One of Oregon’s most visited sites, a popular tourist attraction drawing more than 1.9 million visitors annually from all over the world.
Timberline Lodge is a public building built for the people by the people, and the stewards of the lodge truly consider this iconic landmark everyone’s mountain home making it arguably the most significant historic structure in the state.
The lodge was built in 1937 to be a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat for all to enjoy, which still holds true today.
These days all outdoor enthusiasts, including skiers, hikers, and mountain bikers, enjoy the lodge year-round. The main lodge is a beautiful 55,000-square-foot structure sitting 6000’ on the south slope of Mt. Hood, which is part of the Cascade Mountain Range and Oregon’s highest peak.
Upon entering the lodge, you’ll come to an impressive stone fireplace, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back into simpler times.
This is likely due to the requirements in designing the lodge where everything was to be made by hand within the themes of Native American, Pioneer, or Wildlife. One of the many traditions of Timberline that has carried on through the decades is having resident St. Bernard dogs, which started at construction and continues on with Heidi and Bruno, who greet visitors today.
Timberline Lodge first opened in 1938 and was a project of the Works Progress Administration created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and part of The New Deal. It was commissioned to help the local economy employ crews of workers, artists, and craftspeople that were not able to find work elsewhere due to the Great Depression.
Construction was completed in just 22 months and had an estimated cost of $275,513. It took approximately 760,000 person-hours of work. The lodge was dedicated in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and, in 1977, became a National Historic Landmark.
Timberline Lodge gained notoriety again with a brief appearance in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie “The Shining” with some exterior shots of the lodge, which was based on a book by Steven King.
As you enter the first level of the lodge, there is an interactive museum displaying the lodge’s history, indigenous people from the area, and skiing on Mt. Hood. Here you will learn about the quality of the craftsmanship. See sketches of the early furniture and examples of textiles sourced. There are also displays showing the evolution of skiing over the years.
- Skiing or Snowboarding: Enjoy the most inbound vertical in the country at 4,540 feet with 1,685 skiable terrains. 6 High-Speed Quad, 2 Doubles, Snowcat skiing, 6 Terrain Parks, and night skiing. Ski Trail Map. Their varied terrain has some for all levels of experience, even beginners to downhill skiing.
- Snowshoeing: The snowshoe trail is approximately 3/4 of a mile long and is groomed daily. Snowshoe rentals are available in the Wy’East Day Lodge. Snowshoe Trail Map.
- Snowcat Tours: One-hour scenic snowcat rides are offered in The Take Me to the Top Package for private groups of up to 6 people from the comfort of a bench seat in the enclosed and heated snowcat.
- Summer Skiing: That’s right, Timberline offers the only summer skiing in North America on the Palmer Snowfield, drawing skiers and snowboarders from around the world to train between June – September each year. Lift tickets are available daily, and there are some ski and snowboard camps offered throughout the summer.
- Mountain Biking: This lift-assisted bike park offers mountain bikers many terrain levels to refine their skills or take in the scenery with the longest trail at 4.5 miles. Lift tickets are required, and gear rental is available. Private mountain bike lessons are offered daily. Camps and clinics run throughout the summer. Bike Park Trail Map
- Scenic Chairlift: Take the Magic Mile Scenic Chairlift ride up to 7000’ for spectacular views of Mt. Hood and the surrounding Cascades mountains. You can take the chairlift down or alternately hike down, which takes about 2 hours of trail time.
- Day Hiking: There are many easy hiking trails accessible around the lodge for day hikes, or you may opt for the more challenging 1-mile hike up to the Silcox Hut for a sunrise view from 7000’. For those looking for an even greater challenge, consider hiking Zig Zag Canyon or Paradise Park Loop Trail, which offer longer round-trip day hikes and some spectacular views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and the snow-fed streams bordered with summer wildflowers. Check out the interactive map app on Northwest Hiker.
The Timberline Trail circumnavigates Mt. Hood over 38.3 miles and 9000’ of elevation change and offers high alpine meadows, glaciers, deep canyons, and snow-melt-fed rivers. Backpackers make this trip from summer and early fall after the snow recedes. Timberline offers easy access to the trailhead and a wonderful finish line after days on the trail.
Pacific Crest Trail
The PCT spans the western continental US for 2,650 miles from the Mexican border to Canada. Timberline intersects the trail as a welcome waypoint for thousands of long-distance hikers each summer hikers offering services such as resupply, mail, showers, and a hot meal. Guide to Hiking the PCT.
The summit of Mt Hood Stands at 11,249’, making it the tallest mountain in Oregon and a destination for mountaineers. Although Timberline Lodge doesn’t promote activities outside the ski area boundaries, they are the jumping-off point for many mountaineering routes to the peak.
Climbers must register their group and obtain a wilderness permit from the Climber Registration room outside of the Wy’East Day Lodge and may park at the Salmon River Parking Lot, avoiding resort operations. Even the accessible routes are technical climbs requiring mountaineering experience and should only be attempted with a Timberline Mountain Guide.
Timberline offers many fresh cuisine choices made with locally-sourced ingredients paired with glacier-fed brewery options and award-winning wine selections.
Wy’East Café: This food court-style dining option in the Wy’East Day Lodge is open anytime the lifts are running, offering convenient food options for anyone enjoying the slopes or trails.
Y’Bar: Offering beverage service in the Wy’East day lodge anytime the lifts are open.
Rams Head Bar: Located in the main lodge, second-level balcony mezzanine with casual dining next to the massive stone chimney centerpiece with expansive views of Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson. Stop in for a hearty bowl of chili or their famous Snow Cap Dream – the best hot chocolate on Mt. Hood!
Cascade Dining Room: For an unforgettable dining experience featuring farm-to-table cuisine is the finest dining cuisine Timberline has to offer.
Phlox Point Cabin: This mid-mountain ski-in-ski-out lunch spot has a historical significance dating back to the 1930s. These days they offer some great bites and beverages for those looking to grab a quick lunch and return to the slopes.
Consider staying at Timberline Lodge for an unforgettable experience and to have time to take in all the lodge and surrounding area have to offer. The lodge hotel features all the modern luxuries you need with simple rustic charm.
- Each lodge room has unique styling, views, amenities, and size. Choose between Timberline’s premier fireplace rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a king bed or Chalet rooms with bunks for all your ski buddies. Following the construction time, chalet rooms have shared access to several private bathrooms with showers. Pet-friendly rooms are also available.
- Hotel guests have private access to the heated swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, and an outdoor hot tub with a view of the lodge.
- There are also books, movies, and board games available for guests to check out.
Timberline is less than 90 minutes from Portland International Airport and is easily accessible by car throughout the year. If you are traveling during the winter season, it’s important always to exercise caution and be prepared for winter weather conditions anytime you plan to venture into the mountains.
Check the weather and road conditions before heading out, and make sure you are prepared. Look at our Winter Driving Safety Tips & 16 Emergency Kit Ideas.
Shuttle Service from Portland Metro Area:
Local Transit daily from Sandy, Oregon: