Park where it continues westward from the Wildwood residential area, finally merging with the State Highway west of the park entrance. The point of merging marks the western terminus of this site section. Near the east boundary of the park, the road course passes an old log structure, located at the south end of Three Ring Road, that likely dates to the time of continued Barlow Road use. An 1882 surveyors wagon road observation point also occurs at this property boundary which corresponds to the presently observed road course. The predominant character of the road remains in this route segment includes a shallow linear swale extending through a treeless corridor, often with standing water within it and supportng the growth of "bear grass" and other ephemeral pond-associated plant species."


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.


Re-Crossing the Zigzag River and Crossing Still Creek ...

The Barlow Road first crossed the Zigzag River east of the Rhododendron Toll Gate. As the road reached the commumity of today's Rhododendron and the road split into North and South routes, travelers heading along the South Route had to once again cross the Zigzag River, and then 1/8 mile later they crossed Still Creek.

(T3S, R7E, Sec.2 and 11)


Image, 2012, Cadastral Survey detail, Barlow Road crossing Zigzag River, click to enlarge
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Crossing the Zigzag River and Still Creek ... Map detail, 1898 Cadastral Survey of T4S R7E, showing the Barlow Road crossing the Still Creek and Zigzag River in Sections 2 and 11. Cadastral Survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's website, 2012.

Zigzag Ranger Station ...

In 1986 the Zigzag Ranger station was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (#86000842).

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The part of the Barlow Road on the south bank of the Zigzag River is probably identical to old Highway 26. This route is paved and passes through a residential area before entering the Zigzag Ranger Station at Wemme, Oregon. ..."


Excerpt from the Zigzag Ranger Station National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1986:

"... the Zigzag Ranger District begins in 1892 when President Harrison created the Bull Run Forest Reserve. The station was selected as the site of an administrative unit in 1907 ... It was then located in the Bull Run Ranger District which was later renamed the Zigzag Ranger District. ... [the location] provided good pasturage for the pack train which transported Forest Service supplies throughout the area and because its location on the Barlow Road made it a convenient stopping place for traveling Forest Service personnel and the general public. For these reasons, Zigzag was selected as the headquarters for the District.

Although the construction of the railroad in the 1890s meant that the Barlow Road was no longer used as an emigration route, it had already become heavily traveled by recreationists by the turn of the century. This made it highly desirable for the Forest Service to maintain a station on the road to supervise activity within the area. Throughout this century, use of this section of the Barlow Road by recreationists has continued to expand, thus keeping the historical link between the station and the Barlow Road intact. ...

In the 1930s one of the most significant aspect of Forest Service administrative history was the management of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC were responsible for the buildings of many recreational facilities in the District. The men created fireplaces, toilets, benches, and picnic tables for campgrounds and carved many trails out of the wilderness. ...

Most of the existing buildings of the Zigzag Ranger Station were built by the CCC between 1933 and 1942. Upon completion, the station consisted of 21 buildings functionally arranged and aesthetically united; one major building was added after 1942.

The structures illustrate the "refined rustic" style of architecture that was used by the Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest Region during the Depression era. This style is characterized by the use of clapboard, shiplap, and vertical board and batten as exterior wall material rather than the logs and stone which were common in the "rustic" style. ... The CCC saved existing buildings that were still in good condition when they started construction in 1933, but most of the station was newly built at that time. ..."

(T3S, R7E, Sec.3)


Image, 2012, Zigzag Ranger Station sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Zigzag Ranger Station, Oregon. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Zigzag Ranger Station, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Buildings, Zigzag Ranger Station, Oregon. View from moving car on Highway 26. Image taken October 14, 2013.


Zigzag Ranger Station left to right: Interpretive Services Office and Maintenance Building #2216, Recreation and Trail Crew Warehouse #2214, and Timber Office #2008. View from moving car on Highway 26.
Image, 2012, Zigzag Ranger Station, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Zigzag Ranger Station, Oregon, as seen from Oregon Highway 26. View from moving car. Image taken October 14, 2013.

Wildwood Recreation Site ...

The "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" runs through the Wildwood Recreation Site. There is an Oregon Trail historical marker just after passing the entrance to the recreation site.

"By 1847, the Barlow Road followed the south bank of the Sandy River through the present day Wildwood Recreation Area. Directly down the trail from this point lay the first crossing of the Sandy River with its swift waters and slippery rocks and then the steep ascent of the ridge known as Devil's Backbone. Oregon City was still an average of five days away." [Information sign, Wildwood Recreation Area, visited July 2012]

(T2S, R7E, Sec.31)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1974:
"... The Barlow Road was opened in 1846, and it generally followed the path of least resistance through the heavily forested west slope of the Cascades. The large trees, for example, were easier to go around than to cut out of the way. Over the years the road location changed as problems developed and improvements were made. By 1882, from the records of the U.S. Surveyor General of Oregon, the road was in the location identified in this inventory, and there it remained for many years. Near the entrance to Wildwood it was used as a logging road as recently as the 1930's. The route generally follows the highest ground between the Sandy and Salmon Rivers - the overall terrain in this section is flat and rolling. Well defined ruts were formed in the sandy soils along this segment of the Barlow Road, and these have been protected from erosion by heavy timber and brush. ...  The road has not been used for many years (it is barricaded and open only to foot traffic), and there has been a lot of brush encroachment in a few places. The road lies between U.S. 26 and the developed portions of Wildwood Recreation Site. At the east end it lies about 300 feet south of the highway R/W and on the west end it is intercepted and overtopped by the highway. Total length of the segment on public land is about two-tenths (2/10) mile. On the east end the road has been fairly well obliterated by homesites. ..."

