What Lake Tahoe ski resort is right for you? Kirkwood or Heavenly? I’ve got some answers

Warren Oberholser
Warren Oberholser
Published on January 25, 2021

Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home..

Today, I’m going to change it up a little bit. I’m going to talk about one of my favorite subjects, which is snow skiing in the Lake Tahoe area.

Lake Tahoe

As a realtor, I actually do some business up in Lake Tahoe. To know more about this, and to evaluate if Lake Tahoe is right for you, whether to purchase or to rent, please read this BLOG or watch the video: Is lake Tahoe right for you?

Lake Tahoe

Due to a couple of issues this year, I was not able to do my annual Lake Tahoe Winter Report. One was I just came off of knee surgery, so I was planning to go late in the ski season, which was in the spring, which fell right into shelter-in-place order due to COVID-19. Everything was shut down here, including the ski resort.

Kirkwood ski Resort
Heavenly ski Resort

I thought I would do something different. I’m going to re-release the two videos I posted last year, which is the one on Kirkwood and the other ones on Heavenly. Each ski resort is amazing and they offer unique features that are different from the other. Please stick around to the end because I’m going to let you know what ski resort I prefer and my reasons why. It might surprise you. Let’s get started.

Largest alpine lake in North America
2/3 of Lake Tahoe are in California, 1/3 in Nevada

Our journey begins as we drive up to Kirkwood in a snowstorm.

Lake Tahoe is two-thirds in California, one-third in the state of Nevada. It’s the largest alpine lake in North America. The surface area is 191 square miles and the elevation is 6,225 feet.

Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood is off Highway 88. Properties in Kirkwood include single detached homes, townhomes, condos, duplexes, and vacant land. Kirkwood developments include Whiskey Towers, Meadow Stone Lodge, West Meadows, Sun Meadows, East Meadows, The Palisades, The Sentinels, and Caples View.

Some facts and information about Kirkwood. The ski resort offers 2,000 feet of vertical drop and 2,300 acres of terrain. Kirkwood Mountain has something for everybody. They have a complete lesson program to handle all abilities.

They also offer numerous workshop two-day clinics, including backcountry skiing.

Weather permitting, there is an outdoor grill for hamburgers and hot dogs

For dining, you’ve got Monte Wolfe’s Kitchen, it’s cafeteria-style. In front of it, weather permitting, there is an outdoor grill for hamburgers and hot dogs.


For cocktails, The K Bar always is serving them up,

The Wall
The Wall: Comfortable seating and great service

and for more sit-down dining, I recommend the the Wall Bar & Grill.

Red Cliff day lodge

For events and breakfast, you can go to the Red Cliff Day Lodge.

Chair #1

Chairlift information:

Chair one, located next to Monte Wolfe, it’s a beginner chair, but it’s one of three chairs to access the resort’s backside. The last one is the Sunrise Chair.

Chairs #5 & 6

For chairs five and six, they’re for intermediate and advanced.


Heavenly Ski Resort

Heavenly Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in Lake Tahoe.

Heavenly Ski Resort: Off highway 50

Heavenly is located off of Highway 50.

Heavenly is the largest ski resort in Lake Tahoe

Heavenly is the fifth largest ski resort in North America. It spreads over two states, Nevada and California. Heavenly Ski Resort offers 4,800 skiable acres, 3,500 vertical feet, 10,067 feet in elevation.

Heavenly Ski Resort is 5th largest ski resort in North America
Owned by Vail Resorts

This is the highest in Lake Tahoe. Kirkwood, Heavenly, and Northstar are all owned by Vail Resorts.

Fire and Ice Restaurant

For unique dining, I recommend Fire and Ice for great food and entertainment.

Marriott Timber Lodge

Next to it is the entrance to the Marriott Timber Lodge. This is a timeshare.

Base Camp Pizza Co

Base Camp Pizza Co. offers great pizza and salads. My wife and I usually touch base thereafter I’ve been skiing, to have a great lunch.


There’s always a Starbucks.

8 Plex Heavenly Village Cinema

For family entertainment, you have the Heavenly Village Cinema. It’s an eight-plex movie theater.

Heavenly Village has over 40 shops, boutiques, and stores. There’s ice skating in the winter and miniature golf in the summer.

Marriott Grand Residence Club

This is a Marriott Grand Residence Club. This is another timeshare.

California Burger CO

California Burger Co. offers amazing hamburgers and salads, et cetera.

A few more facts about Heavenly Ski Resort. They have 26 chairs, nine are high speed. There’s a gondola, which is located at the base of Heavenly Village, that’s where we are, and there is an aerial tram, which is located on the California side.

Heavenly offer numerous activities for non-skiers!

Heavenly Ski Resort also offers activities for non-skiers. There’s the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster, the scenic gondola and tram to access the observation deck, and there’s tubing.

Heavenly Tamarack Lodge

When you reach the top of the gondola, you’ll be greeted by the Tamarack Lodge. This is a large facility that has seating both inside and out.

Tamarack Lodge has plenty of seating!

I do want to point out when I was there last year in 2019, they were not serving a traditional breakfast. They do offer quite a variety for lunch.


Thanks so much for sticking around to the end.

What is my choice between Kirkwood and Heavenly? Well, it all depends on what I want to do.

Kirkwood Ski Resort has some of the best powder in the Lake Tahoe Area

If it’s a powder day or I want to just ski off the groomed slopes, I prefer Kirkwood.

Always a good time at Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood is just a three-hour drive from where I live. I’ve taken a lot of ski clinics there, so I’m very familiar with the mountain.

However, if I want to combine skiing with some entertainment, including fine dining,

Heavenly Ski Resort offers numerous types of terrain
Heavenly Ski Resort- also offers lots of lake activities

I’ll choose Heavenly Ski Resort. I can stay at the casinos, walk across the street and take the gondola up to the slopes.

My wife Victoria with our dog, Emma
Tahoe is our favorite place to visit!

Probably the main reason I’ll choose Heavenly is I can have my wife, Victoria, and dog, Emma, join me on the trip. This way, I get the best of all worlds. Cheers!

For other places to Travel, consider Las Vegas

For a change a pace from Lake Tahoe, try Las Vegas. Visit: Guide On what To Do In Las Vegas.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren


Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!

Warren Oberholser

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Warren Oberholser

eXp Realty

[email protected]

(925) 980-4603

DRE # 01861944


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