Oregon Trail Barlow - 3530

Total Miles
7.0

Elevation

1,268.00 ft

Duration

1.5 Hours

Technical Rating

4

Moderate

Best Time

Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Step into the history books when you embark down this 7-mile section of the Oregon Trail Barlow Road. This late 1800's byway is a very technical, primitive, narrow, rocky road. It was not only created as an alternative to floating the wagon down the Columbia River but also to be the width and height of an 1800s-style horse-drawn carriage. OTBR is nestled in the Mount Hood National Forest and encompasses 1.1 million acres in Northwest Oregon. You can get an idea when you see some of their big camp areas that are located right off the beaten track. Big round fields with grass lines and primitive camps with Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Big Leaf Maple. From there you continue down this trail to the Devil's Half Acre trail which is a mile hike to another trail system. There is a posted campground but it's closed and the road leading to it is mud with deep ruts. Barlow Creek parallels this road which offers several areas to pull over and access the creek. Barlow Creek crosses this course and requires a shallow water crossing which could be hazardous during heavy rainfall. This road is closed for motorized vehicles during the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring due to the depth of snow. Grindstone Campground is next which has picnic tables and fire rings for camping. One of the really cool features of this trail is the Oregon Trail wooden posts that are located along this passage. The Mount Hood Recreation pass is required in this area and signs are posted. A snow park permit is required from November 1st through April 30th. Unfortunately, this road ends due to a bridge collapse which is right before the Barlow Campground.

Photos of Oregon Trail Barlow - 3530

Oregon Trail Barlow - 3530
Oregon Trail Barlow - 3530
Oregon Trail Barlow - 3530

Difficulty

This road is very technical with narrow areas to navigate between old growth fallen trees. It requires all wheel drive or 4x4 at times for steepness. Off camber areas and big rocks. This road has to be taken very slowly.

History

Created back in the late 1800's for a bypass west to avoid the major Columbia River, the Barlow Road leads you on a trip back in time to the wagon days. There are lots of artifacts in this area to find. Wagon tracks are still found in sections where motorized vehicles are no longer allowed preserving the history of this land. Here is more information on the Oregon Trail Barlow Road. https://oregontrail-barlowroad.org/

Technical Rating

4

Status Reports

Tommy Furneisen
May 27, 2024
4x4
Temporarily Closed
still close from snow

Access Description

From Hood River, Oregon take Highway 35 south to Barlow Road where there are clearly marked signs. From Sandy, Oregon take Highway 26 to Highway 35 north and then right onto Barlow Road.

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