Kirkwood Parking & Resort Transportation Guide

Getting Here & Parking


We remain committed to addressing challenges with traffic/road congestion and parking. Next winter, we will require reservations on weekends (Saturday – Sunday) and peak periods until 12pm in all lots at Kirkwood, with a mix of free, paid, and free carpool (4+) elements.

  • If parking in any lot at Kirkwood on a weekend or peak period before 12pm, guests must secure a reservation in advance via our website (regardless of how many people are in the vehicle)
  • Free reserved lots during weekends and peak periods include Middle 7, Lower 7, Kirkwood Meadows Drive (north of Loop Rd. 88), Kirkwood Inn.  
  • Paid and carpool reserved lots during weekends and peak periods include VIP, Chair 5/6, Volcano, Upper Red Cliffs, Lower Red Cliffs, Upper 7, Tennis Courts, Shop Lot, Shanty Town, Powerhouse Rd., Loop Rd., and Chair 9, which are $20 for vehicles with 3 or fewer occupants; vehicles with 4+ occupants are free (but still require a reservation).
  • Parking at Kirkwood on non-peak weekdays, and after 12pm on weekends and peak periods, will not require reservations and will remain free in all lots.

We will update this page in advance of next winter to include more specifics and instructions on how to create a parking reservation on weekends and peak periods. Please see our FAQ below for more information.


Update as of March 1, 2024:

We are committed to addressing challenges with traffic/road congestion and parking – as such, we are making some changes to our parking approach at Kirkwood for winter 2024/25, which will include required reservations on weekends and peak periods for all lots with a mix of free, paid, and free carpool (4+) elements. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
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Parking at Kirkwood

It’s important to keep in mind parking is available on a first come, first serve basis and cannot be guaranteed. Parking regularly reaches full capacity during holidays and fresh snow conditions, please plan accordingly.

For specific location information regarding the below parking locations, reference our Parking Map. Parking at the Main Village or VIP Village lots is paid parking and no overnight camping is permitted in any lot.

Parking Map


Village Parking Lots
  • Village Paid
  • VIP Paid Parking Lot
  • Red Cliffs Parking Lot
  • Tennis Court Lot


Timber Creek Parking Lots
  • Timber Creek - Chair 7 lots
  • Timber Creek - Shop Lot
  • Ski & Ride School Lot
  • Timber Creek - Chair 9 lot


Parking for Lodging Guests

Please refer to your reservation details or check in at the Kirkwood Lodging office. See map for location.


Resort Shuttle

Our resort shuttle offers convenient transportation through the Kirkwood Base Area and utilizes the following stops. See map for locations.

  • Red Cliffs Lot Shuttle Stop
  • Red Cliffs/East Meadows Shuttle Stop
  • Cornice Shuttle Stop-West Bound
  • Village Stop-East Bound
  • Timber Creek Shuttle Stop

Kirkwood Parking FAQs

Q: Why are you making this change and why now?

A: Traffic/road congestion and parking challenges have been a very serious topic of conversation within our community for quite a while, and this winter has perhaps been the most challenging yet. These are not just Kirkwood issues – they’ve been deeply felt across Tahoe. After taking a deep dive into our current parking practices and traffic patterns, analyzing our own parking capacity and constraints, learning from other resorts across our network, and much consideration and conversation here in-resort, we believe that leaning into a reservations-based parking program can, and will, make a difference.  

We have plenty of choices for guests related to parking, including most parking options remaining free.


Q: When you say it will be paid during “peak periods,” what does that mean?

A: We define peak periods as weekends, holidays, and Pass restricted days. Peak periods in the 2024/25 season for our Tahoe area resorts include:

  • Dec 21 – 24, 2024

  • Dec 2631, 2024

  • Jan 1 – 5, 2025

  • Jan 18 – 20, 2025

  • Feb 15 – 23, 2025


Q: How are you defining the “weekend?”

A: We define the weekend period as Saturday and Sunday.


Q: How will this parking system be enforced?

A: In partnership with a parking management company, our parking attendants will support these new parking policies – including parking transactions as appropriate and carpool validations via our parking reservations website, which will launch closer to next season. More details will be shared on the resort website parking pages in the fall.


Q: What hours of the day will reservations be required/paid parking be enforced during weekends and peak periods?

A: Reservations will be required for all lots until 12pm on weekends and during peak periods.

Q: Where can I make a reservation, and how far in advance can I make it?

A: Our reservation system will be online prior to winter 2024/25 kicking off, with more details to be shared about the process in the fall.  


Q: How many people do you have to have in your car to qualify for free carpool parking?

A: To park for free in any of our lots on weekends and peak periods, you will need four (4) or more people in a single vehicle. No matter how many people you have, you must still make a reservation for parking in all lots on weekends and during peak periods before 12pm.


Q: I understand all the lots require reservations on weekends and peak periods until 12pm, but what about during the week?

A: All our lots will remain free, regardless of how many passengers are in a single vehicle, with no reservations required, Monday – Friday (excluding weekdays during peak periods). 


Q: How far in advance do you expect parking reservations to fill?

