The county, as well as the city, of Clackamas was named after the Native Americans living in the area, the Clackamas Indians, who were part of the Chinookan people. As of the 2010 census, the population of the county was 375,992.
Since the creation of the Clackamas county, agriculture, timber, manufacturing, and commerce have been the principal economic activities. Mount Hood is the only year-round ski resort in the United States and the site of Timberline Lodge, and is a major attraction for recreation and tourism here. The mountain, rivers, and forests offer outdoor recreational activities, from skiing and rafting, to fishing and camping. This county includes parts of two national forests (Mount Hood National Forest and Willamette National Forest.
In 1902, the Willamette Meteorite was recovered from a field just outside present-day West Linn. The county narrowly voted for Republican George W. Bush over Democrat John Kerry in 2004, but moderately voted for Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain in 2008.
As of August 2005, Clackamas is the first county in Oregon to have 4 models of governance for its communities. Like the rest of Oregon, it has cities and rural communities.
After completion of a process that began late in 1999, the county adopted an ordinance on August 11, 2005 which defined hamlets and villages. On the November 30, 2005, deadline, three communities have submitted petitions to start the process of becoming a hamlet or a village. Boring petitioned to become a village. The communities along US 26 near Mount Hood from Brightwood to Rhododendron have petitioned to become “The Villages at Mount Hood”. Beavercreek has become a hamlet.