May 25, 2012 - Barlow Road / Old Oregon Trail - Oregon : Off Road Trip Report
Attendees: Peter, Scott/Josh/Charlie
Rigs: 1992 Isuzu Pickup, 2006 Jeep Rubicon
Our HUGE group of 2 rigs took a day to explore the Barlow Road
. Scott was driving his 2006 Jeep Rubicon
with his boys Josh and Charlie along with their dog Cruiser. I was traveling solo this trip and driving my trusty 1992 Isuzu
with it's increasingly noisy exhaust manifold leak (gotta get that fixed soon). The Barlow Road
is the last section of the original Oregon Trail
that the pilgrims traveled. There's plenty of history intrigue and nostalgia while traveling this historic trail
We met up at Government Camp
at 0900 and planned our route using an Atlas Map and GPS. The Atlas proved to be fairly worthless as the detail and lack of positioning made finding routes difficult. I was using my Droid phone with the Backpacker Pro GPS
app which worked well once I figured out the finicky interface. We drove to the trail head via HWY 35 only to be greeted with large snow drifts covering the trail and a sign saying "bridge out" 1 mile ahead. Being the crazy adventuresome type I decided to proceed down the trail anyhow. Scott followed along giving plenty of distance.
Sure enough, less the a quarter mile from the trail entrance I got stuck. After several failed attempts to get free we hooked up the tow strap and yanked it free. It's always good to travel with another rig! From there we turned around and headed back toward the trail entrance; progress proved to be much more difficult than expected. I had to winch myself up over a large snow drift and then Scott got stuck. His Jeep nearly slid off the hillside and I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to use the snatch block
. The Warn winch
worked perfectly and pulled the Jeep back to safety. We eventually both made it back to the Barlow Trail
entrance and planned our route to intersect with the trail at a lower elevation.
We headed further up hwy 35 only to discover the NF-48 was closed and Bennett Pass was covered in 6 feet of snow. So we drove down HWY 26 to NF-43 that intersected with the Barlow Road
. We headed down the trail and stopped at numerous campsites and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather. Eventually, three fallen trees forced us to turn around. We decided to drive up the trail to check out the closed bridge. There were 4-5 fallen trees along the road; we drove around a couple, over a few and I pushed one off the trail with my front bumper. In the end, we were stopped again by large snow drifts so we turned around and headed back to air up the tires.
The Barlow Trail
is a stock friendly trail; we even saw a Volvo wagon! It's a beautiful drive with many "no service" and "limited service" campsites. Many of these campsites are along the river too. We will certainly be planning another overnight trip in the near future.
Barlow Trail GPS Route via Google!