ITINERARY LOCATION: Government Camp, OR, on Mt. Hood
Tim was traveling for work, so I decided that the girls should have a weekend getaway. I convinced a friend to bring her son and we headed South to Timberline Lodge.
At 6,000 feet above sea level sits a WPA-built National Historic Landmark Hotel amidst mind-blowing Alpine scenery, complete with year-round skiing on the 11,000 feet high Mt. Hood. The hotel has its own non-profit lodge preservationthat raises money to keep local artisans trained and available to make repairs on the quality handmade furnishings and finishes that were built in the 1930’s.
Families or couples who love to hike, ski, and lounge in mountain environments. In particular, Timberline Lodge really knows how to harness the spirit of celebration. Check out their website or call the hotel to find out about planned events. In the summertime, there is live music on the patio on Wednesdays and there are special activities for most any holiday, including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Built by hand in 1936, as part of the Country’s Public Works Program, the quintessential lodge features a small museum, which showcases the lodge’s history that is filled with handcrafted metal work, woven-leather and log furniture, and an iconic lodge fireplace. Aside from Teddy Roosevelt's famous visit to the Lodge, Timberline's other claim to fame is that it was the film The Shining. That is probably why there is a yearly horror convention that takes place at the lodge each summer.
As far as ammenities go, they have almost anything you could need: 2 restaurants and a bar, game room, outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub and firepits for lounging next to Mt. Hood’s 11,000 ft-high snowy peak while indulging in smores. The restaurant unexpectedly boasts one of the most extensive Oregon wine lists in the state and the service is friendly.
Steps outside the lodge, visitors can take in North America’s only year-round downhill ski trails, hiking, and the Magic Mile Skyride Chair Lift. The skiing is so exceptional in the summertime, that the U.S. Olympic Team practices there, and the Lodge hosts meet and greet events.
IF YOU GO
- ABILITY TO UNPLUG RATING: High! The cell coverage is very spotty here because you are on top of a mountain. Everyone is forced to engage in old-school face-to-face interactions like playing board games, playing ping pong, sitting in the hot tub, swimming, hiking or sharing great meals.
- Large groups should consider one of the bunk rooms that sleep six.
- Make reservations at least six months in advance. New Year’s Eve reservations open up on October 1 and are only taken over the phone.
- You can rent equipment in the ski shop across from the lodge.
- There is Nordic skiing at the nearby Meadows Resort.
- TRAVEL TIME FROM SEATTLE: 4 hours
- TRAVEL TIME FROM PORTLAND: 90 minutes