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Pioneer Bridle takes you from Government Camp to Rhododendron.

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3,626' 1,105 m


1,755' 535 m


209' 64 m


2,080' 634 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

This trail is open most of the year but may be snowed in at the upper levels in winter.


Pioneer Bridle Trail is an 8-mile trail that takes you from the town of Government Camp (starting at Glacier View Trailhead) to nearly the town of Rhododendron. The trail follows the Barlow Road - part of the Oregon Trail followed by pioneers in wagon trains coming to Oregon and wanting to avoid rafting their wagons down the Columbia. The upper part of the trail drops down Laurel Hill, which the pioneers noted in their diaries - as the most difficult part of the route from Missouri. They had to lower their wagons with ropes tied around trees because it was so steep.

From the trailhead at Glacier View, the trail is more intermediate classification as you travel adjacent to the "old Highway 26" sections and brush close to the guard rail along the current highway location. From there, you drop down and pass through a tunnel under an old highway bridge. Little Zigzag Falls Trail (closed to bikes) is very close and is a short 1/4-mile hike into this small waterfall. Once past the tunnel and despite the fact that you are dropping from Government Camp to Rhododendron, there are some steady climbs up Laurel Hill before you begin descending again.

The downhill section of Laurel Hill is a fast blast until you reach Highway 26. For those just wanting the steeper parts of the trail, you can stage a vehicle along the north side of the highway where the trail crosses. Otherwise, very carefully cross Highway 26 and continue the trail towards Rhododendron. This section of trail, can be classified as easy as it is a gentle downhill ride on combinations of dirt and wider gravel that was brought in to deal with highway drainage which was trenching the trail which is the lowest point in the area. Some may find it boring, compared to the other part of the trail, but it provides a nice cooldown. The trail officially ends at the Tollgate Rest Area where a replica of the Tollgate for the pioneer wagons had to pay for access to the Barlow Road. Bikers can continue down Highway 26 1/2 mile to the town of Rhododendron and cool off at the Dairy Queen or another local dining establishment.

The Pioneer Bridle Trail can be combined with Timberline to Town Trail and Crosstown Trail #755 to ride from Timberline Lodge to the Forest boundary. This segment is a completed segment of the future Mt. Hood to Rose City Trail Corridor planned for future years.


Shared By:

Kathleen Walker

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 9 votes


  4.0 from 9 votes
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in Oregon


11 Views Last Month
6,975 Since Jun 29, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate



The tunnel under the old Highway 26 crossing along Pioneer Bridle Trail
Jun 29, 2015 near Governm…, OR
The Tollgate along the old Barlow Road now the end of the Pioneer Bridle Trail
Jun 29, 2015 near Mount H…, OR
Lower Timberline opens up for some speedy sections.
Jun 9, 2017 near Governm…, OR
Just below the old Highway 26 tunnel along Pioneer Bridle, sections of old highway wall.
Jun 29, 2015 near Governm…, OR
Old stone underpass
Sep 2, 2019 near Governm…, OR
The lower section of Pioneer Bridle Trail.
Jun 29, 2015 near Mount H…, OR


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Oct 21, 2018
Andy Arnsberg
Finished with a descent down Crosstown/Pioneer Bridal Trails from the Summit ski hill in Government Camp after riding to Trillium from Still Cr. CG. — 0h 50m
Aug 7, 2017
Clif Jones
May 18, 2017
Eric Getchell
Rode Laurel hill only, but there are many downed trees so watch your speed. 5mi
Aug 12, 2016
Star Fangled Nut
Camp Creek CG to Libby Hill switchbacks. 6mi
Dec 3, 2015
Darrin Stein

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