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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Barlow Road, Oregon"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Barlow Trail ... "Mount Hood Road" ... Territorial Stage Road ... Mount Hood Loop Road ... U.S. Highway 26 ... The Dalles, Oregon ... Mount Hood ... Sandy, Oregon ... Oregon City ... Oregon Trail ... National Register of Historic Places ...
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.


Barlow Road ...
The Barlow Road --- "officially" the "Mount Hood 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 (it varied as the route changed over the years) provided an alternative to the dangerous and expensive route that used rafts to transport wagons down the Columbia River. During the Barlow Road's 70-plus-year history it passed through many ownerships and many improvements. In 1912, Henry Wemme of Portland became the last private owner of the Barlow Road. It was donated to the State of Oregon by his estate in 1919.

The Barlow Road began at The Dalles and headed south to Tygh Valley, which some folks consider the start of the Barlow Road. From Tygh Valley the trail turned west and followed the north bank of the White River before heading north and northwest through Barlow Pass and Government Camp. The road then generally followed the Sandy River to the community of Sandy, where the road turned west and ended up at Oregon City.


Oregon Trail ...
The Oregon Trail ran approximately 2,000 miles from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains and then to the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The trip took four to six months. Independence, Missouri, is considered the beginning of the Oregon Trail and Oregon City, Oregon, is considered the end. The trail was busy, lasting from the early 1840s and ending with the coming of the railroad at the end of the 1860s. Large scale migration began in 1843, when a wagon train of over 800 people with 120 wagons and 5,000 cattle made the five month journey.
[More]

Image, 2013, Sandy, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road Mural, "Peaceful Vistas", Sandy, Oregon. Mural depicts pioneer family on the Barlow Road, painted by Roger Cooke, 1993, located in Sandy, Oregon. Image taken June 28, 2013.


Barlow Road History ...

"In the fall of 1845, the Samuel K. Barlow party from Independence, Mo. arrived at The Dalles. They found they would have to wait weeks for passage and could not afford the high price of food for themselves and their stock. Having seen a notch in the south slope of Mt. Hood, Barlow decided that"God never made a mountain that had no place to go over it or around it," and headed south to find a way around Mount Hood. He was joined by several other parties, namely those of Joel Palmer and William Rector, until over 30 wagons made up the first train determined to cross the Cascades before winter snows fell.  ...  

On October 11, Palmer, Barlow, and a man named Lock scouted ahead of the main party. They continued to the summit of the Cascades - later known as Barlow Pass, elevation 4,155 feet. Then they scouted the southern flanks of Mount Hood. Looming between them and the dreaded Columbia, the mountain stood snowy and immense. Palmer later recorded "I had never before looked upon a sight so nobly grand." But they could not linger. They crossed a wide, stony field, then sought a better view farther up the mountain. Finally, they came to a wide, steep-sided ravine, so deep the timber below resembled miniature Christmas trees. (They were probably looking across Zigzag Canyon.) Palmer's journal describes the spot: "A precipitate cliff of rocks, at the head, prevented passage around it. The hills were of the same material as that we had been travelling over, and were very steep." The men decided to climb higher up the mountain, hoping to see another path. Palmer, being the most hardy of the three, went on alone after snow was encountered. He probably ventured out onto Zigzag Glacier, climbing about one-third the distance from timberline to the summit, though his mocassins had worn thin and he traveled much of the distance barefoot. Meeting his companions again, they rejoined the road-building members of the party on Barlow Creek about 11 p.m. that night. After one more exploring trip, the group decided to build a cabin and store their belongings. They did not have time to build the road over the rough terrain between them and the Willamette Valley before the winter snows began. Two of the party started to Oregon City for fresh supplies. One man stayed behind at "Fort Deposit" as they called the cabin, as a guard. Then, in small groups, they made their way out of the mountains, some on foot, some on horseback. At least one woman rode a cow.   ...

After the snowsmelted the following year, the groups returned for their wagons. Barlow petitioned the Provisional Legislature for the right to construct a toll road over the route taken by the party. With a partner, Philip Foster, Barlow began road construction. It was a difficult road to build. There were miles of thickets and dense timber to slash through. Swamps had to be "courduroyed." There were steep hills and strems to cross. Barlow petitioned for $4000 to construct the road; he had estimated a rate of $50 a mile. But even in those days this was not an adequate amount and supplies had to be bought on credit. By August 1846 the road was was ready for travel."

Source:    Wasco History website, 2012, Barlow Trail, taken from the Mount Hood National Forest USDA Pamphlet #797-672/4.



Follow the Barlow Road ... (east to west)
  • The Dalles to Wamic
  • Following the White River
  • Following Barlow Creek
  • Side Trip to Mount Hood
  • Barlow Pass to Oregon Highway 35
  • Summit Meadows to Still Creek Campground
  • Government Camp to Laurel Hill
  • Descending Laurel Hill
  • Laurel Hill Tollgate to the Rhododendron Tollgate Replica
  • Rhododendron to Brightwood ... the Road Divides
    • Rhododendron to Brightwood ... North Route
    • Rhododendron to Brightwood ... South Alternative of the Barlow Road
  • Following the Sandy River ... Brightwood to Sandy (Marmot Road and the Devil's Backbone)
  • Sandy to Eagle Creek ...
  • Clackamas River to Oregon City ...
Follow the trail ......... skip to my "TheBarlowRoad.com" website

Images along the Barlow Road ...

