175th Anniversary of the Oregon Trail: Exploring Mt. Hood

175th Anniversary of the Oregon Trail: Exploring Mt. Hood

This post is sponsored by Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Remember back in the day when the highlight of the elementary school day was playing the Oregon Trail game?

I didn’t really understand that piece of history at that age. It wasn’t until I reached 30 that I had more of an appreciation for history, especially local history like the Oregon Trail since I’ve lived near Portland, Oregon my entire life.

This last weekend we were invited to meet up with modern-day pioneers who shared a little bit of backstory with us about the pioneers who settled here in the Mt. Hood Oregon area for the Oregon Trail’s 175th anniversary.

Who is a Modern Pioneer? You probably know some. Or maybe you are one yourself. Modern Pioneers are everywhere along the Oregon Trail. They are business owners, makers, and leaders carrying on the entrepreneurial spirit of the original pioneers who set off on the Oregon Trail 175 years ago with the dream of a better life.

Our first stop along the Oregon Trail Saturday morning…

The Philip Foster Farm: A historic site in Estacada

We met up with Elaine who manages the Philip Foster Farm for a family tour.

She trains and schedules staff and volunteers, designs and runs summer camps, and reports to the board. Like all nonprofit organizations, they appreciate grants and local donors, but they enjoy finding ways to support historic preservation by providing valuable services. Like Philip Foster, their mission is not just to survive, but to create sustainable systems that benefit the whole

The Philip Foster Farm is part of 640 acres of land that was purchased in 1847 by Philip Foster, the American pioneer who traveled from Maine by ship around Hawaii, to Oregon City and then eventually to Estacada, Oregon. What’s neat about this is that the farmhouse and barn are still standing. The store, blacksmith shop and log cabin have been built on the site to replicate how it was in the 1800s.

log cabins

But more importantly, this was the last stop of the Barlow Road on the Oregon Trail, which was essentially a must stop for those that needed to stock up on goods, use the blacksmith shop and get rest. There is so much history here that it’s fascinating.

They also have many events here to help support the restoration of the farm so they can get it back to how it was originally. They found the deed and all of the house information in a desk at an estate sale that listed everything down to the nails used and how many. So it’s going to be neat getting to take a peek at it again when they finally get that finished.

Arya got a chance to lift a hay bale with rope, daddy and I sawed on a log and we toured the Josiah Burnett house. This farm is truly a warp in time.

After we left the farm, we were on our way to Sandy, Oregon for our second stop on the list…

Wippersnappers Kids Play Place

This is an indoor play place for kids ages 3 and up in the Mt. Hood Community. Wippersnappers was opened up in 2016 by a Sandy family who wanted to create a safe and fun environment for kids to play while the weather permitted outdoor play. With this being the PNW, it’s nice to have places like these for the entire family to enjoy. They serve food, beer, cider and have plenty of seating.

Although I didn’t get to play with my daughter much since I had to tend to the little one, she sure enjoyed it with her dad. We couldn’t get her to try anything but the trampoline for a good hour. But, she did so well taking turns since they have a 2 kid limit at all times on it.

What I liked about this place is that they actually watch and keep an eye on the kids to make sure no rowdiness is going on and to make sure everyone’s following the rules. The owner was working his tail off back and forth and was attentive to everything. It’s nice to see this in a business as the one near me is kind of chaotic which makes me not want to visit often.

We will definitely be back when we head up to Mt. Hood again, especially when there’s nothing else to do near Government camp during the week.

Our third stop on the list… food since we were needing dinner!

Sandlandia World Cuisine – Food Cart Pod

I have actually seen these as we drove through Sandy to get to Mt. Hood, but by the time I see it, it’s too late to turn in and visit; this time, it was a must on the list!

We stopped at the Gyro Grill cart and had a lamb gyro with a fresh mint lemonade and garlic fries. All of it was delicious! Definitely, a must stop if you’re in the mood for a Greek food. You won’t be disappointed!

Since my daughter would only eat the fries, I also got her a strawberry smoothie from the crepes plus food truck. Next time. we’ll have to try some crepes.

Our 4th stop on the list: hotel

Mt. Hood Oregon Resort (Resort at the Mountain)

We arrived and checked in with a breeze. I must say though, the parking lot is a bit confusing since there are no numbers listed for where to turn. They do provide a map but we ended up driving to the wrong 400 section across the road, which were still a part of the hotel but I’m assuming they were condos.

Once we found our room, we got all cozied into to a King bed with a fireplace. It came with a hide-a-bed couch which was nice but not used since we had the baby in an auto rocker and Arya in bed with us like normal.

The room was spacious and nice! Had a covered patio overlooking the wooded area and a path that led to the outdoor heated pool and hot tub. It was raining buckets that day/night so we didn’t go in it even though my husband brought their swimsuits.

Everything was nice and updated and the bed was the comfiest bed we’ve had in a long time at a hotel. I didn’t wake up sore nor had to toss and turn a million times. So that was a pleasant surprise.

