Kirkwood

Closed
Heather Burke
SnowPak Local Insider
Heather Burke
Overall
4

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 ac. 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 ac ski area.

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Kirkwood vs
KirkwoodBear Mountain
beginner12 %42 %
intermediate30 %39 %
advanced38 %3 %
expert20 %16 %
total runs86 38
ski area2,300ac 748ac
summit elevation9,800ft 8,804ft
total lifts15 13
child lift ticket$82 $40
adult lift ticket$112 $99
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall286″ 58″

Kirkwood Reviews

Fabulous 4.4 / 5
based on 32 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Superb!4.9 / 5Nov 17, 2017
MSManny S.
expert snowboarder
Mid week is the best time to ride...No crowd. Getting to Kirkwood could be a pain if it dumps.but then again worth the drive. The finger chutes are worthy of any powder day checking out.... More
Good!3.7 / 5Nov 12, 2017
TSTojz S.
expert snowboarder
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 ... More
Average!3.4 / 5Nov 12, 2017
GBGarryl B.
intermediate snowboarder
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.... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Nov 12, 2017
CConor
advanced skier
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.... More
Average!3.3 / 5Nov 10, 2017
VPVince P.
expert skier
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... More
Good!3.9 / 5Nov 09, 2017
BBBrandon B.
advanced snowboarder
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.... More
Very Good!4 / 5Nov 08, 2017
SWSimon W.
advanced skier
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. ... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Nov 08, 2017
SScott
advanced skier
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... More
Very Good!3.9 / 5Nov 08, 2017
ACAdam C.
advanced skier
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... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Nov 07, 2017
JJustin
intermediate snowboarder
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... More

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