The elegant pitch-roofed facade of Timberline Lodge seems very familiar and there’s a reason for that. This luxurious hotel and ski lodge was used as the exterior location for the Overlook Hotel in the Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining”. Located an hour away from Portland, Oregon, 6000 feet up the south side of Mount Hood, Timberline greets almost two million visitors every year to the lodge and surrounding ski areas. While the hotel interiors and the hedge maze from the film were shot on stages at Elstree Studios in London, the striking exterior of the lodge is a film set you can actually visit and stay in.
Timberline Lodge was constructed in 1937, as part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) during the Great Depression, using regionally native stone and timber. The land surrounding the Timberline, as well as the historic lodge itself, are both owned by the US Forest Service. The lodge and ski area have been family-operated since 1955.
You can have your group event or even your wedding at Timberline with a choice of multiple venues on the property. The entire lodge has previously been bought out for a special Shining-themed Halloween party, complete with creepy twins standing in the hallways and Danny Torrence riding through the hotel on a Big Wheel. The lodge also has a wide range of dining options, including everything from fine sit-down dining to more casual fare and bars. And for beer aficionados, Mt. Hood Brewing Company is only 6 miles down the mountain.
There are a myriad of options for outdoor activities at Timberline, no matter what season you choose to visit in. Summer activities include biking, hiking, and for experienced climbers, proximity to climbing Mt. Hood. For hiking enthusiasts, the Lodge connects with the Pacific Crest Trail, which spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. And for a unique experience, guests can walk or snowshoe around (depending on the season) with either of the Lodge’s resident St. Bernard dogs, Heidi and Bruno, and their trainer. Timberline has had a tradition of resident St. Bernard dogs since it opened. Skiing at the lodge is not just reserved for the coldest months of the year. The ski area at Timberline is the only one in North America open year-round, snow levels permitting. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, they also offer terrain parks with jumps and pipes for folks who want a more energetic experience. Other winter activities at Timberline include snowcat rides (perfect for fans of “The Shining”), snowshoeing, and snow tubing.
Although, not as dramatic as the weather issues in the film, the Timberline Lodge has its share of challenges in the winter. To deal with any issues on the ski slopes, the lodge’s professional ski patrol works in conjunction with the wider 300-member volunteer Mt. Hood ski patrol. If the prospect of driving your own vehicle up a snow and ice-laden mountain is not a pleasant one, there are resort shuttles available, and with their partner facility, you can even arrive in style in a limo (weather permitting).
Even if you can’t walk around in a snowy hedge maze, or encounter creepy little girls in blue dresses, Timberline Lodge has a great deal to offer. And if you want a little more of a “Shining” experience while you’re there, Room 217 from the novel is the hotel’s most requested room for guests.