Image, 2013, Barlow Road sign at The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road route sign at The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken April 3, 2013.
Image, 2013, Wamic, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Welcome to Wamic", Wamic, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2012, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road sign at Barlow Pass. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3530, at Barlow Pass. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road trace, heading west from the Barlow Pass Sno-Park. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2009, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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At Laurel Hill ... Mount Hood from U.S. Highway 26 at Laurel Hill. Parts of Highway 26 follow the old Barlow Road, a part of the Oregon Trail. Image taken August 16, 2009.


"God never made a mountain that he didn't make a way to get over it." ... (Samuel Barlow, 1845).
Image, 2011, Barlow Road Tollgate Replica, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road Tollgate Replica. Image taken September 20, 2011.
Image, 2012, Sandy, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Lower Crossing of the Sandy River ... Sandy River looking downstream from the Revenue Bridge, approximately Sandy River Mile 24, SE Ten Eyck Road, Sandy, Oregon. Image taken July 13, 2012.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Boat Ramp, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Crossing the Clackamas River ... Feldheimer boat ramp, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2011, End of the Oregon Trail, Oregon City, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"End of the Oregon Trail", Oregon City, Oregon. Image taken October 22, 2011.


National Register of Historic Places ...
In 1974, the "Rock Corral on the Barlow Road" (also known as "Oregon Trail (Barlow Road) Campsite"), west of Brightwood off U.S. 26 near Sandy River, was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Event #74001673), commemorating exploration, settlement, transportation, and social history (1825 to 1849).

In 1974, the "Oregon Trail, Barlow Road Segment" (also known as "South Alternate of Barlow Road Segment at Woldwood Recreation"), northwest of Wemme, Oregon, was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Event #74001679), commemorating exploration, settlement, transportation, commerce, and social history (1825 to 1899).

In 1992, the "Barlow Road" (also known as the "Oregon Trail"), roughly north of the Salmon and the White Rivers from Rhododendron to southwest of Wamic, Mount Hood National Forest, was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Event #92000334), commemorating transportation, exploration, and settlement (1825 to 1924).


Modern day Tollgates and Barlow Roads

Image, 2011, Tollgate Campground, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tollgate Campground sign, Rhododendron, Oregon. Image taken September 20, 2011.
Image, 2012, Street scene, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tollgate Inn, Sandy, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Street scene, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Trail Roadhouse, Welches, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2012.

The Barlow Trail Roadhouse was built in 1926. For a few months it was a general store before becoming the "Barlow Trail Inn". Today it is the "Barlow Trail Roadhouse", a popular local restaurant in Welches, Oregon.

Skip to my Barlow Road website ...


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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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, 2003

Sources:    Baker Cabin Historical Society website, 2013;  Bailey, W., 1912, "The Barlow Road", IN: "The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society", vol.XIII, September 1912, p.287-296;  "Barlow Road", 5th edition, 1991, published by the Clackamas County Historical Society and Wasco County Historical Society;  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;  "bridgehunter.com" website, 2013, Historic and Notable Bridges of the U.S.;  "HistoricOregonCity.org" website (2011), "End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center";  Historic Oregon Newspapers website, 2012, "Oregon Spectator", 1846;  McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press;  "mounthoodhistory.com" website, 2013;  National Register of Historic Places Inventory - 1974, Nomination Form, Rock Corral on the Barlow Road;  National Register of Historic Places Inventory - 1974, Nomination Form, Barlow Road South Alternative;  National Register of Historic Places Inventory - 1976, Nomination Form, Horace Baker Log Cabin;  National Register of Historic Places Inventory - 1992, Nomination Form, Barlow Road;  Palmer, J. "Journal of travels over the Rocky Mountains to the mouth of the Columbia River, made during the years 1845 and 1846", IN: Thwaites, R., 1906, Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, vol.XXX;  Oregon Historical Society, website, 2009;  Oregon-California Trails Association website, 2011, "Final Leg of the Oregon Trail";  Query, C.F., A History of Oregon Ferries since 1826;  "tomlaidlaw.com" website, 2011;  Tompkins, J., 1996, 2002, Discovering Laurel Hill and the Barlow Road;  U.S. Forest Service online publication "The Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42", Chapter 14, originally from Alison T. Otis, 1986, "The Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42", U.S. Forest Service publication;  U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2011, "Oregon Trail Interpretive Center";  U.S. Bureau of Land Management "Wildwood Recreation Site" brochure, 2007;  U.S. Forest Service website, 2011, Mount Hood National Forest;  U.S. National Park Service website, 2009, Whitman Mission National Historic Site. Wasco History website, 2012, Barlow Trail, taken from the Mount Hood National Forest USDA Pamphlet #797-672/4;  Wigg, M., 1998, Mountain Biking Oregon, A Falcon Guide.

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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October 2013