Government Camp is located in Clackamas County, east of Portland along US Highway 26, between Welches and the Hwy 35/US Hwy 26 junction.
In October of 1849, the Oregon Militia, part of the US Army and the first official US military presence in Oregon, used the Barlow Road to get to Fort Vancouver in what is now Washington state. The Militia was caught in a storm crossing Mount Hood and several wagons had to be abandoned here before starting down Laurel Hill.
Emigrants crossing the Barlow Road the following season camped at this site, naming it Government Camp for the government wagons they found here.
Government Camp is the gateway to several nearby Oregon Trail sites and short hiking trails within the Mount Hood National Forest. An enclosed kiosk includes exhibits on the Oregon Trail and Barlow Road. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) markers honoring Sam and Susannah Barlow stand nearby.
Government Camp is part of the Portland-Vancouver, Oregon-WA metro area.