Kirkwood

Kirkwood, California

Written by Greg and Heather Burke

Kirkwood is located south of Heavenly and offers Lake Tahoe’s most challenging skiing arguably. Kirkwood has the highest base elevation and boasts the deepest, driest snow on its double black diamond terrain. Experts crave Kirkwood's serious steep and deep including the legendary “Wall.” But Kirkwood has lower mountain terrain to satisfy families on their 2,300-acres. A modest base lodge and friendly local crowd are different than more ski resort-esque Heavenly, Squaw and Alpine and Northstar around Lake Tahoe. Kirkwood is now a sister resort to Vail and part of the Vail's Epic Pass, so you can combine a Lake Tahoe trip with other Vail Resorts, Heavenly and Northstar. There is no slopeside lodging at Kirkwood, so make it a day trip while staying in South Shore Lake Tahoe and ski the 2,300-acre ski area.

Elevation

Base
7800 feet
Base
Summit
9800 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
2000 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

High Speed Quads
2
High Speed Quads
Quad Chair
1
Quad Chair
Triple Chairs
6
Triple Chairs
Double Chair
1
Double Chair
Surface Lifts
5
Surface Lifts

Terrain

Beginner Runs
12 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
30 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
38 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
20 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
86
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
2
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
2 miles
Longest Run
Skiable Terrain
2300 acres
Skiable Terrain
Snowmaking Area
200 acres
Snowmaking Area

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 11/25/2017 (estimated) 04/18/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 11/25/2016 04/16/2017
2015/2016 11/14/2015 04/17/2016
2014/2015 12/06/2014 04/19/2015

Lift ticket and season pass prices

Category Age restrictions Price (USD unless otherwise stated)
Adult 19 - 64 $94
Child 5 - 12 $69
Child 13 - 18 $85
Senior 65 & over $85
Season Pass
(Kirkwood Pass)
$639

Overall Rating

4.5 / 5 based on 21 reviews
Tojz stallings

Kirkwood is my jam it's kind of far out there but well worth the drive. The train is diverse and gnarly. Not for the faint of heart. Wax on Daniel son

Posted on Nov 12, 2017
Conor

If you enjoy the feeling of nausea when you have to caterpillarflop yourself out feet of snow after your knees give out from endless carves or you like skiing backcountry and forgetting other people on the planet also ski, this is the resort for you. Try not to get lost walking across the parking lot to your lodge.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017
Brandon Breazeale

Kirkwood is the best! It is a little tough th get to, especially on a powder day, but she s well worth the effort. The mountain is great, and ski patrol/snow safety team is to notch.

Posted on Nov 09, 2017
Scott

Being an hour from Lake Tahoe and three hours from the Bay Area makes Kirkwood a little out of the way and secluded but it more than makes up for it with great skiing. The mountain receives the best snow in the area by far due to its elevation and due to its distance from major areas it stays traffic free most of the time making for some epic powder days. As for night life there are a few bars throughout the valley and great eats. Nothing extravagant, a very modest resort but I love to ski and would recommend Kirkwood to anyone.

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
Justin

One of my favorite places to snowboard displaced rips always have fresh powder and the slopes are groomed and a very nice I've never had any issues here love this place

Posted on Nov 07, 2017
garryl boado

best terrain in the tahoe area! getting to and from kirkwood is sometimes an issue when weather is challenging but the reward is absolutely worth it! it does not even compare to other resorts in the area.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017
Vince piercey

Kirkwood is a great ski resort great snow sometimes gets a little crowded it would be nice if they upgraded most of the lifts to high-speed chairs especially sunrise in the back

Posted on Nov 10, 2017
Simon White

Kirkwood resort is easily the best ski destination in the Tahoe area. Whether you take chair 7 and learn how the basics of risk it all on chair 10 The Wall, you will not find a better variety of runs or quality of snow pack in the area.

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
Adam Carnes

Although it’s just a few miles south of Lake Tahoe, there’s something about Kirkwood that feels uniquely remote. As you drive through the frozen woods and across meadows buried in mountains of snow, you eventually arrive at a mountain with truly uncommon offerings. Skiing at Kirkwood is like going on a cross country trek, only at high speed. As you get off you first lift you can ski what seems like an incredible distance in the opposite direction from where you came. At the end of that run you can take the next lift to a new part of the mountain, even more remote from your point of origin. And so it continues until you find yourself virtually alone in some wide bowl out of site from your starting place, seeming lost in another world, frozen in time.

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
Bryant Carter from California

This is my brothers and my favorite resort. If you an intermediate boarder or better then this is the best place in Tahoe. hard for beginners and diffcult to get to means it never crowded and it has an awesome backcountry.

Posted on Oct 26, 2017