Overall Rating

Kirkwood

Kirkwood4/512
Kirkwood4 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Kirkwood - Reviews

Kirkwood - Reviews

Kirkwood Extreme

06/05/2020

Brandon Bates

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Brandon Bates

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Kirkwood Extreme

06/05/2020
Zoom in for some of the fun extreme terrain at kirkwood
Some of the chutes off “The Wall” lift
This was my second time in Kirkwood. The previous year we donned the snowchains and made the trek over from heavenly in the middle of a historic storm that dropped 74 inches in 3 days. We rode "The Wall" without ever being able to even see the wall due to the absolute whiteout conditions. This year was quite different. Very poor snowfall all season and poor conditions the previous day at Heavenly had all of our expectations very low. We were pleasantly surprised. Snow quality was somehow much better. It was a crystal clear sunny day and many of the riders in our group had never seen mountains as steep as what they saw when they looked over the edge of the top of the Cornice Lift. (one of em had to ride the lift back down) We're typically off-piste tree riders but the groomers were fast and fun. We ventured over to the Sunrise lift and had a blast riding through a chute on the right as your going up the lift. We came back 4 days later after 10+ inches had fallen and discovered that Kirkwood actually has some quality tree riding to go with their steep and extreme terrain. The gullies were also a ton of fun after some new snowfall. The lift system seems a bit outdated with mostly 3-person chairs that either take you to the top, or are frequently closed due to wind, causing you to only be able to access the lower half of the mountain. This was a big bummer for us when we came back on the pow day and was hoping to hit some of the fun extreme terrain on the upper sections of the mountain. Kirkwood is one of my favorite mountains IF your looking for challenging chutes, cliffs, boulders and deep snow. However there is not much else to do. There's no lodging at the base and only 1 or 2 restaurants. I wouldn't recommend Kirkwood to beginners as there's not a lot of easy terrain to ride and the upper mountain can be quite daunting to even lifelong skiers. The lift ticket is considerably cheaper than at nearby Heavenly so that was a nice surprise when buying a pass. I would board here again because there’s still some chutes and cliffs that are calling my name. (I included a video link from the previous DEEP WHITEOUT day in 2019 but the pix included are from this season)

Best Snow in California

15/03/2020

Jay

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Jay

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Best Snow in California

15/03/2020
It will take you an hour to get here from south lake on a powder day. The “village” is a joke . The lifts are old and slow. Not a huge amount of vertical. Why would anyone come here?

Because it has the best snow in California and awesome terrain, that’s why! The staff here are super friendly, the mountain is run really well, and the clientele are low key and super chill. Get here before Vail Corp ruins this mountain.

Powder Hound Paradise

15/12/2019

Walter

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Walter

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    2

Powder Hound Paradise

15/12/2019
I absolutely adore Kirkwood. It is completely unpretentious, have tons of snow, gnarly terrain, and lots of fresh stashes. There is basically no night life and lifts are really slow but that is great for me as it deters crowds. Kirkwood is without a doubt the best kept secret in Tahoe.

Best Resort Near Lake Tahoe

Paul
15/01/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

Best Resort Near Lake Tahoe

Paul
15/01/2018
I went on 1/13/2018 and the Lake Tahoe area has pretty much had a drought. All of the resorts are struggling to open trails. Kirkwood had about 85% trails open because they are a higher elevation and thus colder. Although the snow was wet and there was ice, there were a ton of trails open for not receiving much snow. There are a good variety of trails especially for intermediate. I'm sure this resort will be killer on a fresh pow pow day.

Kirkwood pow pow

VT
05/02/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A

Kirkwood pow pow

VT
05/02/2017
This place is terrible...you should ski somewhere else :)

I love kirkwood

Iliana Chollett
14/05/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    2

I love kirkwood

Iliana Chollett
14/05/2016
We have been in kirkwood about 15 days so far. Brilliant terrain that pushes you np matter what's your level. The pistes feel 'organic' part of the mountain instead of carved in the mountain. People is terribly friendly and I have never witnessed #£% like in heavenly. Party and parking socks though.

The Wood!!

B
07/01/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    12-17
  • Admin Rating
    3

The Wood!!

B
07/01/2016
Kirkwood is great!!
Both the times I went there was good snow but the temp was never blistering. I'm mostly a black skiier, but I tried The Wall and it is steep and fun!
It's true that there are more crowds than there used to be, but it's a ghost town on weekdays!
Despite its expert reputation, Kirkwood has good intermediate cruisers! And if you're an advanced skiier like me, do laps off Cornice Express! (But make sure to try The Wall!!)
The snow is waaaayyy better than other resorts around here, and it doesn't turn to Sierra Cement as quickly because there is less sun here.
The worst things about Kirkwood are the slow lifts and lack of lodging.

Interesting Terrain

22/04/2015

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Interesting Terrain

22/04/2015
Dude stuck in a tight place
Kirkwood used to be known in powder hound circles as being the most amazing powder hound destination due to the abundant snowfalls, the interesting terrain, and the lack of crowds. Sure the snow and terrain is still great at Kirkwood and it’s uncrowded compared to Heavenly Ski Resort, but the secret is out now and freshies don’t last for a long time.

We’ve outlined the pros and cons of Kirkwood on the overview page, and you can also see how Kirkwood compares to other resorts via our USA ski resort ratings page.

Kirkrules

Brendan
27/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Kirkrules

Brendan
27/03/2015
I spent a couple of days at Kirkwood and loved the place. The first day was clear blue skye and sunshine and the second day we awoke to fresh snow.

The fresh snow attracted a few people but it wasn't enough to be an issue and quite a few disappeared after lunch leaving us free to pretty much ride onto the lifts.

Good vibe and fun terrain and being a little bit further out from Lake Tahoe compared to Heavenly & Sierra it doesn't seem to get the huge crowds.

We stayed at Caples in a modest but very comfortable rustic cabin beside the lake a couple of miles down the road from the Ski Field. The Staff were helpful and friendly and the price was right so would stay there again without thinking twice.
There's a little bar and restaurant about halfway between Caples & Kirkwood that isn't anything flash but decent service and friendly people made for a great night.

If I head back to Tahoe I would definitely revisit Kirkwood & Caples.

Kirkwood Review

Nick
22/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    3

Kirkwood Review

Nick
22/03/2015
Better snow than anywhere else in Tahoe most seasons, though that isn't saying much. The terrain is world class, with the only drawback being a lack of vertical.

The problem with Kirkwood is the lifts. There are only three that reach the ridge, and two of them are miserably slow. Because there aren't enough lifts, a significant portion of the terrain requires hiking or a ton of traversing. A few more lifts and some upgrading of the existing structure and this would be a world class mountain.
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