Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge is a region where stunning natural beauty is mixed with history at every turn. The snowcapped peak of Mt. Hood is a defining feature of the state and the Columbia River has been important to the area for thousands of years. Today the area provides an almost endless amount of activities including farms and orchards, wineries, fishing and numerous outdoor recreation options.


Map with ten sites called out along The Oregon Trail in Idaho, Washington and Oregon



The Dalles, Oregon

In the first years of the Oregon Trail, pioneers arrived at The Dalles with their only choice to float the wagons down the mighty Columbia River toward the Willamette Valley. However, when the Barlow Toll Road opened two years later, this offered an alternative route around Mt. Hood. The Dalles is still the eastern gateway to the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, where visitors can get a taste of the region through one of the local farms or wineries, experience amazing outdoor adventures or explore the town’s rich history.

Influencer Chelsee Hood explored The Dalles and met Modern Pioneer Bambi Foy, education coordinator at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum. She also visited a number of local shops in town and the Rowena Crest View Point. Read about her whole trip here.

Influencer Brittany Nicole explored The Dalles and met a number of Modern Pioneers in the volunteers who are the Fort Dalles Floozies and Friends. Read about her whole trip here.



Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

The Columbia River route was originally the only way for pioneers to reach Oregon City and the end of the Oregon Trail. Some rafts would float all the way to Fort Vancouver, but others would unload once they arrived at the Sandy River. Located along this route are the towns of Hood River, Cascade Locks and Troutdale.

Influencer Chelsee Hood explored the Columbia River Gorge and the local shops, farms and restaurants in the towns along this route. Read about her whole trip here.


Government Camp, Oregon

The Barlow Road provided pioneers a way around the south side of Mt. Hood, and eventually through where Government Camp is today. This small, alpine town serves as a basecamp for skiing during the winter and mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and other outdoor adventures during the summer.

Influencer Brittany Nicole explored the sites, restaurants and area around Government Camp. Read about her whole trip here.


Sandy, Oregon

Pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail would converge on Sandy in two different areas. Those who travelled the Columbia River route would take out at the Sandy River. Settlers who traveled the Barlow Road route also passed through the area as it headed into Oregon City.

Influencer Jenny from Mom Life in PNW explored Sandy and met Modern Pioneer Elaine Butler of Philip Foster Farm. She also visited Whippersnappers Kids Play Place, Sandlandia Food Cart Pod and Joes Donut Shop. Read about her whole trip here.

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Onward to the End of the Oregon Trail

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