Kirkwood Powder - Alpine Environment Hero

Access Policy

Non-lift Uphill Access to Kirkwood Mountain Resort

The following summary of restrictions and recommendations for Uphill Access to Kirkwood Mountain Resort is provided for your information and education; and in an effort to enhance the use of public lands by you and others. Other restrictions may exist from time to time.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Use of Ski Area Facilities

Due to the unpredictability of Avalanche Control work requirements, uphill access and subsequent use of the ski runs of Kirkwood Mountain Resort is not allowed.

If Kirkwood personnel and equipment are used to assist in a rescue after hours, the costs of labor, equipment, and possible loss of business will be sought from the individual(s) for the debt.

Uphill Access

The ski area begins operations during the fall to prepare the slopes and trails for opening.  Activities may include trail work, equipment across runs, snowmaking in progress, snowmobile use and snowcat operations. The work taking place makes it unsafe for public and even impassable at times for skiers or hikers. Uphill access will not be allowed on any trails during mountain preparation or during low snow conditions when the resort or portions of it are not open to the public.

“No Trespassing” signs will be posted at entry points.

Skinning or Hiking Uphill

Skiing or hiking uphill is not allowed at Kirkwood Mountain Resort at any time while Winter Operations are occurring, this includes preparation for the season and operations after the season has concluded

The above stated rules are for your safety and the safety of the employees at the ski resort.  Please contact the Ski Patrol with any questions. (209-258-7233)

Usage of Drones

In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (more commonly known as “drones”) have become increasingly popular among guests, event promoters and marketing teams.  For safety reasons, recreational drone use is not permitted under our operating plans with the USFS. Likewise, commercial use is also prohibited on Vail Resorts’ property, except in limited circumstances when an approved operator has obtained an FAA exemption and received written permission from the resort.  This includes use associated with special events, marketing and in film/photo applications. 

This is a conservative approach but one we believe is necessary to protect the safety of our employees, guests and property at our resorts.


In accordance with a USFS Supervisor’s closure, private snowmobiles are prohibited on any Kirkwood Mountain Resort trails during or after hours of operation.

No Sledding

Use of sliding devices, including, but not limited to, sleds, tower pads, plastic sheets or plastic disks and the like are strictly forbidden.


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