On Mount Hood near
Government Camp, Oregon
In early 1936 as the Great Depression raged, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) undertook what many would call a "make-work" project to build a lodge on the south side of Mt. Hood in Northern Oregon. In retrospect, history has shown us that the Timberline Lodge was a "make-art" project-- the Timberline Lodge is certainly a state, if not national, treasure! The original design of the building was created by the famous architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood, and although his design was heavily modified prior to construction, his influence is apparent. The architectural style is unique, a blend of many styles really. It primarily reflects the rustic style, a style which Underwood had undeniably mastered by this time. The Lodge features the classic rustic elements: high ceilings, massive exposed beams and posts, heavy metal accents (wrought iron in this case), and large expanses of rough-cut stones. The "Timberline Arch", a structure named after this lodge, is a major repeating theme; seen in doors, windows, and even the furniture. Timberline Lodge is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Timberline Lodge, which opened September 28, 1937, is a hand-made wonder. Just about everything in the building from door hinges to furniture is hand-made, mostly from local materials. Crafts persons were brought in to design and build models of the furniture, rugs, drapes, and bedspreads. Those crafts persons then trained unskilled workers who did the bulk of the work of making the furnishings. Interior designer Margery Hoffman Smith was the interior designer for the Lodge. Artisans were hired to create original art work for the lodge that ranged from wood carvings to paintings. Today the Timberline Lodge is an art museum as well as a lodge. In addition to the original pieces from the 1930's, additional art work has been commissioned and added to the building over the years. Items that wear out, such as the drapes, have been repaired or replaced with new hand-made duplicates of the originals. When items needed to be modernized to meet modern-day requirements, such as door locks, the work has been done in a way that makes the modern mechanism appear as close as possible to the original. Timberline Lodge is a showplace of superb craftsmanship, both old and new.
The Virtual Tour of Timberline Lodge is the focal point of this website, at the least take a few minutes to look through the first few pictures! The tour will tell you much more about the history, architecture and artwork of the lodge. Finally, there is so much to see at the Timberline Lodge that we couldn't fit it all on the virtual tour, so a Bonus Features section has over 50 additional photos with descriptions of features like carvings, iron work, and small detail stuff, including photos of each of the Lodge's famous hand-carved animals on newel posts!
Rates and Reservations:
Timberline Lodge, Oregon 97028
Reservations phone (800) 547-1406
Internet room rates & reservations: www.timberlinelodge.com
Planning a Visit:
Timberline is located on the side of Mount Hood, above the tree-line at 6000 feet elevation. A snow-park permit is required November 1 - April 31 if you bring a vehicle. Be prepared for lots of deep snow if you visit November - April.
Timberline resort has a large alpine (downhill) ski area as well as limited Nordic (X-country) skiing. Ski operations are based at the Wy’East Day Lodge directly across the street from the lodge. For Nordic skiers wanting more or easier trails, we suggest the Teacup Ski Area which is about 15 miles from the Lodge.
Cascade Dining Room: Menus are posted in the Cascade Dining Room section of the Lodge's website. Reservations are recommended (503-272-3104) and advance reservations are needed for the prime dining times on weekends. Some special nights, like holidays, need to be booked several days and sometimes weeks in advance. People drive up from Portland just to have an elegant dinner/date at Timberline! Leif Benson, CEC, AAC has been Timberline’s executive chef since 1979 and has won numerous world-class culinary awards. Chef Benson prides himself on using the Northwest’s freshest ingredients to create memorable meals that complement the unique ambiance of the Lodge. We dined at the Cascade Dining Room for the special Valentine's Day Dinner in 2007 and the meal was outstanding! In addition, the wine choices on the Northwest wine tasting menu were excellent. (Here's the menu from that dinner.)
Other Food Options:Ram's Head Bar serves lunch and dinner. The Blue Ox serves pizza when open. Breakfast and lunch are also served across the street at the Black Iron Grill and Market Café in the ski lodge. Breakfast buffet is served in the Cascade Dining Room. When staying at the Lodge, we suggest you consider one of the package deals that includes breakfast, if available.
Other Lodging Options: There are other accommodations available in the nearby town of Government Camp.
Day Visits/Tours: Timberline Lodge is open to the public between the hours of 7AM - 11PM. Tours of the hotel are offered on most days. There is a small public museum on the ground floor of the Lodge. If you can't arrange to stay at the Lodge we suggest stopping by to look at the museum, take a tour, and have lunch. Allow at least 1 hour.
Getting There: Timberline Lodge is located just outside of the town of Government Camp, at 6000 foot elevation. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes MINIMUM to get from the Portland International Airport (PDX) to Timberline Lodge. In winter it will take longer. The last 5 miles is a steep road up to the lodge that is plowed, but not snow-free, in winter. If you are uncomfortable with driving in snow conditions we strongly recommend asking the hotel about public transportation options available. Snow tires or chains are often required for the last 5 miles, carry chains with you. For a visit during snow season it is strongly advised that you have Oregon-approved snow tires. If renting a vehicle for a winter visit, we suggest renting an SUV with 4x4 and snow tires, several rental agencies at PDX have these available. From the Portland area you take State route 26 (Mt Hood Hwy) to the town of Government Camp. Just past Government Camp take the Timberline Highway up to the Lodge.