Mt. Hood, Oregon
$1,200 to $1,300 for a family of four for two nights, including lift tickets and meals
Courtesy of Timberline Lodge
GETTING THERE Drive east from Portland in a car that can handle mountain roads and rain. Or, better, take a biodiesel shuttle run by an outfit called Sea to Summit from Portland International Airport to the mountain. Meander past waterfalls, forests, and patches of flowers until Mt. Hood hovers above and the stone and wood Timberline Lodge emerges like a monument to a grandiose past. Try not to shudder once you recognize it as the place where Jack Nicholson went ax crazy in The Shining.
BEST MOMENT Taking a ski lift to the peak and finding the world below covered in clouds. Cold wind and chapped lips failed to diminish the thrill of an otherworldly view.
WORST MOMENT Being too slow to stop two excitable children from jumping on—and, we feared, breaking—the antique twin beds that had been crafted by workers brought in to build the lodge during the Great Depression.
FAVORITE CHARACTER Heidi and Bruno, the friendly St. Bernards who greet visitors and who have been enlisted by the U.S. Forest Service to lead the way during guided wintertime walks around the mountain.
Map by Peter and Maria Hoey
LOCAL LORE Director Stanley Kubrick used the front exterior of the lodge (but not the interior) as a set for his 1980 horror film The Shining. In the years since, Kubrick fans have been known to gather at the lodge for a 1920s-style ball, fashioned after a scene in the movie. At the stroke of midnight, they retire to their rooms for private screenings of the film.
WHAT'S GREEN Long before the advent of eco-resorts, much of Timberline was made from recycled construction materials. Tire chains were reworked into fireplace screens, wood scraps were sculpted into the shapes of native animals and used as banisters, and discarded rags were woven into luminous carpets. Today, the lodge has achieved gold status from the Oregon Sustainable Business Challenge for its environmental practices.
WHAT'S NOT GREEN Diesel fuel powers the two boilers and steam heating system for the 70-room hotel. Add in the nearly 2 million visitors who travel here in cars every year, and the carbon footprint becomes substantial.
PLANET SAVING OPPORTUNITIES
Pay an extra $2 on your lift ticket to benefit the National Forest Foundation. Or visit during the annual Friends of the Forest Day and lend a hand with Mt. Hood improvement projects. —Lorenza Muñoz