A: We anticipate reservations to go quickly and recommend you secure a spot in advance, should you plan to park in any of our lots on a weekend or peak period before 12pm


Q: How many reservations can I make at once?

A: Each guest may hold up to five reservations at one time. Once a reservation has been used, guests can add another to their account to return back to five at any one time. There is no limit to how many reservations a guest can make throughout the course of the season.


Q: How can I cancel a reservation?

A: You may cancel reservations via our parking reservations website that will launch closer to the start of next season. Cancellations can be made for a refund until 8am the morning of the reservation. There are penalties for not cancelling by this time/”no-showing” for your reservation.


Q: What happens if I make a reservation and don’t show up?

A: If you no longer plan to use your reservation, you must cancel by 8am the day of your planned arrival for a refund. There will be a penalty fee for no-showing for your reservation with that will escalateing costs for every following no-show offense. We reserve the right to restrict anyone’s ability to make future reservations if the reservation system is being abused or manipulated in any way.


Q; Is there a cutoff time to make a reservation?

A: No. Until reservations are sold out for any given day, you can make your reservation up to the time you arrive.


Q: What happens if I don’t have/can’t get a reservation on a weekend or during a peak period prior to 12pm?

A: If you do not have a reservation for any of our lots on a weekend or peak period, it means we will be at 100% parking capacity and will not be able to accommodate your vehicle until after 12pm.


Q: What if I am driving a rental vehicle and don’t have my plate information yet to make a reservation?

A: When you make your reservation, add your private vehicle license plate number to make the reservation. When you receive your rental car, log in to your account and change your license plate number to match your rental car plates.


Q: I have an ADA/Disabled license plate or placard. Do I need to make a parking reservation?

A: Yes, if you have an ADA placard or disabled license plate, you will need to make a reservation for ADA parking spots on weekends and peak periods before 12pm; however, these spots will be free


Q: If I have a lesson booked with Ski and Ride School, do I need to make a reservation?

A: Yes – you will need to make a parking reservation to park during weekends and peak periods, and we will manage parking reservations so that those with scheduled lessons have access to parking accordingly.


Q: If my child is on the ski/ride team, do I need a reservation?

A: Yes, a reservation will be required during weekends and peak periods. We highly recommend and encourage carpooling with other Team families, and we will send information to participating families prior to the 2024/25 season beginning.


Q: Is there a season parking pass I can purchase for every weekend and peak period?

A: Not at this time.

Q: For reservations in paid lots on weekends and peak periods, do I pay at the parking lot , o r ahead of time online?

A: For paid parking reservations, payment will be made online at the time of reservation, unless you have 4+ people in your vehicle – in that case it is free, but a reservation is still required. More information on the carpool validation process will be shared in future updates.


Q: What is the cost of paid parking during weekends and peak periods / Which lots are paid on weekends and peak periods

A: Reserved paid lots during weekends and peak periods include Chair 5/6, Volcano, Upper Red Cliffs, Lower Red Cliffs, Upper 7, Tennis Courts, Shop Lot, Shanty Town, Powerhouse Rd., Loop Rd., and Chair 9, which will be $20 to park for 3 or fewer occupants in a single vehicle. This is a decrease in price by $15 from recent seasons. If guests have 4+ occupants in a single vehicle, it is free to park in these lots, but a reservation on weekends and peak periods is still required for all vehicles.


Q: What if my car doesn’t fit three additional people and ski gear, and I don’t want to pay?

A: We offer our guests lots of choices when it comes to parking at our resort on weekends and peak periods. Free reserved lots include Middle 7, Lower 7, Kirkwood Meadows Drive (north of Loop Rd. 88), and Kirkwood Inn. We will also continue supporting shuttle services to and from Kirkwood from both the Bay Area and Sacramento.


Q: Where will revenue from paid parking go?

A: We continually assess needs for reinvestment in roads, parking, and transportation efficiency and experience at our resorts, and revenue from paid parking will be prioritized accordingly.

Q: Is this just another money-making play for your resorts?

A: We would consider it the greatest success if we collected no money at all. This plan is designed to encourage more guests to carpool, reducing the number of vehicles on the road and improving overall flow and access to our resorts. 


Q: Where will employees park on the weekends and peak periods?

A: Employees can still park for free and will not need reservations at any time.


Q: Are there any shuttles that run to/from Kirkwood?

A: Yes – we’ll continue to support shuttle services to/from Kirkwood running from the Bay Area and Sacramento like Sports Basement’s Kirkwood Bus, Tahoe Ski Trips Kirkwood shuttles, and North American Charter Ski buses.

California Highway Updates

Check in with our outstanding partners at Caltrans for the most recent updates on road conditions. You can also visit their quick map link if twitter isn't really your thing. 

CALTRANS Twitter QuickMap

Car Rentals

Reno International Airport and South Lake Tahoe offer car rentals from Hertz for your convenience.  Hertz offers a great selection of vehicles to accommodate a variety of group sizes, with specially equipped vehicles for winter driving in Tahoe.  For more information on special Kirkwood guest rates on Hertz rental cars, call 800.967.7500