Tilly Jane FAQs

Q – How many people can fit in the cabin?
A – The cabin can accommodate 20 people per night. Some people feel this makes the cabin too crowded. We haven’t received enough feedback to consider reducing the max capacity. Send a note to the Tilly Jane g-mail account if you’d like to weigh in on this.

Q – Will I have to share the cabin with other parties?
A – This depends, as stated, the cabin accommodates 20 people per night. If you booked all 20 reservations, you won’t be sharing the cabin with another party. If you reserved 6 spots, you may be sharing the cabin with 14 other people, potentially from different parties.

Q – How will I obtain the facility door access code?
A – It’s located within the Security Alerts section of your Reservation Confirmation e-mail or letter. The same code is used to open the supply chest located to the left of the old stove. It contains the snow melting pots, axe, splitting maul, shovel and other useful tools. Please replace these items and lock the box back up upon your departure. This code will NOT work for the locker located to the right of the sign board. The bottom two lockers are reserved for cabin maintenance supplies. The upper three drawers are for available for use during your stay.

Q – Do I have to hike into the cabin if I make a reservation?
A – This depends: during the winter months, yes, you’ll need to hike in 2.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1900 feet. This route follows the historic Tilly Jane ski trail. You can also follow the 9 mile road. In summer months you can drive up to the cabin, park in the Tilly Jane campground parking area and walk ¼ mile to the cabin. The USFS typically closes the road in October and it’s not reopened until the snow melts, usually in July. We recommend that you contact the Parkdale FS office for up to date road condition information.

Q – Can I drive up to the cabin?
A – This depends: the Cloud Cap road is gated and locked during the winter months. It typically closes in mid-October and isn’t reopened until the snow has completely melted, typically by mid-July. Please check with the Hood River Ranger District for up to date information. You’ll park at the TJ Campground trailhead and walk the ¼ mile to the cabin. Parking permits are required.
Summer (July-Oct) – Yes, but confirm with the Forest Service for up to date conditions
Winter (Nov-June) – No, see above

Q – Do I need a parking permit?
A – Yes, both the winter snow park and Tilly Jane Campground require parking permits.
Winter: Sno-Park (Nov 1 – Apr 30th)
Summer: NW Forest Pass (May 1 – Oct 30th)
Use these links to find a retailer near you: Sno-Park or NW Forest Pass

Q – Can I bring my Dog?
A – Dogs are NOT allowed in the cabin. Remember, you’ll be sharing the cabin with other parties. It gets pretty tight with 20 people staying over and some groups may not appreciate your pet. We recommend that you leave your pet at home. Also, most people melt snow for water, we can’t control where pets do their business and where people dig snow for their water. It’s just not a fun thought!

Q – Are cooking pots/pans provided?
A – There are several large pots available. They are NOT for cooking. They are reserved for melting snow or transporting water. Bring everything you’ll need to prepare your meals including camp stove unless you’d like to heat your water on the wood stove with the on-site pots.

Q – Where do I obtain water?
A – In winter, you’ll be melting snow or obtaining water from Tilly Creek (you may be required to dig an access hole). In summer, you’ll need to bring all water from home or use Tilly Creek as your water source. We recommend water obtained from Tilly creek be treated. Water is NOT available at TJ campground.

Q – Is electricity available? Are there lights at the cabin?
A – No, but 2 propane lanterns are available. You will need to bring the 1lb green propane canisters if you’d like to use them. We also recommend you bring a headlamp for your personal use. Please leave the lanterns on the extended hooks provided. They are fragile, generate a lot of heat and are an extreme fire hazard. The extension hooks are designed to keep them away from the wood structure. Extra mantels are located on the message board. Please do not bring or use candles within the structure.

Q – Are there restroom facilities?
A – Yes, a rustic pit toilet is available within the alcove area. Toilet paper is NOT provided. You’ll need to bring your own supply. We ask that you use the toilet located at the TJ campground parking area. This facility is “clean and more inviting” than the cabin facility. It can also be pumped out whereas the cabin pit can NOT be pumped. We are currently investigating improvement options but due to the cabin location and lack of access, we may be required to discontinue use once the on-site facility is full. Please help by using the bathroom in the campground! Do NOT dump feminine hygiene products or garbage into the toilet. It will NOT compost.

