Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge – Checking In
For my birthday this year, I told my husband I wanted a trip to Timberline Lodge. Despite all the years I’ve lived in the area, I have never been to the lodge. He surprised me by booking a 2-night stay at the end of September. It is a fairly short drive from the Portland Metro Area, and you are rewarded with amazing views and hiking trails.
On a Friday afternoon, we packed the car and headed off for our mini staycation. The skies were clear and the temperatures were mild. We turned off Highway 26 to take the windy road up to the lodge and noticed the air getting a little crispier as we climbed higher. Timberline Lodge is rustic with modern amenities, including a pool and hot tub. It is also famous thanks to Stephen King and The Shining.
Bags Dropped – Time to Explore!
Once we checked in, we headed to our room to drop off our bags. Our room was on the 2nd floor and had a lovely view facing south. We made a dinner reservation at the lodge restaurant and then headed outside to explore the nearby trails. Out the back door of the lodge, you get the majestic view of Mt. Hood. There is a lovely patio with chairs, corn hole, and has several hiking trails and walking paths that are easily accessible.
We had an early dinner and then headed out to walk the grounds and catch the sunset. The colors were so vibrant. It was very peaceful watching the sun setting in the quiet of nature.
Sunrise – Hiking – Sunset, Oh My
Saturday morning brought an amazing sunrise. We got up early just to catch it. I took a moment to grab some coffee – because sunrise is early – and then we headed out to the back patio. We grabbed chairs and took a few minutes to sit in the crisp morning air to watch the beauty of the sunrise. Once the sun was up and the colors fading into the day, we went in for breakfast. The menu is full of dishes using local fresh ingredients.
After breakfast, we decided to go for a hike. We picked Mirror Lake down in Government Camp. We were able to buy a park pass from the front desk at the lodge. I then grabbed my camera, bottles of water, the park pass, and headed out. It was a nice hike, with good elevation gain but worth the view when you got to the lake. Mt. Hood reflecting in the lake is picturesque.
After the hike, we enjoyed lunch at a local pub in Government Camp before heading back to the lodge. We took advantage of the nice weather and hit the pool and hot tub. It felt great after the hike! Once we cleaned up from playing in the pool, we enjoyed the sunset views while we had dinner.
On Sunday morning, we again enjoyed the sunrise and crisp air before breakfast. After breakfast, we took one last walk around the property before heading back to reality. It was a short trip, but we left feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.
Best Part of Staycation
For me, the best part of the staycation was exploring the area I live in a little better. And, the travel time was also a bonus–less than 2 hours in the car and it is a completely different world. Of course, I also loved being able to find great spots for future photo sessions and future hikes!
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I'm a Vancouver, WA photographer focusing on portraits and have a love of travel!