Getting To Kirkwood

Getting To Kirkwood

Where is Kirkwood California?

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is located South of Lake Tahoe in the Eldorado National Forest, atop the Sierra Crest. Kirkwood is 34 miles south of the town of South Lake Tahoe in California and the adjacent town of Stateline in Nevada, a drive that takes about 45 minutes.

The Kirkwood Ski Resort is 178 miles northeast of San Francisco, and is a slightly closer drive from the Bay Area than the other Tahoe ski resorts.


There are three airports within close proximity of Kirkwood. Kirkwood is 80 miles southwest of Reno Airport, and the Sacramento and San Francisco airports are a little further away.

There are car rentals available at the airports (get a 4WD), or there are fixed price taxi services and door to door shuttles available between Reno Airport and Kirkwood.

Driving to Kirkwood CA

If you’re using a GPS navigation system, the address is 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood CA. Beware that some routes are not open or particularly drivable in winter (e.g. Mormon Emigrant Trail, Shake Ridge Road, Fiddletown Road).

Kirkwood is reasonably remote and the road to get there is windy and can be icy. Also check the CalTrans website because the road (at the Spur for example) is prone to closure after big snowstorms for avalanche control. You’ll need to carry tire chains, or 4WD vehicles with snow tires are OK.

There is lots of parking at Kirkwood Mountain Resort that is close to the slopes.

Transport Between San Francisco and Kirkwood

The Bay Area Ski Bus offers transport from various locations in San Francisco for day trips to Kirkwood. These buses run on most weekends and some weekdays.

Getting Between South Lake Tahoe and Kirkwood Ski Resort

An inexpensive shuttle service is provided between various locations in South Lake Tahoe/Stateline and Kirkwood. This bus only runs two days a week, and there is only one schedule each day with South Lake Tahoe pickups in the early morning and one departure from Kirkwood in the afternoon.

Getting Around the Kirkwood Ski Resort

It’s about 0.8 miles walk from the Red Cliffs Region of the resort (e.g. the 7800 bar) via the Village Region (restaurants, shop, The Mountain Club), and via the Pallisades Region (e.g. Red Awning condos) to the Timber Creek Day Lodge and the beginners base area (and kids ski school) in the Meadow Region. It’s 0.5 miles from the Village to the Timber Creek Day Lodge. Whilst these aren’t huge distances, it can be hard work if you’re lugging kids and their ski gear around, so thankfully there’s a Kirkwood Courtesy Shuttle bus that does frequent loops around the resort.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

  • Heavenly Ski Resort (also on the Epic lift pass) is located in South Take Tahoe, 34 miles to the north.
  • Not far away as the crow flies, Sierra at Tahoe is 36 miles by road to the north.
  • There are many other ski resorts in the north Lake Tahoe area that are 1:15 hours to 2 hours drive away from Kirkwood.