Mount Hood isn’t your average mountain. At 11,249 feet, it’s the highest peak in Oregon, and thought to be the second-most-climbed glaciated peak in the world, behind Japan’s Mount Fuji. But you don’t need crampons and ice axes for an epic Hood experience. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your room. Here’s a look at some of the mountain’s unique lodging options.
Literally topping the list of spots to rest your head on the mountain is the iconic Timberline Lodge, 62 miles east of Portland and a lofty 6,000 feet up. Famously featured in the classic film The Shining, Timberline dates back to 1937, when the hotel was constructed as a Works Progress Administration project. Hewn by hand with giant fir beams and boulders sourced from the mountain, it’s a grand example of Cascadian architecture and a National Historic Landmark, complete with soaring public spaces, rustic ironwork, cozy nooks and fireplaces.
There’s plenty more history — and adventure — on hand for visitors to Clear Lake Cabin Lookout, one of two active-duty Forest Service fire lookouts located on the flanks of Mount Hood. Available for rent in the fall and winter, the cabin, which sits atop a 40-foot tower, is accessed by a four-mile snowshoe, ski or snowmobile journey through the Mt. Hood National Forest. The more remote Flag Point Lookout sits atop a 5,650-foot pine-dotted butte and requires a challenging 11-mile trek. But rewards are great: Both cabins feature sweeping, 360-degree Cascade Range views.
The latest DIY-lodge experience on the mountain comes from Cascade Huts. Opened in 2009, these five rustic cabins are accessible via self-guided backcountry excursions. The one-room huts sleep up to eight and come stocked with propane heater and stove, utensils, sleeping bags and pads, and, in summer, food and drinking water. During summer and fall, mountain bikers access the huts on three- to six-day mountain bike tours via Forest Service roads (with plenty of singletrack options). Come winter, hut-goers arrive via ski or snowshoe treks of 2-12 miles to enjoy snowbound solitude.
For a home base that’s easier to access (think: with a parking lot), the mountain village of Government Camp offers several lodging options. The Best Western Mt. Hood Inn features reliable hotel amenities like a 24-hour reception desk, exercise facility, complimentary breakfast, TV and wireless internet. Just up the road from the Best Western, Collins Lake Resort offers vacation rentals. Clustered together and connected by paths, the Grand Lodges and the Chalets at Collins Lake come with access to resort amenities like a pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness room and ski shuttle. In the heart of Government Camp, the family-run Huckleberry Inn offers 16 guestrooms as well as dorm-style accommodations for groups — all above the Huckleberry Inn Cafe, serving up hearty diner fare like giant huckleberry pancakes, classic burgers and creamy huckleberry shakes 24 hours a day.