Kirkwood Mountain Resort


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Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range



The resort offers hotel rooms, 1 to 4 bedroom condominiums and townhomes from budget to luxury, various amenities. 

Extra person charges may apply 

Call for pricing 






The Kirkwood Inn

Off The Wall Bar

Bub's Pub

Monte Wolfe's Mountain Kitchen

Snowshoe Thompsons

Red Cliffs Cafeteria

Outback Grill  





Resort Services


 Rental Equipment Rates

 Lesson Rates






Kirkwood Mountain Resort

"A Rare Place on Earth" sums up Kirkwood. I'd say it is friendly, unpretentious and one of the best value resorts in the region. It beat Squaw Valley and other Tahoe resorts in the 2013 Powder Magazine Ski Town Throwndown for most powder in California! (It thrashed its sister resorts too: and you can ski Heavenly & Kirkwood on the same great value Tahoe Local Epicpass). It's host to the Freeworld Ride Tour and the amaaaazing Rahlves Banzai. If you like mild green slopes for beginners, Kirkwood has them and they pitch is ideal. Their width is ideal for nervous nellies who want plenty of space to learn. If you want terrain that is genuine expert, it's here. And I mean it has real expert terrain. The Skull & Crossbones signage is there for a reason. And the runs follow the fall line ...Brilliant! The runs are wide - they're not those narrow 'freeways' full of conga-lines of beginners. And it's one of Vail Resorts stable of mountains so there is probably the best value season passes around. See the Tahoe Pass for one price that covers Kirkwood + Heavenly (1 hour away) + Northstar, Or look for the Epicpass for those 3 resorts + Vail Resort's Colorado resorts like Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone + Utah's Canyons Resort + about 6 resorts in France, Switzerland and Austria: For about $700, an Epicpass gets you skiing a huge number of acres in the US and Europe. In the Resort review (in German) is a link to Google Maps Streetview -of Kirkwood's ski runs Google Youtube Kirkwood Mountain Resort for videos or see their Facebook Page under "Kirkwood Mountain Resort". Kirkwood really suits the family of mixed abilities with mellow green runs, cruisy blue runs, and jaw dropping black diamond runs. Best of all, most runs meet up at a cafe or the Village so a group can ski the terrain they want, and meet somewhere for lunch. Kirkwood is renown for being in "the spot" which gets great snow. It's positioned beautifully to catch those storms. NO HOSTEL: ROCKSTAR LODGE CLOSED AT XMAS 2012: see below for more about accommodation in and around Kirkwood. One downside is the closure of the great value hostel. But there's plans for about 70 acres of new places spanning from near Kirkwood Inn to true ski in/out condos. Try their central reservations office, or stay at Heavenly (The towns of Sth Lake Tahoe & Stateline - about an hour away - and catch the shuttle for about $15 if you don't like driving). As Kirkwood is under an hour's drive from South Lake Tahoe/Heavenly, and also runs shuttles from Sth Lake Tahoe, you can also stay at SLT in all manner of lodgings. Below a few nearby towns are mentioned as those towns also have lodgings. Or click the links (at the top of this review) ) to be taken to the resort's central reservation service. US Airbag: Kirkwood is purchasing a US Airbag so go practice some big air: practice your big air tricks and land in the massive "marshmallow". Want cat-skiing? They've got it. Want to see 7 resorts around Lake Tahoe for a reasonable price? See from April to September for the '6 pak'. In 2012/13 the 6 pak averaged $55 per day. At least 2 tickets in the 6 pak are good for Kirkwood, other vouchers are good at neighbouring resorts around the lake. Unsure about the snow? Have no fear: Kirkwood's snowmaking, in my opinion, is on par with the best snowmaking resorts around Lake Tahoe. Do you want bowls, cruisers, steeps and tree-skiing: it's all here. Kirkwood is a standout in terms of natural beauty and terrain variety, with everything from the greenest greens to hair-raising chutes and cornices. There's a reason why Daron Rahlves' "Banzai" event is held here: google Rahlves Banzai at Beaver Bowl and you'll see Kirkwood's black diamond run. On holiday weekends, it's a non-stop floor show at the top of The Wall, with skiers and riders of all abilities peering over and dropping in. Kirkwood has something for all abilities, including sheltered greens and a ski school. Do you want some apres-skiing on a snow cat? See their website if the Midweek Evening Snow Cat Rides are running! Board the Expedition Snow Cat from the plaza daily @ 4:30 to experience a tour of our Mountain like no other. Expedition includes Hot Coco and snacks to make this a perfect Après Ski adventure for the family. Tel: 209 258 6000 or 209.258.7293 or visit the Lodge Front Desk From Reno/Tahoe International Airport: U.S. 395 South to State Route 88 West Exit the Airport on E. Plumb Ln. (go 0.2 mi.) to US Hwy 395 South (go 7.5 mi.) Take exit 57B to remain on US 395 (go 35.2 mi.) Turn right onto Hwy 88 (go 34 mi.) Turn left onto Kirkwood Meadows Drive. (approx. 