Kirkwood Bike Park: Downhilling in the High Sierra

Shred Kirkwood's selection of gravity trails, accessed via two different lifts.

Greg Heil


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Enjoy stunning views of the High Sierra and get shreddy at the same time in the Kirkwood Bike Park. Two chairlifts spin all season long haul riders to the top of the gravity trails. According to, “there are 11 lift-accessed, gravity-fueled trails on the mountain with log rides, rollers, rock gardens, jumps, and other terrain features.” However, like most bike parks, those 11 trails condense down into just a handful of logical top-to-bottom rides.

While the number of true top-to-bottom runs isn’t massive, Kirkwood does provide a respectable difficulty progression, with trails for lower intermediate riders, upper intermediate riders, and advanced mountain bikers. Start off easy on Scout’s Route on the lower lift and Caples Crest on the upper lift. Step up your game with Upper Corral and Vista-> Lower Corral -> Red Cliffs. Finally, once you’ve warmed up, tackle Kirkwood’s gnarliest run: Whiskey Shots -> Whiskey.

The bike park opens at the beginning of July every year, weather permitting. In 2019, the price of a full-day adult lift ticket was $46. If you didn’t bring a bike with you, rentals are available at the High Alpine Adventure Center.



Whiskey Shots -> Whiskey

An advanced top-to-bottom run at Kirkwood Bike Park via Caples Crest, Whiskey Shots, and Whiskey.

Caples Crest

An intermediate-level descent from the top of the mountain on doubletrack.

Upper Corral

A more technical, but less-steep finish to the Vista descent.

Scout's Route

An intermediate descent down from the top of the Snowkirk Lift.