Special Places

Mt. Hood National Forest Wildernesses

Wildernesses are lands designated by Congress to be protected and preserved in their natural condition, without permanent improvements or habitation. Along with horseback riding, hiking or climbing, people may hunt, fish or trap.

Mt. Hood National Forest boasts eight wildernesses, encompassing 311,448 acres- or about one-third of the forest.

Accessible Recreation on the Forest

Accessible Recreation Video SeriesWatch videos and view an interactive map to learn more about premier accessible recreation sites at Mt Hood National Forest.



Historic Government Camp & Timberline Lodge

Mountaineer TrailGovernment Camp is a small, private mountain community at 3,900 feet on Mt. Hood's south side. The community is a launching point for numerous outdoor adventures including skiing, hiking, mountain biking, huckleberry picking and exploring the Barlow Road. A trail system surrounds the community for both winter and summer use. The community has a tradition of winter sports dating back to the early 1900's. Developed skiing and snowboarding opportunities are available at Timberline, Summit, and Ski Bowl Resorts.

Perched above Government Camp (and accessible by paved road) is Timberline Lodge. A National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge was constructed during the Great Depression of the 1930's by craftspeople working under the Federal Works Projects Administration. 

Timothy Lake Recreation Area

Timothy Lake is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Two other nearby campgrounds accommodate equestrians. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail also traverses the area along the east side of Timothy Lake.

The tributaries that feed Timothy Lake have outstanding wetlands habitat. Oak Grove Fork Meadow by Clackamas Lake, Timothy Lake's North Arm and Little Crater Meadow are great places to spot wildlife whch depend on wetlands. Timothy Lake is an artificial lake constructed by Portland General Electric in 1958 for hydroelectric power. The State of Oregon stocks rainbow and brook trout in this 1400 acre lake. Motorboats are allowed, and a 10 MPH speed limit is in place.

Clackamas Wild and Scenic River

In 1988, Congress designated 47 miles of the Clackamas River, from its origins in the Olallie Lake Scenic Area to Big Cliff, as part of the Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Outstanding scenery and proximity to Portland make this section of the Clackamas River one of the most popular recreation areas in Oregon. The river has carved a deep gorge with rocky cliffs and tree-laden slopes. Whitewater boating and year-round hiking and riding are among the many recreational pursuits here. Facilities are available for day-use and overnight camping beside the river.

The Clackamas River contains diverse fish habitats, vital to a productive fishery. In addition, over 1,040 miles of fish-bearing streams and rivers flow into the Clackamas River. Anadromous spring Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, and Steelhead Trout use these waters for spawning, rearing, and migration. Resident fish include Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, and the threatened Steelhead and Chinook Salmon species. 

The Barlow Road

Arriving at The Dalles in 1845, Samuel K. Barlow learned that he would have to wait weeks for passage down the Columbia River. He decided instead to attempt crossing the Cascades. Barlow and Joel Palmer led a wagon train south to Tygh Valley and successfully explored for a wagon road around the southern slopes of Mt. Hood. In 1846, the "Barlow Road" was opened to emigrants as a toll road. Tolls ranged from a promise to pay $5 per wagon, 10 cents per head of loose stock, a shirt, a cow or a blanket. This road completed the Oregon Trail as a land route from the Mississippi Valley to the Willamette Valley and was still in use as a wagon road as late as 1919.

You can still travel the same route once forged by the hardy first settlers to Oregon. The eastern portion of the road from Tygh Valley to Barlow Pass has been little altered, and high clearance vehicles are still recommended for today's travelers on the Barlow Road. At several locations, interpretive signs describe historical events, and there are six campgrounds for overnighting. For more information, you may contact the Barlow or Hood River Ranger District Offices.

Highlighted Areas

Green Canyon Campground

Green Canyon sits along scenic Salmon River nestled in old growth.  There are several hiking trails nearby including those that take you to the surrounding Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. Located in the canyon carved by the Wild and Scenic Salmon River.

Little Crater Lake Campground

Little Crater Lake Campground is one of the most scenic spots in Mt. Hood National Forest and a very comfortable place to camp. It is not far from Little Crater Lake, a cold, crystal clear, spring-fed pond - absolutely no swimming in Little Crater Lake. Also nearby is Timothy Lake, where boaters, swimmers and anglers enjoy recreating, all in the shadows of Mt. Hood, Oregon's highest point.

Located near Little Crater Lake. The small version of the famous lake to the south is considered a geologic oddity, possibly created by artesian water forcing its way through the soft volcanic rock, creating a "blowhole." Excellent huckleberry picking in the vicinity. Campground is wheelchair accessible.

Riley Horse Campground

Riley Campground is an equestrian facility located northwest of Oregon's majestic Mt. Hood. Horse corrals are tucked into the forest near the campsites, and several horseback riding trails can be accessed from the campground. A variety of recreational and sightseeing opportunities are available for visitors to enjoy.

14 sites located on Lost Creek, near the Wild and Scenic Sandy River.

 The campsites are intended for equestrians, but may be used by others.

Avg. spur length = 35'

Pioneer Bridle Trailhead

This is a major mountain bike route.  From Glacier View Trailhead (3,600’) this trail descends most of its length to Tollgate Trailhead (1,800’). : Pioneer Bridle Trail connects the towns of Government Camp and Rhododendron. Part of the trail follows segments of the historic Barlow Road. The entire trail stays in the forest and is within earshot of the highway. Provides access to: Pioneer Bridle Trail