90 min.) From South Lake Tahoe: US 50 West to Hwy 89 South to Hwy 88 West Take US 50 West to "the Y" intersection where US 50 meets Hwy 89. Turn left at the Y onto Emerald Bay Road (go 4.9 mi.) to Meyers. Turn left to continue on Hwy 89 South (go 11.1 mi.) Turn Right on Hwy 88 West (go 14.3 mi.) Turn Left onto Kirkwood Meadows Drive. (approx. 35 min.) From North Lake Tahoe via the East Shore: Route 28 E to Hwy 50 W to Route 89 South to 88 West Take NV Route 28 East/South ( go 13 mi. from Incline Village) Turn Right onto US 50 West (go 17.4 mi.) Turn left at the Y onto Emerald Bay Road (go 4.9 mi.) Turn left to continue on Hwy 89 South (go 11.1 mi.) Turn Right on Hwy 88 West (go 14.3 mi.) Turn Left onto Kirkwood Meadows Drive (approx. 60 min.) From Highway 50 in Sacramento: Depending on your location along Highway 50, you may exit in three locations. Exit South Bound Watt Avenue, or Sunrise Boulevard, or El Dorado Hills Boulevard. Head South until you hit Highway 16 (The Jackson Highway): Approximately 1.5 mi on Watt Ave, or 7.3 mi on Sunrise, or 17 mi on El Dorado Hills Blvd/Latrobe Road Turn Left onto the Jackson Highway: Approximately 28.1 mi from entry off Watt Avenue, or 17.7 mi from entry off Sunrise Ave, or 2.7 mi from entry off El Dorado Hills/Latrobe Turn Right at the Intersection for Highway 49, taking you towards Jackson and Sutter Creek (go 6.8 mi) Before you get to Jackson, turn Left onto Ridge Road (go 8.3 mi) (Note: if you get to Jackson and miss Ridge Road, don't worry - you can turn directly onto Highway 88 East Bound in the town of Jackson just past the historic Main Street district.) Turn Left onto Highway 88 East (go 48.8 mi) Turn Right onto Kirkwood Meadows Drive (appox. 1.5 to 2 hours from most Sacramento starting locations) From The San Francisco Bay: Via Hwy 88 - If the Carson Spur on Hwy 88 is Open: Interstate 580 East to Interstate 205 to Interstate 5 North to Route 4 East to Route 99 North to Route 88 East Connect with Interstate 580 East from your area (about 44 miles from the Bay Bridge) to Interstate 205 East (go 13.5 mi.) to Interstate 5 North (go 13.3 mi.) Exit Downtown Stockton Hwy 4 East (go 3.4 mi.) to Hwy 99 North (go 1.8 mi.) Exit CA Hwy 88 toward Jackson (go 97.4 mi.) (Be sure follow signs to Stay on Hwy 88 after Clements and in downtown Jackson) Turn Right onto Kirkwood Meadows Drive. (approx. 3.25 hrs.) Via Hwy 50 - If the Carson Spur on Hwy 88 is Closed: Interstate 80 East to Hwy 50 East to Hwy 89 South to Hwy 88 West Take Interstate 80 from your area to Sacramento where I-80 becomes US 50 East (go 93 mi. on US 50) Turn Right on CA Hwy 89 South (go 11.1 mi.) Turn Right on Hwy 88 West (go 14.3 mi.) Turn Left onto Kirkwood Meadows Drive (approx. 3.5 hrs. from the Bay Bridge) For questions or directions assistance along the way, call us at 209.258.6000. Flying We're lucky at Kirkwood to be situated in close proximity to three major airports... Reno-Tahoe International (RNO) is the closest, followed by Sacramento International (SMF), and San Francisco International (SFO). One way car rentals: The shuttle service from South Lake Tahoe/Heavenly to Kirkwood is so good, think about a one way car rental from San Francisco Airport or Reno-Tahoe International Airport to SLT. In SLT there are branches for Avis, Hertz and Enterprise. Nightlife: Kirkwood isn't a big resort and it's not known for nightlife. Nevertheless, if you want a romantic dinner, or to meet really friendly locals, definitely try the Off the Wall Bar. Accommodation: Out-of-town budget and hotel-chain accommodations: East of Kirkwood on Hwy 88 is the town of Minden, around 30-45 minutes drive. Minden has hotels/motels like Holiday Inn Express and similar hotel chains. North-east an hour away is the very large town on Lake Tahoe's shores that has the Californian/Nevada border in the middle - one side is the town of South Lake Tahoe California and its other half is Stateline. Here there are budget motels, timeshare condos, and casino hotels, ice skating (seasonal), shopping and a huge array of apres ski activities. As noted above, Kirkwood has a shuttle that picks you up and returns you to SLT's casinos and other points. West of Kirkwood is Kit Carson Lodge, Kay's Silver Lake Resort and Plasse's Resort. Also nearby is a resort "Sorensens" and "Caple Lake". In Kirkwood: See for homes/apartments that owners rent out directly. See the resort's website for bookings through central reservations ...and for package deals. Or click the Links below for Accommodation. The main accommodations seem to be The Towers, The Meadows, Lost Cabin and Mountain Club. Hostel: In Kirkwood, the hostel closed in 2012. Accommodation reviews: Always read reviews, sometimes with a grain of salt, on websites like

