Lake Tahoe Vacation Guide
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A service of Tahoe Keys Resort and Lake Tahoe Reservation Bureau
  599 Tahoe Keys Blvd. South Lake Tahoe CA 96150  (530) 544-5397
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 Lake Tahoe snowboarder

Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood Ski Resort Ski Jump Lake TahoeKirkwood Ski Resort is known as one of Lake Tahoe's premier ski resorts and the locals' favorite. Kirkwood offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, telemarking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Skiers who are looking for the challenge of steep chutes, powder-filled open bowls and numerous runs with varying terrain call Kirkwood their home. With 12 lifts, a 2,000 foot vertical descent and over 68 runs to choose from, Kirkwood offers the best of what skiers of all ability levels look for in a ski resort. The 2,300 acres of skiable terrain is 15% beginner, 50% intermediate, 20% advanced and 15% expert. The longest run is 2.5 miles.

The base elevation of the mountain is 7,800 feet -- the highest of -- the highest of any major Lake Tahoe resorts. This means that Kirkwood receives the best each snow storm has to offer. For the past four consecutive seasons Kirkwood has seen snow depths greater than any other resort in North America. During the 1998-99 season, the midmountain snowfall was 591 inches. It is not unusual for the snow base to reach depths of 20 feet at the bottom of the mountain and 35 feet at the top elevation of 9,800 feet. In addition, Kirkwood has the snowmaking capability for top-to-bottom coverage on four runs.

Kirkwood Ski Resort Snowboarder busting air in Lake Tahoe


Kirkwood Ski Resort itself could easily be considered the largest natural snowboard park in the entire United States. With its chutes, wide-open bowls and long gullies, the mountain provides an abundance of snowboarding terrain. A man-made terrain park adds even more excitement for snowboarders. Voted as one of the top terrain parks by TransWorld readers poll. Our Ride Lake Super Park has features such as a quarterpipe, tabletop jumps, kickers and a variety of rails. Kirkwood also has a Super Pipe which is 350 feet long with 18 walls. It is located in front of the Village Plaza so spectators can see pipe riders catch the big air. Off of Chair 5 is our Free Air Park for intermediate park riders featuring a few hits, rails and fun boxes. Near our Timber Creek Lodge we have Terrain Gardens and Adventure Land which has much smaller features for the person just starting out. Kirkwood hosts a variety of snowboarding events throughout the season.

Cross-Country Skiing at Kirkwood Ski Resort

Cross-Country Skiing at Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood's cross-country trail system is nestled in a beautiful Alpine valley high in the Sierra. The scenery is spectacular. As skiers climb the higher trails to 9,000 feet they have the sensation of being atop the Sierra. Huge 10,000 foot peaks tower in the distance providing a true Alpine experience. Flanked by several wilderness areas, the natural wonders of the mountain have not been affected by man.

The snow at Kirkwood Ski Resort is consistently deeper and drier than anywhere else in the Sierra. Each morning the trails are meticulously machine groomed to provide easy, safe skiing into the backcountry. The 80 kilometers of diverse skiable terrain covers more than 4,000 acres, and is rated 20% beginner, 60% intermediate and 20% advanced. The trail system is divided into three interconnected sections -- the Meadow System, the Caples Creek System and the Schneider System. All of the trails are double-tracked with skating lanes. Climb to ridge tops, glide along the base of impressive lava cliffs and roll along creeks through picturesque meadows.

Kirkwood combines your outdoor adventure with environmental awareness and education. Many trails feature interpretive signs providing for a more rounded and meaningful visit. When you need to rest, you can sip hot drinks by a wood-burning stove in the cozy day lodge or warm up in one of the many trailside warming huts.

For cross-country skiing information, instruction and equipment rentals, call the Cross-Country Center at 209 258-7248.

Snowshoeing at Kirkwood Ski Resort

Snowshoeing is a great alternative to cross-county skiing. It is a relaxing way to enjoy a winter outdoor adventure that provides a means of traveling in the winter environment. You can climb steep hillsides without the worry of sliding backwards and you can get down hills easily without the learning process necessary on skis. At Kirkwood, you can snowshoe on all 80 kilometers of the cross-country trail system.


