A learning adventure

On Barlow Road

Image of Laurel Hill

Interactive Oregon Trail: Barlow Road

There are 16 historic trails in Oregon. The most famous is the Oregon trail, the primary route emigrants took across the country to Oregon – to the Dalles, where they then rode and portaged down the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to settle. The Barlow Road was developed as an alterative to river transport. The road was started and formally authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1845. It was completed in 1846, and offered emigrants a southwestern Oregon.

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.


Exploration of Barlow Road

This website contains panoramas, photos, audio stories and historical context that paint an overall picture of the Barlow Road section of the Oregon trail.


Dalles - Rafting a wagon on the Columbia River -magnoliabox.com

This project was created as a tool to help educators talk about the road, and help students experience what the road looked like and what the emigrants experienced.