vertical drop, variety of terrain, low cost
limited lift capacity, small lodge
My family skied Timberline Monday March 8th and Tuesday the 9th. When I research a ski resort I usually look at things like convenience of my lodging to the slopes, availability of a grocery, restaurant facilities, cost, variety of terrain, lift line waits and vertical drop.
We stayed in their new motel and found it to be clean, low cost and very close to everything. Parking was not a problem but I would assume that would change based on the volume of skiers. The parking lots are gravel and can get pretty sloppy. There seems to be quite a few nice homes and condos for rent near the slopes.
The lodge is small. OK for our midweek skiing but a real nightmare when crowded. Cafeteria lunch is pretty good and not all that expensive. I liked the staff. The restaurant/bar is above the cafeteria. The bar can conflict with the restaurant. During dinner we listened to a couple of drunks having an intellectual conversation that ranged in topics as varied as French kissing to the theory of relativity. Ask for a table away from the bar if you want to avoid the bar crowd. The food was good but nothing to get excited about.
Only two lifts go to the top and they are slow. I didn’t time it but an operator told me it is an 8 minute ride. With a short lift line I would estimate about 4 runs per hour midweek. Only one lift operates midweek but that was not a problem. Night skiing is limited to certain runs and varies according to date. 1000 foot vertical makes for a nice run. Based on the size of the resort I would have to say that they have a good variety of terrain and a little something for everyone.
Check out the nearby town of Davis for dinner. The Black Water Brewing Company serves some great microbrews and has an interesting menu. Try Sirianni’s Cafe for a great pizza. There are a couple of convenience stores nearby for gas/liquor/beer/etc. Davis has a grocery store.
Overall it was a nice place to spend a couple of midweek days skiing. I try to avoid skiing weekends. About nine years ago we skied Timberline on a weekend and it was just too crowded for the limited lift capacity and small lodge facilities. Overall skiing is good, cost is low, the staff is friendly, and the views are beautiful. I hope to return again next year.