Q – Is garbage service provided?
A – NO, please remove all garbage generated from your stay. If you brought it, please take it home with you.

Q – What’s the heat source/how do I stay warm?
A – First off, bring lots of warm clothing for your stay. A woodstove is available but it’s a large structure and is difficult to heat. Seasoned wood is provided along with a splitting maul, hatchet and paper for starting a fire. We recommend you bring extra matches.

Q – What is there to do once I arrive?
A – There are multiple hiking trails in and around the cabin area. During the winter months, they will be snow covered so route finding is required. A Mt Hood Wilderness map is available at the cabin for reference. We recommend you bring your own for on-trial reference. Major landmarks include Polallie Ridge, The Stone Hut and Eliot Glacier.

Q – Where can I learn more about current weather conditions?
A – Unfortunately, there isn’t a telemetry station within the Cloud Cap recreation area. We recommend you use the conditions links from Mt Hood Meadows: National Weather Service, Temira’s Mt Hood Forecast, Snow-Forecast.com, NW Avalanche Forecast Center, Trip Check-Road Report. These are just a few different sources. The best tool you can use is your brain. Make smart decisions!

Q – What’s the history of the cabin?
A – The cabin was built by the CCC in 1939 and served as a mountain retreat and basecamp for the American Legion in its early years. It’s had many caretakers over the years including a church group in the 1970’s. They built the concrete blocking system to support the structure. More recently, it was managed by the “Friends of Tilly Jane,” a loose group of individuals led by Rich Kadney. Rich has since passed away and the cabin is now managed by the all-volunteer Oregon Nordic Club, Portland chapter. The ONC donated the wood stove and is focusing on rehabilitation plans and coordinates on-going maintenance of the structure. While the cabin itself isn’t on the National Register of Historic places, it is included within the Cloud Cap National Historic District. The nominating materials are located in the “library” at the cabin. This is a good historical source.

Q – Who is Tilly Jane? How was the cabin named?
A – Tilly Jane was the nickname of Mrs. William S. Ladd of Portland. Caroline Ames Elliott (AKA, Tilly Jane) loved the area so much, they named it after her!

Q – What happened to all the trees? Why are they burned?
A – This resulted from the Gnarl Ridge fire which started on 8/7/2008 by lightning. The fire raged for several months before fall rains reduced the potential for the fire to spread and ultimately the long winter extinguished it. You will notice that the fire came within 50 yards of the cabin! While the FS didn’t take extra precautions to protect the cabin during this fire, they did wrap the cabin in fire resistant sheathing during the Dollar Lake fire, which threatened the area again in late August 2011. Fortunately, this fire didn’t reach the Tilly Jane area and the cabin dodged another bullet. While no one want’s to see fire ravage our wilderness areas, there are a few benefits we can enjoy. These fires have opened up new areas to great skiing.

Q – Can I have a fire outside?
A – YES and NO. There’s a designated fire pit out back, please use this if you’d like to have an outdoor fire. You are required to follow all Forest Service fire restrictions and burn bans. So, in the warmer months or in times of extreme fire hazards, play it safe and refrain from building and having a fire. For more information, visit the Mt Hood National Forest website for up to date fire restrictions. We have placed several 5 gallon water buckets to help you completely douse your fire. Please keep these buckets full at all times. You can fill them at Tilly Creek, a short walk from the cabin.

Q – How can I help maintain the cabin?
A – First you can treat the cabin with the respect it deserves. It’s old and needs some TLC. We’re planning on beginning the restoration efforts but these projects are quit large and will be VERY expensive. The cabin is generating revenue since being moved to the Reserve America reservation system. All money will go back into the cabin so the fewer little things we have to do, the quicker we’ll be able to save up for the big projects.
We always need volunteer help with different projects. We hold two work parties per year: one in July and the other on the first weekend in October. Please come to one of these events and show your support and help keep the cabin open! If you’d like to be added to the e-mail distribution list, please send a note to: tillyjanecabin@gmail.com . You’ll receive 3-4 e-mails a year including the bi-annual cabin newsletter. Please use this e-mail if you have any other questions, not included within this document.