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Published: September 30th 2017
The entrance to the lodge. Never did get a good picture of the whole lodge. It's a big place.
Geo: 45.3308, -121.71
Our flight left GSP at 5:30 AM, which meant getting up at
“0 dark thirty” on Tuesday for the drive to the airport.
The early departure from home allowed us to arrive in
Portland around 11 AM (PDT) and then drive on to the
Timberline Lodge where we would spend the next two
nights. The author of the book “Wild” had described the
sections in Oregon in such a way as to make the trail
seem like a good one for day hikes, with relatively easy
access to scenic sections at several points . The most
promising was access from this iconic, historical Timberline
Lodge on the south flank of Mount Hood where she had
rested overnight before her final 50 miles to the
Oregon/Washington border where she ended her hike.
The trail crosses just above and behind the lodge as
it passes under several ski lifts that operate even in
The lodge was built in 1937 by the WPA and still has the feel of an
exclusive hotel of that era. The Timberline was used for the
external shots of the hotel in the movie “The Shining,”
View from our window.
This is the view from the window of our room. Nice! Now if the room had just been a bit larger.
those of the interior of the hotel were shot on a sound stage in
Great Britain. The rooms are not air conditioned but at 6,000 feet
that was not be a big problem. While a bit warm during the day, with
the fan that was provided we were quite comfortable. We stayed in a
cheaper ($150/day) room, our only complaint being the size of the
room and bath – both very small. Difficult for two people to
stay out of the way of each other and to find room for suitcases, but
for our two nights, it was worth the slight difficulty in order to
enjoy the lodge and the location.
After our arrival and checking in at
the lodge, we took a fairly short hike up the side of the mountain to
where one ski lift terminated and another originated for those going
to the higher slopes. There was still snow in places on the higher
areas and skiing was still open even in mid August. We saw several
skiers and snow-boarders heading for those few slopes still open.
On Wednesday, we were up fairly early
and had breakfast at the cafe in the day lodge across from the main
lodge since it opened an hour or so before breakfast was served in
Mount Hood & Silcox Hut
Silcox Hut is to the right in the picture and sits just above Timberline Lodge. I believe it is available for rent by groups.
lodge's main dining room. Consequently, we got a fairly early
start on our planned hike for the day along the Pacific Crest Trail
to a loop trail up and through a beautiful area called “Paradise
Park.” This hike, while the longest with the most elevation loss
and gain, was the most enjoyable of the whole trip. The elevation at
the lodge is right at 6,000 feet and while we did not get very much
higher than that on this hike, there were several sharp drops and
climbs over the total 13 mile length. The steepest section involved
a descent into Zig Zag canyon, then crossing the Zig Zag River at an
elevation of around 4,000 feet, the a climb back out of the canyon
and on up to the Paradise Park area. Strenuous but well worth the
effort, especially since many wildflowers were still in bloom!
The next morning, we again ate breakfast
at the day lodge which opened at 7:00 AM, before the main dining
room's breakfast buffet opened at 7:30. However on our way back to
our room to get ready to check out, it was interesting to note all of
the huge backpacks stacked on the patio of the lodge. They had been
left there by thru hikers who had made it
At the start of the hike
The trail began just above the lodge, in the lower left of the picture. That's Mt Jefferson in the distance.
a point of stopping at the
lodge for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. We met several thru
hikers on our day hikes on the trail and many mentioned the fact that
that breakfast is famous within the thru hiking community. I asked
the hostess if they tried to seat these hikers together, thinking
they might have a particular odor that could offend other diners.
Her answer was a diplomatic “yes we do since they like to talk
about their hikes with each other.” She also said it was unreal
how many trips to the buffet some of these folks would make. If they
were true through hikers who had hiked over 2,000 miles on a diet of
freeze dried meals, it is easy to understand their appetite for real
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