Discover Rare Earth at Kirkwood Mountain

There is no shortage of epic runs in the South Shore this winter and with nearly 84 inches of snow as its base, Kirkwood Mountain is really serving up the goods this season.

Kirkwood offers big mountain riding for visitors of the Sierra Nevada.
Kirkwood offers big mountain riding for visitors of the Sierra Nevada.

Located 35 miles from South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood benefits from the “K-Factor,” which relates to the resort’s fortuitous placement along the Sierra Crest. This position delivers plenty of dry and light snow – or what the kids like to call “pow” – to the resort. Catch their epic terrain on a powder day and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!

The resort prides itself on a variety of runs for all experience levels. Cruise over 30 kilometers of groomed trails or take it to the next level with runs littered with cornices and cliffs. Run into any of the friendly employees and they’ll happily share their tips and tricks for a great day on the slopes. (A pro tip from Kirkwood staff is to check out Dick’s Drop located off Chair 10, The Wall, for the best kept secret stash on the mountain.)

Make your own way at Kirkwood Moutain. Courtesy: Vail Resorts
Make your own path at Kirkwood. Courtesy: Vail Resorts

In addition to a number of amazing runs Kirkwood encourages riders to discover rare earth on their own as they regularly suggest the “best spots may not always be marked on the map.” However, if you are apprehensive charting your own course, Kirkwood offers a fun and safe way to explore the great unknown with Expedition: Kirkwood courses. A sampling of E:K courses include avalanche certification, cat tours and private guides. With the latter, riders are privy to the best runs and tips from individuals that ride Kirkwood over 100 days each year. Better yet – with private guides, you’re able to ride Kirkwood on any day and you won’t have to wait in a lift line. We’d say that’s a win. Call 209-258-7360 to reserve your E:K tour.

If you’re just starting out and consider yourself more of a newbie, the Kirkwood Ski & Ride School will have you making turns in no time. In fact, Timber Creek is considered some of the best terrain to learn on in the Sierras. Compassionate and patient instructors will raise your confidence and inspire you to find you to make your own path.

Kirkwood also offers hiking, mountain biking and disc golf in the summer. Visit for more information.

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