Monday, September 10, 2012

Timberline Lodge - Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood
Elevation 5,960
Built mid-1930s

Timberline Lodge

Oregon's iconic Timberline Lodge has quickly become one of my favorite places in the country. Having grown up in a family that worshiped old National Park lodges (especially those of Glacier and Yellowstone), I immediately fell in love with Timberline Lodge the moment I first laid eyes on it. Everything right down to the smell of the inside of the Timberline reminded me of being an excited young kid arriving at, say, Many Glacier Lodge for a weeks vacation. All throughout my youth I loved these old lodges so much that I wished to one day live and work in one- sort of like the legendary Harry R. Truman of the now buried Spirit Lake Lodge in the Mt. St. Helens area. If I had walked into Timberline Lodge as a kid I probably would have moved to this area of the country long before I actually did.

Inside Timberline LodgeOne of the first things you'll very likely notice once you step inside the Timberline is how massive everything is. The stonework, the log beams, the front door, the solid wood furniture, the chandeliers- everything is here is solid and massive! The whole lodge feels as if it is carved out of solid granite. All of this only adds to the grandeur of the place. Considering the weight and size of the building materials, the steepness of the road leading to the lodge, and the quality/reliability of automobiles in the mid-1930s, the construction of the lodge really, to say the least, an engineering marvel.

And, of course, its not just the size and craftsmanship of the place that is marvelous, but also the way it is laid out and decorated. The Timberline is seriously one of the most beautifully decorated places I've ever seen. It has beautiful tapestries, wood carvings, wrought ironwork, light fixtures, antiques, furniture, even the curtains- everything flows together -the color scheme, the wood, the rock, the iron- to create that quintessential "lodge" experience. You'll love it.

Enough talk, time to let the photos themselves do the talking...

Inside Timberline LodgeThe first set of photos comes from early-August 2012, when my family and I spent the night in the Timberline. Though there was far less snow on the mountain, there was (and still is at time of writing in early-September) still a slope open to skiers and snowboarders. There is a square up on the mountain visible from Timberline which you can ski on almost year round. Below, you will see a photo of a snow-plow evening out the slope during sunset. Now that's a job I wish I had...

The second set of photos are of Timberline Lodge's magnificent interior.

The third set of exterior photos comes from a couple months prior, in mid-June 2012. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground. It was just a quick visit to the Timberline that day- a side trip we made with friends of ours while cruising along the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway heading back home to Portland from Hood River.

Here is the first set of exterior photos taken in early-August 2012:

Timberline Loge During an August Sunset

Timberline Lodge

View of Timberline Lodge's parking lot
View of Mt. Jefferson to the South from Timberline Lodge

Mt Jefferson from the Timberline Lodge
Mt. Jefferson from Timberline Lodge at Sunset

Lupine fields at Timberline Lodge
One of many Lupine fields you'll come across near Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge - Mt. Hood

Mt Hood from Timberline Lodge August 2012

Snow Plow on Mt. Hood in August
A snow plow grooming the slope in August

Here are shots of the interior:

Inside Timberline Lodge

Art inside the Timberline Lodge

Wood carving in a door at Timberline Lodge

Inside Timberline Lodge

Inside Timberline Lodge

Light fixture inside Timberline Lodge

Inside Timberline Lodge

Grab a drink on the third floor of the Timberline Lodge

a shoulder of Mt. Hood out the Ram's Head Bar's window on the third floor of the Timberline Lodge

a guest looks out over the Cascade Mountain range from the Ram's Head Bar, third floor of the Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge Chandelier

Second Floor Lobby at Timberline Lodge

Guests playing a board game in the second floor lobby of the Timberline Lodge

Glass of Wine Near the Fireplace at Timberline Lodge

Inside Timberline Lodge

Inside a Guestroom at Timberline Lodge

Inside a Guestroom at the Timberline Lodge

Here is the batch of exterior photos from mid-June 2012:

Timberline Lodge - June 2012

Snow removal at Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge - June 2012

Snow plow in June at Timberline Lodge - Mt. Hood

parking lot at Timberline Lodge with the top of Mt. Hood in the distance

My advice to you, Reader: Stay the night! Even if you only live an hour away in Portland, splurge at least once and spend the night here at the Timberline. Only then will you truly experience why this is arguably one of the greatest places to stay in the country. During the day the Timberline has a tendency to get crowded. Tourists jam the lobbies; skier and snowboarders jam the parking lots. During peak seasons Timberline can get very very crowded, but once dinnertime hits, the crowds fade away. Around sunset it will feel as though you have the place all to yourself. And I have never watched a more brilliant sunset than I have from the Timberline Lodge. Night falls. The Ram's Head bar is open until 11 p.m., there is a ping pong table and shuttle board on the first floor, there is a heated swimming pool and hot tub, there are a handful of places to sit down, play a board game, read a book, talk with friends, crack open a bottle of wine, etc.

I was fortunate enough to stay here once with my wife and my family. We had such a great time that we hope to make it an annual thing. I hope you, too, Reader, can experience the Timberline Lodge the way it is supposed to be experienced: by spending the night. That is my recommendation.


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  2. Nice, I have been there once with Gary Randall and he showed me through - have to come back and stay there someday!