Hola my friends,
Glass:O:Red in hand, editing a little footy Craig & the KMS team shot over the weekend here @KirkwoodMtn… The Bike parks open only a few more weeks and riding well mis amigos… Stop on by KMS this weekend and drop the “secret” passwords “StokeLevelRising” and the crew will give you a 20% off full-day rental… Or just ask Carolyn or Craig :)
Alpine Lakes are all time warm, hiking, camping, fishing & liv’n the dream my friends,
Buenos Dias my friends,
Cup:O:Joe in hand, Beautiful sunrise here today, temps in the mid- 50’s @7:30a with a high of 80ish forecast for today … Caples Lake was absolutely F-A-C this morning (you figure that acronym out) it was just a mirror …. Today, Mtn. Bike park opens @10am, KVFD BBQ starts @3:30p … Tennis courts are open … DiscGolf course is set … Kirkwood Lake, Caples Lake, The Potholes, Silver Lake … or Hike to 4th of July lake … Rest, relax, enjoy & live the dream …
Stay’n Thirsty my friends,
Ahh… Summer is finally here! While the Tahoe area has many draws, including a lake people keep talking about, just like in the winter, my heart is in the mountains. The laid back mountain feel so prevalent in the winter is even more noticeable in the summer. The sound of hiking boots echo around the Summer HQ (Red Cliffs Lodge), the smell of BBQ wafts in the summer breeze and happy mountain bikers sip draft beer talking about their last descent.
Yes, the weekends during the summer are a lot of fun up here at Kirkwood. There is a lot to do here in the valley and surrounding area. From hiking and biking to fishing, canoeing and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) on one of the four nearby alpine lakes, there is something for everyone. If you are looking for a weekend to come up and visit I highly recommend coming up when theKirkwood Community Association (KCA) or the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD)is hosting one of their summer events.
These events are family friendly and give our guests just one more way to enjoy their time up in the mountains. The first event of the season is the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department BBQ, Wine/Beer Tasting and Auction on July 5th, the day after we open for summer operations. There will be food, music, an auction and activities for the kids all in the Village Plaza. This event is always a fun afternoon, is a great kickoff to summer and supports an important organization up here. The KVFD is an all volunteer group and needs community support to keep going. Tickets are available on the Kirkwood Public Utilities District website.
The last week of July is the time to celebrate the gorgeous wildflowers that cover Kirkwood in the summer at the 13th Annual Kirkwood Wildflower Festival. This event features guided wildflower hikes up to the most beautiful areas of Kirkwood, food, beer and wine tasting, live music, art and activities for the kids. There is no cost to come up and enjoy the music and art in the Village Plaza, but you’d like to participate in one of the wildflower hikes or tastings, you will need a ticket. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to learn about some of the local Flora on a guided tour. They are led by Laird Blackwell, a wildflower expert, and are not only informative but offer great photo opportunities. And… let’s be honest, you can never go wrong with a summer beer and wine tasting. More information can be found on our events calendar and the KCA website.
Wine, Beer and Chili for Everyone!
Perhaps the most popular event of the season happens the last week of August. This is the 13th Annual Thin Air Chili Cook Off! This event benefits the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department and features chili tasting from some of the region’s top chili makers. There will also be beer and wine tasting, as well as, a Kid’s Zone for our younger guests. If I had to choose one event this summer, this is where you’d find me. But, I’m a lover of delicious chili, so that decision is easy for me. You can find more information on the event on our events calendar and tickets on the KCA website.
The weather has been fantastic the last couple of weeks and we know that will continue on the rest of the summer. Up at 7,800 feet (Kirkwood’s base el.) summer temps are often perfect for outdoor activities. The wildflowers are now beginning to bloom, the mountain biking trails are in excellent shape and everyone up here is getting excited for summer operations to officially get underway in July. Don’t forget that summer Lodging Deals are available. We hope to see you up here!
Summertime up at Kirkwood Mountain Resort couldn’t be more fantastic. Over the course of a day you could get in a round of Disc Golf, Miles of Mountain Biking, plus a good swim at Caples or Kirkwood Lake. You can really work up an appetite with all that Kirkwood has to offer. Stop on in at the Historic Kirkwood Inn for all your hunger and thirst needs. The Inn was built in 1864 and we’re celebrating our 150th anniversary this year! We’re planning a celebration in August, stay tuned…
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the Inn offers it all. Come on in before your adventurous day in the mountains for a house made, spicy Bloody Mary or fuel up with our hearty chicken fried steak and eggs or one of our giant Wagon Wheel sized pancakes.
