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.

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Overall rating

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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
SRSean R.
Very Good!

4 / 5

Oct 20, 2017
Just the drive out to Kirkwood is an adventure in itself... But when you arrive and head up the lifts, the real rodeo begins! Steeps, deeps, canyons & bowls await...
RGRob G.

5 / 5

Oct 18, 2017
By far the best place to go in Tahoe on powder day! So much open space and smaller crowds than other resorts. "The Wall" is a perfect mix of steep and deep with trails at the bottom!
OHOtis H.

5 / 5

Oct 11, 2017
Kirkwood is my all time favorite resort. It is way out in the middle of no where. Gets a lot of snow and the terrain is awesome. The staff is helpful and cool and it is never as crowded as other resorts in Tahoe
Very Good!

4 / 5

Oct 08, 2017
Kirkwood has plenty of great terrain, and is one of the lesser known jewels in the lake Tahoe area. Being so close to Reno makes it easy to get to from just about anywhere in the country.
ARAdam R.

5 / 5

Oct 07, 2017
Has everything you could want, had season passes here for many years. Best skiing in Tahoe, and lot of fun activities in the town during the off season. Good conditions if you follow the sun.
JSJoseph S.

5 / 5

Oct 06, 2017
kirkwood is by far my favorite resort in the Tahoe area. I haven’t missed a season there since I was three years old. Great steeps and off piest stuff too! I would love to win this.

5 / 5

Oct 06, 2017
Most underrated resort in California in my opinion. Kirkwood has great snow even when the rest of Tahoe is dry or warm, and it has a great variety of terrain for all skiers and snowboarders. The backside (Sunset chair) is especially fun. It's not flashy like some other Tahoe... More
DBDaniel B.

5 / 5

Oct 06, 2017
Backcountry off-piste terrain, chairlift access. Not many places I'd rather be when it's deep. Base has a laid-back vibe. The community of skiers and riders are there to be on the mountain getting Xteme. Not huge built up resort/restaurants. Just a gnarly mountain, few... More
SDScott D.

5 / 5

Oct 05, 2017
Absolutely love this place. Steep and deep. Lots of great tree runs. There is always some place with good snow on the mountain. I always leave, anticipating when I will be able to return next.
MHMiles H.

5 / 5

Oct 03, 2017
I absolutely love Kirkwood's down-home vibe and friendly, inclusive atmosphere. The lodges are well-designed and have a nice home away from home feel. The views and snow are spectacular as well. I know I'll keep coming back for the foreseeable future!


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
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