Set in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, the Timberline Lodge is practically an American institution. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, the ski lodge was built near the top of Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, during the Great Depression. Erected from the timber and rock found in the surrounding wilderness, the impressive hotel was built entirely by hand and was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937. Today, the lodge is so popular that it's not only open for overnight guests, but for two hour tours as well.
Located a little over an hours drive from Portland, the lodge is most easily accessible by car. Most guests staying at the Timberline Lodge fly into the Portland airport and then rent a car or take a taxi the rest of the way. There is also a shuttle service called the Fusion Shuttle that runs most weekends December through February from the airport to the lodge and back. For guests who frequent the lodge yearly and have a Fusion, Timberline or Skibowl season pass, this service is free. For others, there's a small fee but it's often easier than having to drive yourself.
Guests at the Timberline Lodge can choose from a wide variety of rooms, all of which combine the craftsmanship and beauty of handmade furnishings with the convenience of modern amenities. The least expensive accommodations at the lodge are the Chalet Rooms, which resemble European-style bunk hostels and can accommodate anywhere from two to ten people. Guests staying in a Chalet Room share access to several private bathrooms with showers that are located centrally in the hallway connecting the rooms.
Timberline Twin Rooms feature two twin-sized beds while Queen Rooms come with one queen-sized bed, a queen and a double or a queen and a twin. Both Twin and Queen Rooms have a private bath with a shower and hairdryer, complimentary toiletries, a television, a telephone, a hairdryer, an alarm clock, a fan, a heater and an iron and ironing board. Corner Rooms at the lodge are more spacious and feature a king-sized bed as well as two twin-sized bed. Corner Rooms have all the same amenities as Twin and Queen Rooms but also have a sofa and seating area.
The most extravagant accommodations at the Timberline Lodge are the Fireplace Rooms, which feature king-sized beds and, in some cases, additional twin-sized beds as well. All of the Fireplace Rooms come with a private bathroom, some with tubs, and all the amenities of the Twin, Queen and Corner Rooms. Fireplace Rooms also come with an in-room coffee pot, a sitting area and a wood-burning fireplace that can be lit on particularly chilly nights. Each of the Fireplace Rooms are also furnished with original handcrafted furniture, fabrics, rugs and dÃÂ©cor.
While each of these rooms is located in the main lodge building, there is also a more private option for groups traveling together. Located above the main lodge at 7,000 feet, the Silcox Hut is like a hotel within a hotel. The hut features a large living area with a fireplace, kitchen/bar area and hand-carved wooden tables and chairs. Off of this main area are six bedrooms, five of which have two single bunk-beds and one with a queen-sized bunk bed. On the next level of the lodge there are three bathrooms, one of which has a shower.
Guests staying in the Silcox Hut aren't only treated to private accommodations, but enjoy the company of a lodge host, who stays in the hut, prepares the meals, maintains communication with the main lodge and makes sure every detail is attended to. Meals are served family style throughout the day and are generally old-fashioned comfort foods, such as lasagna for dinner and oatmeal or muffins for breakfast. Guests in the Silcox Hut can use all the facilities at the main lodge and transportation back and forth between the buildings is provided via snow-cat or, weather permitting, on the lodge's Magic Mile Chairlift.
Mount Hood is the only ski area in the United States that's open year round and offers 41 different trails that are divided into groups based on difficulty. There are ten different lift systems that bring guests from the base of the mountain to the top that, together, are capable of carrying 9,869 people per hour. Though the mountain does not support sledding or snow tubing, guests staying at the lodge can indulge in downhill, Nordic, night and snowcat skiing as well as snowshoeing. Timberline also offers a variety of freestyle terrain trails with jumps and pipes for more adventurous skiers and snowboarders.
For lodge hotel guests who don't know how to ski, Timberline offers a one-of-a-kind ski school that caters to skiers of all ages and abilities. Over one hundred experienced instructors are on hand to go over the basics, accompany you on your first ride or just give you tips on how to improve. Whether you've never been on skis before or are a seasoned veteran who wants to try freestyling, night skiing or any other new experience, there's a program for you. From private lessons to group classes, the school covers every aspect of learning the sport.
However, skiing isn't the only activity on the mountain. Directly behind the lodge, Timberline guests will find a network of easy trails that are ideal for warmer weather and offer great views of the mountain's surrounding scenery. In the late summer, the Magic Mile chairlift brings hikers to the top so that they can hike back down to the lodge. For experienced hikers, there's also the 41-mile Timberline Trail. Accessible from the lodge mid-July through early October, the trail circles around the entire mountain and is not for the weak of heart.
Mount Hood is also a popular spot for mountaineering and is the second most climbed mountain in the world. Each year over 10,000 people visit the mountain to try and reach the 11,249-foot peak and the most popular route to the top starts right at Timberline Lodge. Many guests of the lodge also take advantage of the Magic Mile Sky Ride to simply take in the stunning views and visit Mount Hood's world-famous glacier, Palmer Snowfield. Whether you're capturing the view through photography or just enjoying it for pleasure, it's definitely worth the trip.
When it comes time to refuel, there are a variety of dining options open to guests at the lodge. Named one of the top ten mountaintop restaurants in the Western United States and Canada, the Cascade Dining Room is casual by day and more formal by night. Here, guests can enjoy a lunch or dinner and indulge in wine tastings and tours of the restaurant's wine vault. Using only Northwest ingredients, Executive Chef Leif Benson has been at the restaurant since 1979 and has created popular dishes such as the rosemary and olive crusted wild salmon, timberline hazelnut smoked salmon cakes, pesto chicken lasagna and alpine traditional buffalo sauerbraten.
Open from 11:00a.m. to 11:00p.m., the Ram's Head Bar is located on the second floor of the lodge and serves family-friendly meals and cocktails seven days a week. Located behind the hotel's main lobby, the Blue Ox is a favorite amongst returning guests and specializes in pub fare, like pizza, sandwiches and nachos. Offering a variety of microbrews from the Mt. Hood Brewing Company, the Blue Ox is furnished with glass murals depicting legendary Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox.
Guests enjoying the day on the slopes don't need to return to the lodge to grab lunch or warm up with some coffee or cocoa. Located in the Wy'East Day Lodge, the Black Iron Grill & Market CafÃÂ© serves snacks, sodas and light meals and is often packed with skiers. Those who want to experience life outside of the lodge can venture six miles away to the village of Government Camp where the Ice Axe Grill, a family-style brewpub, serves microbrews, seafood, pasta, steak and pizza.
Those who visit the historic lodge in August are treated to the Timberline Mountain Music Series. Presented by The Boyd Coffee Company, the series includes free concert every Wednesday afternoon in the lodge's amphitheater. Showcasing talented performers who specialize in bluegrass and traditional folk and blues music, the series attracts music lovers from all over the globe and has featured artists like Celtic Pride, Hugh Moffatt, Moe Dixon, The Sam Hill Bluegrass Band, Alex DeGrassi and The Acoustic Guitar Summit in the past.
Guests looking to bring a piece of the lodge and mountain home from them can select keepsakes from several different gift and souvenir boutiques. The Timberline Gallery offers a collection of authentic, locally crafted items, including paintings, books and sculptures, while the Wy'East Gift Shop focuses more on ski and snowboard apparel, including outerwear, hats, gloves, goggles and beyond. T-shirts, sweatshirts and other lodge-specific apparel can be bought in The T-Shirt Shop while an online gift shop, open 24 hours a day, offers posters and other items that highlight the area.