Image, 2012, Wildwood Recreation Site sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Wildwood Recreation Site, Oregon. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Wildwood Recreation Site sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Oregon Trail, marker, with trail behind, Wildwood Recreation Site, Oregon. View looking east. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Wildwood Recreation Site, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Oregon Trail and Barlow Road information sign and trail, Wildwood Recreation Site, Oregon. View looking east. Image taken November 15, 2012.
Image, 2012, Wildwood Recreation Site, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Emigrants Final Steps" ... Oregon Trail and Barlow Road information sign, Wildwood Recreation Site, Oregon. Image taken November 15, 2012.


"The Barlow Road, Oregon Trail Mile 1891"

Heading North ...

From the Wildwood Recreation Site, the "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" turns and heads north, passing through the Oregon community of Brightwood where it crosses the Sandy River and rejoins the original route of the Barlow Road.


Brightwood ...

The Oregon community of Brightwood lies between the Salmon River and the Sandy River, approximately one mile east of where the two rivers meet. The first post office for Brightwood was established in 1891 and was called "Salmon", because of its close proximity to that river. In 1910 the name was changed to "Brightwood", a name reflecting the pretty qualities of the area on a sunny day.

Brightwood is where the route of the "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" crosses the Sandy River and heads north to join the original Barlow Road route where it heads west towards Marmot and the Devil's Backbone.

(T2S, R6E, Sec.24)


Image, 2013, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Brightwood Store at Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken July 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Brightwood Tavern at Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken July 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"The Old Brightwood Fire House", Brightwood, Oregon. Established 1952. Image taken July 8, 2013.

Brightwood ... Salmon River

The Salmon River lies less than one-half mile southwest of the community of Brightwood and is crossed by the Brightwood Loop Road, once a part of the Mount Hood Loop Highway, the pre-Highway 26 road. The Salmon heads on the southern flank of Mount Hood and 33.5 miles later it merges into the Sandy River at Sandy River Mile (RM) 37. The entire length of the Salmon River is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River. The Brightwood Loop Road bridge crossing the Salmon River is a truss bridge with a total length of 220 feet and a 24-foot deck width. It was built in 1929.

(T2S, R6E, Sec.24)


Image, 2013, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Brightwood Loop Bridge across the Salmon River, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken July 8, 2013.


The Brightwood Loop truss bridge across the Salmon River was built in 1929. It has a total length of 220 feet with a 24-foot deck width.
Image, 2013, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Brightwood Loop Bridge across the Salmon River, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken July 8, 2013.


The Brightwood Loop truss bridge across the Salmon River was built in 1929. It has a total length of 220 feet with a 24-foot deck width.
Image, 2013, Salmon River, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Salmon River looking upstream, from Brightwood Loop Bridge, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken July 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Salmon River, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Salmon River looking downstream, from Brightwood Loop Bridge, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken July 8, 2013.

Crossing the Sandy River ...

North of the Oregon community of Brightwood the "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" crosses the Sandy River approximately 1/2 mile upstream from where the Salmon River meets the Sandy. Today the Brightwood Bridge Road crosses the Sandy approximately 1/2 mile further east.

(T2S, R6E, Sec.23)


Image, 2013, Sandy River at Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sandy River at Brightwood, Oregon, looking downstream from Brightwood Bridge Road, Sandy River Mile 38.5. Brightwood Bridge Road crosses the Sandy River approximately one mile upstream from where the Sandy and the Salmon Rivers meet. Image taken July 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Sandy River at Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sandy River at Brightwood, Oregon, looking upstream from Brightwood Bridge Road, Sandy River Mile 38.5. Brightwood Bridge Road crosses the Sandy River approximately one mile upstream from where the Sandy and the Salmon Rivers meet. Image taken July 8, 2013.

North and South routes rejoin ...

After passing through Brightwood and crossing the Sandy River the "South Alternative of the Barlow Road" heads north, connecting to the original "North Route of the Barlow Road" heading west to the Marmot and Devil's Backbone areas.


Image, 2012, East Barlow Trail Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Road sign, East Barlow Trail Road, Brightwood, Oregon. Image taken November 15, 2012.



  • NEXT: Following the Sandy River ... Brightwood to Sandy
    • Overview ...
    • Following the Sandy River ...
    • North Bank Route Segment ... (Brightwood to Devil's Backbone)
    • East Barlow Trail Road ...
    • East Barlow Trail Road ... Barlow Wayside
    • Marmot Road ...
    • Marmot Road ... Rock Corral
    • Marmot Road ... Marmot
    • Devil's Backbone ...
    • Devil's Backbone Route Segment ...
    • Devil's Backbone to the Sandy River Crossing ...
    • Marmot Road into Ten Eyck Road ...
    • View the Devil's Backbone ... Jonsrud Viewpoint






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*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]

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Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
November 2015