Kirkwood California


4.4 / 5

based on 30 reviews


Advanced / Expert

Trail maps


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.

Continue reading →

Overall rating

Leave a review for Kirkwood

4.4 / 5

based on 30 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?


How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders


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


Quality of the off-piste terrain


Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

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


Quantity and quality of the snow


How uncrowded is the resort


Après ski and dining options


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


How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
GBGarryl B.
intermediate snowboarder

3.4 / 5

Nov 12, 2017
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
advanced skier

4.9 / 5

Nov 12, 2017
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... More
VPVince P.
expert skier

3.3 / 5

Nov 10, 2017
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
BBBrandon B.
advanced snowboarder

3.9 / 5

Nov 09, 2017
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
SWSimon W.
advanced skier
Very Good!

4 / 5

Nov 08, 2017
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
advanced skier

4.7 / 5

Nov 08, 2017
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... More
ACAdam C.
advanced skier
Very Good!

3.9 / 5

Nov 08, 2017
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... More
intermediate snowboarder

4.8 / 5

Nov 07, 2017
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
BCBryant C.

5 / 5

Oct 26, 2017
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.
RLRob L.

5 / 5

Oct 22, 2017
The best place in Tahoe to be when the magic white stuff is falling from the sky! Blissful times to be had with amazing runs and sites to be seen! Staff are from far and near which adds to the experience and always leaves a smile on your day! Always a pleasure to go and return... More


High Speed Quads
Quad Chair
Triple Chairs
Double Chair
Surface Lifts


7,800 feet
9,800 feet
Vertical drop
2,000 feet


Total runs
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
2 miles
Skiable Terrain
2,300 acres
Snowmaking Area
200 acres
Other ski resorts in


Bear Mountain
42% 39% 19%
Bear Valley
25% 40% 35%
China Peak
11% 28% 61%
12% 30% 58%
Mammoth Mountain
25% 40% 35%
Mountain High
20% 43% 37%
Northstar California
16% 47% 37%
Snow Summit
26% 41% 33%
Snow Valley
14% 47% 39%
Soda Springs
23% 31% 46%
Sugar Bowl Resort
17% 45% 38%
Tahoe Donner
40% 60% 0%