Perhaps the most impressive thing about Kirkwood is the mountain itself—the massive rock face of thimble peak at 9,800 feet (2,987 m) dominates and leads to a forest of gully trails dropping down to allow a massive vertical fall-line. Here you’ll find the deepest and best snow quality in the Lake Tahoe region.
Once a simple way-station for weary trans-Sierra travelers, then a humble ski resort founded in the early 1970s, the Kirkwood Mountain Resort is now a favorite for those who enjoy the best snow and some of the best skiing and riding in the western states.
At Kirkwood skiers will find America's deepest snow (600"+ annually) sprinkled with luxurious accommodations, shopping and fine dining, all within the confines of a brand new mountain village. Kirkwood is famous for deep snow. In fact, in the 2000's the resort boasted the deepest snow in North America for seven of the 10 seasons. And lest one think the measurements are pure PR bluster, the resort verified its measurements against those taken by government agencies in the surrounding areas.
But forget the statistics, Kirkwood is all about powder. When it snows, Kirkwood can pile up snow totals that are so high they are almost unskiably deep. All this snow is put to good use at Kirkwood filling in horseshoe-shaped, cornice-lined mountains dotted with steep chutes and wide open bowls. Add to that a vast surround in every direction of endless miles of protected Wilderness and Forest Service Land, and you have a unique balance of a world-class mountain with all the creature comforts in a pristine sanctuary. No wonder the resort attracts a variety of enthusiasts. However, unlike many other resorts with world-class expert terrain, such as Jackson Hole, the atmosphere at Kirkwood is definitely low-key. Nightlight and restaurant options are limited. Kirkwood is a place where people gather for one purpose - skiing.
Updated for Winter 2014-2015 - David B. Cronheim