Location: Timberline Lodge, OR
Resorts: 19 out of 50
Mt. Hood is intense. It’s one of those majestic peaks that makes you swear softly under your breath. We spent three days under the shadow of Hood, so get ready for a slew of shots featuring one of the most photogenic mountains in the West.
You can’t get much closer to Mt. Hood by road than the one to Timberline Lodge. This national historic landmark which is still a fully functioning hotel (more on that later) sits at 5,960 feet. Built between 1936-1938, Timberline Lodge was part of FDR’s New Deal Project. As one might expect, the government almost ran it into the ground until the Kohnstamm family took over in 1955.
Look closely at the picture below of Timberline Lodge. Does it look familiar? Not yet? Here’s a hint: Red-rum. Yeah, that’s right, this hotel is the one from The Shining. The exterior was used as some of the aerial establishing shots of the fictional Overlook Hotel. Inside, there’s no creepy twins, but there are multiple restaurants, a few bars, a museum, and plenty of nooks to relax and enjoy the massive fireplace.
Timberline Lodge also boasts a ski area, the reason for our visit. The parking lot, base lodge, and hotel all sit at the halfway point of the ski area. Heading down leads to blues, greens, and terrain parks. Going up takes you past the tree line and to the open bowls under Mt. Hood.
Some days you get lucky on this trip. Some days you don’t. We got new snow, but the dense clouds prevented us from the upper terrain. Even after an afternoon on blue groomers, we were still happy to be at Timberline. Why? They have overnight parking in the lot. All you need to do is buy a $3 National Forest Service permit.
After a few hoists of the shot ski, we changed into our fancy duds (really just clean pants and shirts) and went inside the Timberline Lodge. For a few hours, we pretended to be guests sitting by the fireplace on comfortable couches. We even managed to poach a shower down by the sauna room.
The Cheat Sheet:
Timberline Lodge, OR 97028
|500 in (1,270 cm)
|8,540 ft (2,603 m)
|4,850 ft (1,478 m)
|3,690 ft (1,125 m)
|9 lifts | 41 trails | 1,415 acres (573 ha) acres