I finally got a chance last weekend to get out of Portland for some car camping near Barton on the Clackamas River. A friend that is a caretaker on 50 acres of undeveloped land on the river invited me to spend the weekend.
The property is along a road that was originally known as the Barlow Road route of the Oregon Trail, described on Wikipedia as “by far the most harrowing 100 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile” trail.
When I got to Barton, I set up camp and took a little walk around the property to check things out.
There are many tree-covered grottoes and gardens connected by trails.
A short walk through the woods and under a bridge takes you to Barton Park on the Clackamas River. (Click on image to view full-size panorama.)
In the morning, I woke early to take a hike along the Clackamas River Trail, a 7-mile trail that travels along the river between Fish Creek Campground and Indian Henry Campground in the Mount Hood National Forest. The trailhead is about a 20-minute drive down Oregon 224 from my campsite.
The trail starts out pretty flat but soon climbs high above the river for some pretty good views.
(Click on images to view full-size panoramas.)
There are some steep switchbacks and spots with tricky footing, but the trail is generally quite enjoyable, sometimes dropping down to river level and sometimes climbing two or three hundred feet above the rapids.
Later that day, after lunch, Lloyd set me up with one of his rafts and gave me a ride in his pickup to a boat launch upstream so I could paddle back to the Barton Park boat ramp.
All in all, an amazing weekend under the stars less than an hour from downtown Portland.