Timberline Lodge is a publicly owned resort in northwest Oregon. Just 1 ½ hours east of Portland, it is a destination for visitors and locals alike. The spectacular scenery, plenty of outdoor adventures, and an interesting history, make staying at Timberline Lodge a great getaway destination for a weekend or longer.
Timberline Lodge in winter
Timberline Lodge is accessible via the Mount Hood Scenic Highway system using either Oregon Route 35 (about 40 miles south of The Dalles, Oregon), or US Route 26 (about 94 miles east of Portland, Oregon). The Lodge sits at the base of beautiful Mount Hood.
Probably best known as a winter playground, Timberline Lodge sits at an elevation of 5,960 feet (1,817 m), within the Mount Hood National Forest. Skiing is a year round activity on Mount Hood with the Palmer runs maintaining a snow base all year. When the snow flies and piles up, great powder runs excite skiers and snowboarders alike.
Not into snow? Stay warm at the lodge
For the non-skier, the lodge features a year-round outdoor natural hot springs pool, outstanding restaurant options, and three great fireplaces to chase away winter chill. The fireplace provides a toasty atmosphere to read a great book, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, or just watch people.
In the summer, numerous trails provide easy to challenging hikes for outdoor explorers. Tour operators offer river rafting adventures. Local vendors offer bicycles and kayaks for rent.
No matter the season, there are always plenty of activities to keep you active. For a slower pace, take in the architecture of the lodge itself. Imagine manipulating the huge logs to build the original structure. Take in the attention to detail on the many carved or sculpted surfaces. Read about the history through many documentary style pictures and posting in the lobby and halls.
Quick snacks to full course dinners – you are covered at Timberline
Visitors to Timberline Lodge have several options for eating. The Cascade Dining Room is open year round providing options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ranging from a few dollars for breakfast or lunch to up to 50 USD for a full course dinner with wine.
The Ram’s Head Bar offers pizza and burgers along with a wide selection of brews for lunch and dinner year round. A burger runs about 10 USD while brews start at 4 USD and go up from there.
During the winter ski season, other options include the Blue Ox Bar, Black Iron Grill, Market Café, and the Mount Hood Brewing Company.
Comfortable options for overnight stays
Timberline Lodge offers four basic types of rooms. The Chalet Rooms (pictured here) are bunk-bed style beds that can accommodate two to ten people in a room. These rooms share bathroom and shower facilities with other Chalet Rooms on the same floor. Comfy and well-lit, these are great for family ski trips. There are no televisions or phones in these rooms.
The Queen Rooms are more like a traditional hotel room with a comfortable queen bed or two, depending on number of guests in the room. There is a bathroom with shower only in these rooms. Most of these rooms have televisions, phones, hair dryers, and ironing boards in the room.
The Corner Rooms and Fireplace Guestrooms are the high end options at Timberline. These rooms include a sofa and sitting area as well as the standard bed options. The fireplace rooms have a gas fireplace as well for guests to enjoy.
Overnight guest amenities extend beyond the snow
Timberline Lodge has a heated pool available year round in addition to hot tub and sauna options. A complete fitness center with quality workout equipment is available in addition to a game room and lending library.
Special packages are the way to go for the best deals. Packages may include events, ski lift tickets, or special treats to make your stay memorable. Treats include cookies and milk, chocolate dipped strawberries, smores packages, and more.
In the mid 1930’s the government was actively building and improving transportation through the Columbia Gorge and Mount Hood National Forest, but there were no accommodations available in the area. The lodge was built to meet this need.
Using large timbers and local stone for the structural foundations, master craftsmen created extensive carved woodwork throughout the lodge. The lodge was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 28, 1937.
Over the next twenty years, operators frequently turned over. The Lodge fell into disrepair and closed. Richard Kohnstamm stepped up to repair and restore the lodge. Despite significant financial difficulties in the early years due to government ownership, he elected to maintain the lodge as if he owned it. During those early years, he lost money. An interest in skiing turned the tides for Kohnstamm in 1960.
Sitting at the base of Mount Hood, attracting thousands of skiers annually, Timberline became a perfect accommodation for families, skiers, and others to enjoy the surrounding national park. Kohnstamm became known as the “man who saved Timberline.” He died at 80 years of age in 2006. His son Jeff took over operations and is now the Area Operator.
Timberline remains a popular tourist attraction
With more than a million visitors annually, Timberline Lodge remains a popular tourist attraction in any season.