Kirkwood Ski Resort: Four Seasons With a Focus on Winter

Kirkwood Ski Resort is beautiful come storm or shine. Whether it’s a bright California day or a storm is a brewin’, guests will find blissful entertainment treading through blankets of pure, white, mountainside snow.

Continue reading to discover more about Kirkwood Ski Resort.

Where is Kirkwood Ski Resort?

Kirkwood Ski Resort is in Northern California’s Alpine County. It’s about 17 miles from South Lake Tahoe, about 64 miles from Yosemite, and about 77 miles from Sacramento. It’s sprawling terrain extends a whopping 5.3 square miles. It’s dry subarctic climate makes it perfect for skiing.

Although the distance from many other major cities in California to Kirkwood is pretty far, it is well worth it.

Mountain at Kirkwood Ski Resort in California.
Once you get out to Kirkwood, it is worth it.

What are the Lodging Options Like for Guests in Kirkwood?

Many of the lodging options are just a snowshoe walk away from days on the mountain. Centrally located and cozy condos are available as well.

One of the options, The Mountain Club can be skied right up to, and it even includes a locker to drop off the skis. Afterwards, guests can then easily enjoy various amenities such as the hot tub, steamroom, and sauna.

A lot of the Kirkwood Ski Resort Trails connect directly to the village plaza, especially the easier ones, such as Snowkirk and Girlscouts. West Meadow and East Meadow are also nearby options to consider.

What Other Activities are Available to Kirkwood Visitors Besides Skiing?

Guests may enjoy lounging, exploring incredible and warming amenities. Special events also take place on occasion in the Kirkwood region.

Kirkwood Ski Resort Lodging will not let its guests down when it comes to providing varied and luxurious additions to the boarding experience.

The Kirkwood Ski Resort Trails also are equipped for e-bike riding during the summertime.

What Dining Options are Available in Kirkwood?

Check out Monte Wolves’ Mountain Kitchen, which is especially remarkable when it comes to having a mountainside breakfast experience, as it has an espresso bar and specializes in both breakfast and lunch cuisine.

The Cornice Grill is another family favorite and is more low-key and has more of a diner feel to it. Off the Wall Bar Bar and Grill is a little more high-end. It’s been featured on wedding planning sites due to its luxurious qualities.

Is there a General Store?

Yes, and at the general store, you can find beer, groceries, ice, and even a deli!

Highlights of Kirkwood Ski Resort?

Kirkwood is a mountain escape:

It’s perfectly positioned, so that there is snow even when its not wintertime!

  • There are 2,300 + skiable acres with a base elevation of 7,800 ft.
  • The summit is 9,800 ft!
  • There are lessons available for individuals at any skill level!
  • The mountain is open from 9-4 during the winter!
Skiers on the lifts at Kirkwood Ski Resort.
You are just one lift ride away from a good trail at Kirkwood Ski Resort.
Breakdown Based off of Difficulty Levels:


  • 12% beginner
  • 30% intermediate
  • 38% advanced
  • 20% expert

How High are the Peaks of Kirkwood?

All the mountain peaks are over 9000 ft. tall. From the Martin Point at 9.2k ft tall to the Thimble Peak with its steep terrain, they are all impressive and great for those who are both courageous and willing to put in the effort.

Is Kirkwood Good for Beginners?

Yes! World-class instructors make a world of difference.

The Timber Creek area with its blue and green trails are great for beginners, whereas expert skiers may approach the fam’d Chair 10 for some more epic (‘gnarly’) terrain.

What Kinds of Lessons are Available in Kirkwood?

Choose between backcountry, resort-based programs, educational programs, junior programs, and more. Quickly learn with private early AM lessons, or you may choose to tear through the snow with ease during group-snowboarding lessons. Private guides will even take you on an expedition through the mountainous terrain.

Season-long and day-long sessions are available to get kids up to speed with your skill levels, and soon they may be passing you going down the mountain! There are so many types of lessons to choose from for both children and adults of all skill levels!

What is the Best Time to go to Kirkwood?

During the winter visitors can explore all the wintertime activities you would normally associate with a ski resort, but during the summer a variety of options are available as well.

Empty ski lift at Kirkwood Mountain

Can Guests Rent Equipment in Kirkwood?

Try on some snowshoes. Slip on some skis. It’s go-time up in the Kirkwood equipment rental scene. From performance skis, to sport and demo skis, Kirkwood has it all.

There a Limited Availability for Rentals During the Winter?

No, is generally plenty of equipment available for all!

What is the “K-Factor”

Storms come from both the northern and the southern ends of Kirkwood resulting in a buildup in precipitation that allows snowy conditions to persist. The storms grab up precipitation from the coastal air, and that all is filtered up through a tightly wound canyon connected to the Sierra Foothills, and by the end of all this process, snow is virtually dropped off in Kirkwood– Hence, it’s the prime skiing location.

Can I Rent a Bike During the Summer?

Yes, Kirkwood has bikes available for rent during the summer season. Protective gear is also up for grabs. The rental shop will even fix a flat when requested to do so!

Consider biking the gorgeous trails of Kirkwood; there are over twenty of them. You have the option to enjoy the beautiful mountain springs ad well! For your convenience the summer time map legend indicates the difficulty levels of all the trails.

There are also many other activities to explore during the summer time such as mountain disc golf and hiking. You may also catch sight or be a guest of one the beautiful weddings that take place at Kirkwood.


Kirkwood is great for all ages! It is ideal at any time of year- (just be prepared, because you may love it so much that you’ll likely want to come back. The breathtaking views truly captivate and take hold of a place in your heart forever.

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