When the temperatures rise in the summer, our guests enjoy the outdoor seating to cool off and relax. I recommend a cold draft brew with chips and a side of watermelon mango salsa for such occasions! If you find yourself getting hungrier and hungrier outside – you may be taking in the aromas coming from our smoker. In the summer our house smoked pork, pastrami and ribs are among our most popular items and for good reason, they are delicious.
If you’ve really had a big day in the mountains and really need to refuel, come on in for dinner. We’re open until 9pm and serve up some hearty and delicious meals, like the Inn Keeper’s Meatloaf or a 12oz New York Strip steak. If you’re looking for something lighter try one of our fresh salads like the Spinach salad which is tossed in our very own chocolate vinaigrette with feta cheese, watermelon, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries.
Here at the Kirkwood Inn we love making new friends so next time you’re up here, stop on in and help us celebrate our 150th birthday!
General Manager, Kirkwood Inn
The Kirkwood Mountain Bike Park first opened in 1997. The following winter was so deep the park couldn’t open the summer of 98’. Those that remember still laugh about how much snow Kirkwood got that winter, but that’s a tale for a different day. I arrived the next summer looking for an authentic mountain experience and was lucky enough to land a job in the Kirkwood Bike Park. I was stoked to be working on the mountain and totally blown away by all the potential it had to offer.
That first summer was only the tip of the iceberg – Riding all the local valley trails and exploring adjacent trails - I was immediately hooked and knew this could be my base camp for life. One of the great things about this area is there is always new areas to explore and the familiar trails and terrain never get boring.
Building the Sentinels Trail really opened up the All Mountain trail riding opportunities here at Kirkwood, allowing you to access a vast trail network beyond… Now you can ride the lifts on weekends and lap the The Whiskey Shots and the Vista Trail through Devils Corral, then light out on the Robey Wolfe Trail to Dangberg to Sentinels Trail up and out of the Valley. This is one of my favorite enchainment of trails as it provides a true all mountain experience.
Lucky for me not only do my kids love the pump track here at Kirkwood but have begun exploring the mountain trails with me. The one good thing about a low snow year is that the trails melt out quicker and my daughters and I can get out on the trails sooner and get RAD. Lift accessed mountain biking begins July 4th up here and we are waiting anxiously.
You will need a day ticket or a summer pass to access the Kirkwood Bike Park. You can purchase both at the summer ticket office located in the main village. We also have a fleet of stellar full suspension mountain bikes here for you to try out, as well as, safety gear and bike accessories. The rental shop is located at Summer HQ at Red Cliffs Lodge.
Health and Safety Manager
The latest and greatest in road cycling news is in! Both Monitor Pass and Ebbetts Pass are open! Dry clear roads have come early this year to the High Sierra, and it’s providing the perfect opportunity to jump start your cycling season.
Come to the mountains for the weekend and set the tone of fitness for the summer by attending the Near Death Experience cycling camp at Kirkwood Mountain Resort from June 6th through 8th. Join other cycling enthusiasts who are ready to ride, be treated like pros, enjoy healthy dining, and learn a thing or two to expand their cycling knowledge.
Each year, for the past 16 seasons, a hearty group of individuals has made the pilgrimage to Kirkwood to tackle the challenging Death Ride course which includes Monitor Pass, Ebbetts Pass, and Carson Pass, either in prep for the Death Ride or to improve their overall cycling fitness. They also know that Kirkwood will treat them right. The meals are legendary, the mechanical and SAG support is world class, and the camaraderie brings them back to meet new friends and reconnect with old friends each year. In addition to everything above you receive the bonus of gaining a guaranteed entry to the sold out Death Ride July 12th. This weekend package has it all.
Mark your calendar. Set aside the time. Take a 3-day weekend you know you want and deserve. The High Sierra is beautiful at the end of spring and early summer, with crisp clean air, endless views, and soft light on the mountains.
See you in the High Sierra in early June for a memorable weekend of riding, learning, and escape!
