Heather Burke
SnowPak Local Insider
Heather Burke
  • Deepest snow in all of Tahoe
  • Adventurous in-bound terrain
  • Fewer crowds
  • 45-minute drive south of Lake Tahoe, crossing over two passes



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. 


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
back country
value for money
average total snowfall316″ 53″

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Kirkwood Reviews

Fabulous 4.4 / 5
based on 48 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
Superb!5 / 5Nov 19, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsJim B.
intermediate skier
Great snow! Laid back and fun place to ski the Sierras. Good facilities and a place for both skiers and snowboarders. Plan a visit you will like your visit to Kirkwood... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsMichael L.
intermediate skier
I've skied almost all of the ski resorts in the Tahoe area. Kirkwood was far and away my favorite. The snow, the runs, everything about the experience was phenomenal. The first time I skied there I was newly engaged - I'll never forget that day! I can't wait to have the chance to go back!... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Jul 01, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsJj P.
intermediate snowboarder
Absolutely love this mountain! catch it on a pow day and you'll be one happy person! awesome terrain in bounds and back country! great park, great views, great staff! definitely one of my most favorite mountains around the tahoe area! you wont regret going here!... More
Good!3.8 / 5Apr 29, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsRed B.
expert snowboarder
plenty of rock drops and a long cornice. terrain at kirkwild is on the extreme side. lifts move fast and I never stood in a line, on a Monday. The staff, especially liftys, seem genuinely happy to be there. Could use more dining facilities. byo water.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Mar 22, 2019
TSTravis S.
intermediate snowboarder
Had a great time, but when we first got there we had some problems with them finding are lift passes and had to wait 2 hours to get on the hill.... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Feb 18, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsKurt S.
expert skier
Kirkwood is fantastic. Snowfall depths in Tahoe are second to none. Location is off the beaten path, so the crowds are generally lighter than the other resorts. My kids and I ski Kirkwood 10-15 times a season, with terrain - beginner to expert - for everybody.... More
Very Good!4 / 5Feb 18, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsRamon E.
advanced snowboarder
Kirkwood is the most epic snow you can possibly get in the Tahoe region. Kirkwood has all of the thrills for riders who are ready for a day of adventure.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Jan 14, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsJake S.
expert skier
It’s not as easy to access as other Tahoe area resorts, and that’s what makes it great. It’s a skiers mountain with great terrain to enjoy the powder days. This was a solo trip and was one of my most enjoyable days tackling new terrain in deep snow.... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Jan 14, 2019
Kirkwood ReviewsMatthew E.
expert snowboarder
Great Resort, great people. I grew up in Northern Colorado so I'm spoiled with champagne powder Kama Kirkwood got dumped on last time I was there. 2 feet overnight , light champagne powder!... More
Good!3.8 / 5Dec 27, 2018
SMStan M.
expert skier
Great mountain! Something for everyone, from families and beginners to experts too. Want to avoid crowds on busy weekends give yourself a little more time to get there and enjoy. Can be a little tricky getting there when its puking snow but it's always worth it. Nightlife is the only thing Kirkwood lacks, there is none. South Lake is there for... More

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