NEW! Village Service Center
This brand new facility will enable guests to purchase lift tickets, passes, lessons and rentals in one convenient stop on the Village Plaza. The new Village Service Center is located just steps from restaurants, shops and five of the resort’s most popular lifts.
NEW! Magic Carpet & Expanded Children's Ski School
Located in the secluded gentle terrain of Timber Creek and away from the bustle of the Village, Mighty Mountain offers premier children’s learn-to-ski programs in the perfect beginner environment. A new Magic Carpet will make kids’ first few trips up the hill a breeze. New park specific classes will focus on basic moves, as well as park etiquette and safety.
NEW! Entrance to Mountain Village
Slopeside shuttle and family drop-off zone make unloading easy; a new walkway leads guests directly onto the Village Plaza, containing shops, restaurants, the Village Ice Rink and all skier services.
NEW! Backcountry Awareness Courses
Renowned for its rugged terrain, Kirkwood’s natural setting provides the perfect environment for adventure seekers to learn the backcountry basics. New backcountry and survival seminars and on-mountain clinics are designed to provide a general understanding of safety practices and survival techniques. Kirkwood will also offer advanced courses, including EMT and avalanche certification, as well as firefighter and ropes training.
NEW! Powder Flash Alerts
Powder hounds can now subscribe to receive online notification every time it snows a foot or more, along with valuable resort-wide coupons that can be downloaded and redeemed that day.
Recreational Racing at Kirkwood Ski Resort
Daily racing on slalom or giant slalom courses is open to skiers and snowboarders. No previous race experience is required. State-of-the-art timing equipment clocks you and your time is announced at the end of each run. Faster, faster!
Ski Instruction and Equipment Rentals
Kirkwood's offers a variety of development programs for skiers and snowboarders, with a focus on fun and fulfilling skills goals. The Learn-to-Ski and Learn-to-Snowboard three-day programs guarantee that you will learn to ski or ride on the first day. ProTurn Clinics replace the standard group lesson, taking place at the skier's or snowboarder's choice of terrain. Private, one-on-one instruction is available for all levels, for all ages and for both skiers and snowboarders. Call 209-258-7245, Skier Development. Equipment rentals are available at three rental shops on-site.
Women's Workshops
Kirkwood's unique program for women features workshops hosted by two-time Olympian and reigning World Technical Champion, Eva Twardokens. These small workshops are designed to improve technique, increase control and to help women gain confidence on more challenging terrain with varied snow conditions. Four-hour workshops are open to intermediate through expert skiers providing women with the opportunity to elevate skills while enjoying the companionship and camaraderie of peers. Call 209-258-7245, Skier Development.
Mountain Lodges and Restaurants
Kirkwood has two day lodges, six bars & restaurants and two cafeterias that offer guests easy and convenient access to a variety of dining options.
Mighty Mountain Children's Ski & Snowboard School
School is in session for skiers ages 4-12 or snowboarders ages 7-12. Programs combine supervised fun with skill development on the slopes as kids explore Kirkwood's unique terrain with others of their own age. The customized program features its own terrain garden, terrain parks and surface lifts. Full-day programs include lunch.
Kiddie's Cross-Country Ski Loop
The Kiddie's Kilometer is a specially designed one-kilometer loop trail that sits in a small meadow adjacent to the day lodge. The meadow trail is groomed daily and is just perfect for children. The trail features life-size outlines of forest animals and flip-up signs which show an animal track on the outside and a drawing of the animal when flipped up. Your children will love it!
Seawood Child Care Center
This fully self-contained, state-of-the-art children's center is a state-licensed facility for children ages 2-6. The center features professional supervision and daily indoor and outdoor activities. Full and half-day programs are offered. For child care, call 209-258-7274. Licensed care for infants is also available. For infant care, call 209-258-8783.


During the winter, Kirkwood Ski Resort also offers Dog Sled Rides. Please call 775-266-4720 for information and reservations..

After the snow season, come back and enjoy a Kirkwood Ski Resort summer!

Visit the
RECREATION menu tab for information about other Kirkwood Ski Resort activities: Bike Riding, Day Care, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Kids Camps, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Tennis.


2.5 mi
3 sys
Kirkwood Ski Resort Main Mountain Trail Map, Lake Tahoe Main Mountain Trail Map, Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood Ski Resort Cross-Country Trail Map, Lake Tahoe Cross-Country Trail Map

Once the lifts are running, Kirkwood is open for downhill and cross-country skiing daily between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Ticket Sales
For downhill and cross-country skiing, tickets go on sale daily at 8:00 a.m. Half-day tickets go on sale at 12:30 p.m.  

Kirkwood Ski Resort provides a wide variety of ticket programs and options to fit your vacation plans. There is sure to be a ticket option just right for you.

Skier Development
Information & Pricing

Cross Country Center

24-hour Snow Phone

Equipment Rental

Ski Shuttle System
Kirkwood operates a daily $3 round-trip shuttle service from most major South Lake Tahoe lodging properties to the mountain. Advanced reservations are required.


Physical Address
Kirkwood Ski & Summer Resort
SR 88 between Silver Lake and Caples Lake
P.O. Box 1
Kirkwood, CA 95646

Main Number

Skier Development
Information & Pricing

Cross-Country Center


By Plane:
Frequent commercial service by most major and regional carriers to
Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

All-Weather Highway Access:

  From Reno to South Lake Tahoe
U.S. HWY 395 south to U.S. HWY 50 west
58 miles, 1.25 hours

  From South Lake Tahoe
Take SR 89 south to SR 88 west
35 miles, .75 hours

  From San Francisco
I-80 east, SR 205 east, I-5 north, SR 4 east, SR 99 north, SR 88 east
185 miles, 3.25 hours

  From Sacramento
SR 16 east, SR 49 south, SR 88 east through Jackson
85 miles, 1.5 hours to Kirkwood Ski Resort




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