Cycling Camp San Diego (CCSD)
I’m going to come right out and say it – This year was a blast! That statement would have been more difficult to muster, say, mid-January when the weather was less cooperative, but as a whole I had a great first season at Kirkwood. Not only was this my first season at Kirkwood, but also my first as a snow reporter and working in marketing, making the switch from multiple seasons on the Ski & Ride School side of the business. I learned a lot about the weather this season which was not only necessary, of course, but really interesting too. I also got to see firsthand all that is happening at the mountain before the sun ever peaks over the ridges. All I can say is that the late night / early morning crews at Kirkwood are total pros and I have a new found respect for what they do. From groomers agonizing over the perfect cord to patrol sleeping at the summit so they can conduct snow safety the next morning, these folks are unsung heroes of Kirkwood and I am in total awe of the job they do!
Getting to know the Kirkwood community this season has been great. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many passionate skier & riders on the chairlifts this winter – telling me why they love this mountain, why they snowboard or how many days they have logged this year. Being new to this mountain, it has been inspiring to listen to people from the Bay, to S. Lake to Germany tell me this is their favorite place to ski and ride! As the season went on and I got to explore more of this mountain it’s pretty easy to see why everyone gets so stoked about Kirkwood – this place is special. The terrain here is absoulutely incredible - big cliffs, open bowls, powdery gullies and steep! Did I mention steep! Not that we don’t have mellow terrain to, we do, but I fell in love with the more challeging stuff. The day I spent lapping Vista was rediculous!
It’s always sad to wind down a season, but I’m excited for 1) my first summer in S. Lake, which I’ve heard are super fun; and 2) All the cool stuff going on next year. With that, here are some of my top moments from my first season here, Enjoy!
You only get these when you’re up on the mountain as early as I was. There were some mornings when I felt very lucky
New Year’s Eve
Even though December was a little light on the snow front, our celebration was so fun! The torchlight parade with it’s hundreds of glow sticks was quite the spectacle and the fireworks display that followed was fantastic. Coop and I attached a GoPro to the bottom of the fireworks launching pad!
The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour
What a crazy event! I had know idea… these racers are hardcore. If I don’t have work it next year (I will) I want to race. Not that I think I can really hang, but it looks fun!
I rode around with this group in the morning. Best 2 hrs of the season. Not only was the snow light, deep and plentiful but these little shredders were a total inspiration!
4/25 I’m in there!
See you next season!
There is so much to love about spring skiing & riding at Kirkwood: Fast morning groomers without another skier in sight; lunch on the backside chased down with a cold brewski; and then of course the corn snow harvest in the afternoon! I’ve been having so much fun exploring the endless acres of sun softened, off-piste terrain up here during the warm spring afternoons. I find myself making mental notes of lines for next winter when the POW is deep but forget them by the time I’m heading home. Maybe it’s the sun.
This season we’re staying open until the last Sunday in April. That’s right, April 27th. We’re saying good-bye to Timber Creek for the season on the 13th and finishing up backside operations on the 20th.
Timber Creek’s Final Day – April 13th
Backside’s Final Day – April 20th
Kirkwood’s Final Day – April 27th
If you need one last cruise through the ‘Ditch of Doom’ I suggest you head to TC this weekend. While I love a good Gully run as much as the next guy, I’m more thinking of the last laps on the backside. Maybe one more Cornice Dropping 101 session on The Wave is needed, perhaps 99 steps for one last view from the top or even a tree cruiser on Fawn Ridge.
Wherever you choose to go right now, front side or back, you can’t go wrong with how good the snow is. My biggest goal is to avoid the summer ‘Riders Remorse’… I’ll explain:
Like many outdoor people, the warm weather has got me thinking about some of the fun summer activities I love, but every year I don’t get far into summer before I’m missing those winter turns. I could be sitting on a beach or enjoying a campfire with friends and still find myself thinking about snowboarding. Riders Remorse (a true documented condition) is when I feel like I could have got out way more. It’s this slight feeling of guilt that I can’t quite shake. To that end, I’m stoked we have a couple of weeks left to enjoy Kirkwood and the great spring conditions we have up here. I’m determined to make the most of it!
Hope to see you on the mountain!
Don’t forget that 2014/15 Seson Passes are on sale now. The best guaranteed prices are only around for a limeted time.