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Good terrain

Cons: Umm...time to upgrade the lifts

Kirkwood is a great mountain considering how close it is to home (San Francisco), but it could really use some updating.  There is only a single high-speed quad and the other lifts are incredibly slow.  They also tend to breakdown and stop more than I've seen at any other resort.  They are trying to expand their terrain, and there's some great stuff available, I just wish it was easier to access.


Pros: Challenging mountain

Cons: Is not easy to get to.

For any east coast skiers this is like Mad River Glen with wider slopes and big drops to jump off of along with skiing between the trees.

Just an all out amazing ski area. Simple and great skiing

Traditional ski resort, family friendly and great out of bound skiing for the adventurous.


Pros: Plenty of snow, lots of terrain for all experience levels

Cons: old lifts, desolate location

I skied here last about 20 years ago. I covered pretty much all of the mountain besides the wall which is past my experience level. I stayed to the east side of the mountain for a good part of the day and it wasn't too crowded. It took awhile to get over there due to the old slow lifts but hopefully they can replace them at some point. The bowls to the west side of the mountain are my favorite. I went there in the afternoon as everything warmed up. It was a great experience even though it was icy in the morning and no powder. They get dumped on a lot so some days its difficult if not impossible to get there due to the roads. I heard real estate was expanding out that way. Hopefully they can expand some more due to the location. Maybe put a couple of big hotels and some nightlife nearby.


Pros: reliable snow, excellent terrain for a family with beginners to hotshots, and part of the Epicpass group of resorts

Cons: nightlife; but 1 hour drive to Sth Lake Tahoe and Stateline casinos etc

"Hier ist eine echte Skifahrer Berg"
Der schwarze Diamant läuft wirklich steil, aber die Blau-und Grüntöne sind cruisy und göttlich. Probieren Sie die Snow-Cat Touren mit Coop Cooper - toller Kerl. Dies ist ano BS Berg - jeder ist da, um Ski oder zu reiten, nicht zeigen ihre Pudel oder ihre neuesten Designer-bling. Der einzige Nachteil ist der Platz ist sehr ruhig in der Nacht (wir bleiben bei Heavenly und über-Laufwerk). Early bird Saisonkarten beginnt bei $ 199 - ein Schnäppchen, so dass ihr wirklich erschwinglich. Well worth the 55 Minuten Autofahrt von Heavenly.

 It's a skier's mountain, (and nightlife and shopping trips are not its big drawcard).



 Kirkwood was the only Tahoe Resort to make the top 8 in the US and Canada in Powder magazine's top towns for pow.
 It's unpretentious. There's no bejeweled snowbunnies in mink coats swigging Bollinger in their Learjet. The people here are friendly and real. 

