Kirkwood Mountain Resort
In the late 1960s, Bud Klein, financier and ski enthusiast, arrived in the Kirkwood Valley and spent several years surveying the land he hoped would become the ski area now nestled in National Forest and Wilderness. After careful planning with any of the areas overseeing agencies, permission was granted to proceed with the development of what is now known as Kirkwood Mountain Resort. While many plans took longer than initially predicted, or were modified over the years, the vision originally articulated by Bud Klein remains true and is still the driving force in the valley today.
Kirkwood's mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers hold a special place in the history of our country, having afforded many solace, shelter and opportunity through its abundant natural resources and unique location in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Some of the earliest travelers to the Kirkwood area were the Washoe, a tribe whose history spans nearly 9,000 years in the area. The Washoe people lived a seasonal and nomadic life. In the spring and summer months here the Washoe would hunt, fish, and collect medicinal plants, roots, and berries for the winter season. There are several places along the ridge tops where evidence of Kirkwood's early past can be found in lithic scatter areas. These are areas where cultural remains such as crude stone tools, spear heads and arrow head points can be found.
Like the Washoe before them, explorers, trappers, and the early gold-seeking emigrants of the 1800s would find the barren mountaintops and ridges as the easiest of passable routs through the mountains during the snow months. These high altitude routes were favored for travel because their exposure to the wind would scour away the deep, impassable snow pack.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media