We ended up having a fire since they provided a free log to burn. It was nice since it was 54 that day.

If we ever need a place to stay in the area, they will be the first on our list.

The next morning; Sunday… we got our things packed, checked out before the time, and headed to breakfast at the Barlow Trail Roadhouse which was delicious. The portions were big enough that they were shareable, especially the kids strawberry pancakes with whipped cream. It was like the size of 3 normal pancakes in one, so if you have kids, they can definitely share one meal! Now I know where we’ll be eating breakfast again when we head that way in the future. So much yum to be had here and prices are reasonable.

Next stop…

Jonsrud Viewpoint

This viewpoint is along the Barlow Road. You can see a magnificent view of Mt. Hood and the Sandy River Valley from above if it’s a nice clear day. It’s a beautiful place to stop for some scenic views! It was rainy and cloudy so we didn’t get to see too much, but we’ll have to stop another time this summer. This site has been considered one of the best views in Oregon, so stop next time you’re in town or passing by!

After we were done admiring the valley, we used our last and final venture along the Oregon Trail to enjoy a donut from Joe’s Donut Shop since it was almost time for us to head to Albany, Oregon for my sisters’ wedding.

They were probably the best donut I’ve had so far. They were moist and delicious. The apple fritter had big chunks of apple and the maple bar was heavenly. Next time, I’ll add bacon to it.

I wished I would have gotten a photo of ours, but I couldn’t stop for a second to snap a photo since it went from hand to mouth in .5 seconds. So yummy!!

This was a super fun collaboration and I am glad I got to experience this since I don’t think I would have otherwise. Most of these places were not on our radar but now they are for repeat business!

I do hope you enjoyed our travels as much as we did and I wish you get a chance to explore these areas yourself.

Want to see more places and learn more history about the Oregon Trail new and old? Go take a peek at these other influencers blog posts who got a chance to travel the Oregon Trail too from many different areas of the trail, including Missouri, Kansas, and Wyoming! I didn’t even know that the Oregon Trail started in the midwest, so I learned something new this weekend.

Eastern Oregon Travels:

Darling Nightingale

The Ox Mama
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Portland, Oregon:

This Messy Season

Mommy on the Mound

Angie’s Angle

Mt. Hood, Oregon:

The House of Hood Blog

The B-List Blog

And if you want to learn about the history of the Oregon Trail outside of Oregon, go visit these blogs!


My Breezy Room


Run Style Run

Casper, Wyoming:

Living Overland

Love Haight Blog

Independence, Missouri:

Making of a Mom

North Platte, Nebraska:
Her Heartland Soul




  1. / 1:17 PM

    I would love to visit Mount Hood with the family. We’ve always loved taking trips that allow us to explore the past like that. Plus those donuts!

  2. / 1:53 PM

    I would love to visit these places! Looks like there is plenty to do with the family and lots of great pictures to be taken by me!!

  3. / 5:33 PM

    All your photos are amazing. I just love history, so I’d be thrilled to explore this area with my family one day. It looks like there’s tons to see and do.

  4. / 7:17 PM

    What an AWESOME escape!!! SO much to see and do and explore and um, you totally stopped at the food cart I would have stopped at! THIS GIRL cannot get enough gyros and shawarma!!! 😉

  5. Rose Ann Sales
    / 8:19 PM

    Wow! What a good settings from Mt. Hood, loved the vintage atmosphere then the Wippersnapper would be a great hit for our kids. Thank you for this post, would definitely be in our list.

  6. / 9:21 PM

    There is so much history along the trail. I love the dresses with the pictures. I also want that bbq!!!!

  7. / 4:55 AM

    Wow it looks like there is a lot to see and experience for the whole family. I think we need to plan some trips here soon, I would love to explore the area.

  8. / 6:24 AM

    It’s wonderful to preserve history like this so that each new generation can have that glimpse into the past. I think its really important because we can learn how far we’ve come as a society.

  9. / 11:05 AM

    I want to go there!!! It looks like so much fun. My family and I would love it.

  10. Ann F. Snook-Moreau
    / 12:46 PM

    I played Oregon Trail all the time as a kid, so this trip sounds awesome! I love visiting overlooks/viewpoints so the Jonsrud Viewpoint would be a must-visit for me.

  11. / 1:51 PM

    This looks like an awesome visit for family fun! My daughters would really enjoy this and I especially love that rock wall! My youngest daughter is always trying to keep up with her sister so this would be perfect for her!

  12. Laura Dove
    / 3:22 PM

    Wow you guys have some fab adventures! I love to be outdoors but my kids would go crazy for that play place! It’s always the case for us, they see a play area and we know we can quit our plans for the next few hours!

  13. / 5:41 PM

    One of these days I will make my way up there. I really love the era of the Oregon Trail.

  14. / 9:15 PM

    That view at Jonsrud Viewpoint is incredible! What a fun trip for the family to go on!

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