You want ass-puckering terrain: well Redbull and the Rahlves Banzai and the Freeride World Tour host events here.


Here's a video to paint a thousand words. This is from the famous (or infamous) Rahlves Banzai.  <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>




It's also AWESOME for beginners and intermediates! The pitch on the greens and blues follows the fall-line so it's easier to advance your skill set. The runs are wide, sheltered by trees, and you're not affected by a kerzillion people per sq. foot either. 


Most runs end up in the lift/village area: Yes, the family of cliff huckers and kids can meet up in the same area.




See the review for evening snowcat treks and other activities. They are trying to expand the things to do when the lifts close.
Look at their main website for "Expedition Kirkwood"  Women's Clinics, Avalanche Clinics and cat skiing treks.
See the photos in this review for examples of the terrain: one great feature is that your whole family, from beginners to budding Olympians, can ski greens and double black diamonds - and meet up at one of 2 cafes. Yes, you can huck your cliff and catch up at the bottom with your partner or kids. 
Real Estate Update: See here for developments over about 70 acres.
This is a link to Kirkwood's facebook page is a trailer shot as we followed Freeride World Tourers and Olympic team members around the globe.
Here's a trailer vid shot at Tahoe and Kirkwood as we followed Australians on the Freeride World Tourhttps: //
Kitchens in rooms? The advertising for lodgings fail to mention if the rooms have kitchens or kitchenettes: and the photos below show some rooms with full kitchens including an oven and stovetops. Therefore when booking a room or apartment, ask about the actual amenities.
Look at for rental lodgings by apartment owners.
Tripadvisor links, reviews, lodging:







Wide runs with great fall lines and great pitch: the place was built by skiers for skiers.




Wide and flat in beginners areas: and steep n deep in many others. Suits the whole family.




Rooms & Condos: Ask the booking agency about kitchens. The room descriptions are woefully unhelpful.


Under new management too: Let's see if they kick butt.






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This guy is awesome! He's in most my shots for some reason ;)


New outdoor bar in the village




There are great roll overs for air if that's your scene.



Yup: there's some steep bits around the hill. When the Lift has a Skull & Crossbones on it, they mean that lift goes up to steep bits. 


Bring a spare set of underwear :eek



Pros: Great skiing, snow and terrain

Cons: nothing to do for nightlife

Great ski mountain - terrain, snow etc, horrible ski resort.  I love old school places but there isn't anything to do in the evening.


Pros: Steep and unique terrain

Cons: Gets crowded on weekends being the closest resort to Silicon Valley

Kirkwood has some challenging terrain for advanced and expert skiers.  The top is steep and there are some scary chutes around Hells Delight.  Nice tree skiing below wagon wheel bowl.  The backside (Sunrise chair area) is nice too; the wave bowl usually holds good snow.  The intermediate terrain is somewhat limitted, not the place for those looking for wide groomed intermediate runs.  The snow quality at Kirkwood tends to be a little better (dryer) than the Tahoe resorts.  It can get crowded on weekends due to close proximity to Silicon Valley (3hr15min without traffic).


Pros: Great steeps and off-piste skiing. Friendly staff

Cons: Old slow lifts

I went to Kirkwood when the winds closed the tops around Tahoe and the snow conditions were very wet  and heavy.  Kirkwood had less wind and Western POW conditions.  Life was good that day....


Pros: Great Terrain

Cons: Slow lifts

Was here over the weekend.  Although the parking lot was full and they had the TNF masters snowboard contest going, it never felt crowded on the slopes.  Kids 12 and under ski free on sundays and $9 any day the rest of the season.  Can't be beat.  Resort usually gets the most snow in south lake tahoe.


Pros: snow, steeps, groomers, great people

Cons: a bit of a drive from So. Lake Tahoe

I was at Kirkwood on 1/28/10. It was beautiful. I guess it's considered a smallish Sierra ski resort, but for an easterner like me, it's plenty big. The day was sunny, calm, they had 7 feet of snow the previous week. I loved it. I have not had so much fun skiing on great snow in a long time. I took the liner out of my North Face jacket and didn't miss it at all. Guess they call it a bluebird day. The terrain is beautiful, the surrounding mountains are stunning. Everybody I talked to was nice and friendly. I wish I'd skied there more than 1 day. I skied The Wall and a bunch of intermediate stuff. I'd love to go back. I'll post pics...