The Timberline is at an approximate elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level. To put this in perspective, the highest point in all of the 6 New England states is Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, which tops out at 6,200 feet. The one thing that surprised me was that once we turned off the main road, it was only a short trip up to the lodge. I was expecting a long, arduous drive up a narrow gravel, switchback road with sheer dropoffs, which is what you encounter when you drive to the top of Mt. Washington. With a great deal of ear-popping, too, I might add. However, as you approach Mt. Hood from the highway, the elevation of the land steadily increases and you hardly even notice it. So the 6 mile drive to the lodge from the highway is a piece of cake.
The Native Americans who lived in the area called Mt. Hood "Wy'east", and there is a large day lodge called Wy'east Lodge below the Timberline's parking lot where you can get your ski tickets, store gear in lockers, shop at the large gift and pro shops or eat in a cafeteria. Yes I bought souvenirs.
The Timberline was used as the exterior of The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of Stephen King's novel "The Shining". I say "interpretation" because the movie wasn't quite like the book, and let's face it, Jack Nicholson looked like he was going to come unhinged from the get-go. Stephen King was not at all happy with that movie either.
Stephen King based the Overlook on the Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado. When Kubrick filmed, he used the Timberline for the exterior and built studio sets for the interior, but based those on the inside of the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. So the inside of the Timberline looks absolutely nothing like the movie. And it's much smaller inside too.
In the movie, the dreaded room is #237, instead of #217 as used in the book. Apparently the Timberline's management asked Stanley Kubrick to please change the room number because they were afraid no one would ever want to stay in room #217 ever again. If only they knew! When I was in the gift shop, there was only one lame Shining-related ballcap available for purchase. The clerk told me that when they do get that stuff in, it flies off the shelves. I'm sure if #217 had been used in the movie, it would have been booked forever with a waiting list of people who wanted to stay there. And I'm willing to bet they get a fair share of people asking to stay in #237 (which doesn't exist).
The Timberline Lodge was built as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930's, one of the many programs designed to provide employment and income during the Great Depression. FDR really loved the Pacific Northwest, it seems, as he created the Olympic National Park here in Washington. There is a diningroom at the Lake Quinault Lodge called "The Roosevelt Room" because FDR stayed there.
This is a carving on the front door of the Timberline.
As you enter the hotel, the first floor has lovely exhibits of old ski patrol and rescue equipment, the building of the hotel, history of the mountain, etc. The second floor is where the restaurants and hotel rooms are. The entire third floor is a pub, and also has hotel rooms on both wings. This chimney is the centerpiece of the lodge and both second and third floors are open and airy. It's very comfortable and cozy and the wood carvings are amazing.
Different animals are carved on the bannister pillars.
I couldn't get enough of these nooks. I would love to stay at this hotel sometime!
I shot this as a joke because of "The Shining." You all may or may not have read the book or seen the movie, but the "house" is what is controlling Jack. I still get shivers when Jack goes to the bar and is greeted by the bartender Lloyd, who tells Jack, "Your money's no good here Mr. Torrence. Orders from the house." So this is the "House Phone".Here's another writing nook.