Ahh… Summer is finally here! While the Tahoe area has many draws, including a lake people keep talking about, just like in the winter, my heart is in the mountains. The laid back mountain feel so prevalent in the winter is even more noticeable in the summer. The sound of hiking boots echo around the Summer HQ (Red Cliffs Lodge), the smell of BBQ wafts in the summer breeze and happy mountain bikers sip draft beer talking about their last descent.
Yes, the weekends during the summer are a lot of fun up here at Kirkwood. There is a lot to do here in the valley and surrounding area. From hiking and biking to fishing, canoeing and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) on one of the four nearby alpine lakes, there is something for everyone. If you are looking for a weekend to come up and visit I highly recommend coming up when the Kirkwood Community Association (KCA) or the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) is hosting one of their summer events.
These events are family friendly and give our guests just one more way to enjoy their time up in the mountains. The first event of the season is the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department BBQ, Wine/Beer Tasting and Auction on July 5th, the day after we open for summer operations. There will be food, music, an auction and activities for the kids all in the Village Plaza. This event is always a fun afternoon, is a great kickoff to summer and supports an important organization up here. The KVFD is an all volunteer group and needs community support to keep going. Tickets are available on the Kirkwood Public Utilities District website.
The last week of July is the time to celebrate the gorgeous wildflowers that cover Kirkwood in the summer at the 13th Annual Kirkwood Wildflower Festival. This event features guided wildflower hikes up to the most beautiful areas of Kirkwood, food, beer and wine tasting, live music, art and activities for the kids. There is no cost to come up and enjoy the music and art in the Village Plaza, but you’d like to participate in one of the wildflower hikes or tastings, you will need a ticket. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to learn about some of the local Flora on a guided tour. They are led by Laird Blackwell, a wildflower expert, and are not only informative but offer great photo opportunities. And… let’s be honest, you can never go wrong with a summer beer and wine tasting. More information can be found on our events calendar and the KCA website.
Wine, Beer and Chili for Everyone!
Perhaps the most popular event of the season happens the last week of August. This is the 13th Annual Thin Air Chili Cook Off! This event benefits the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department and features chili tasting from some of the region’s top chili makers. There will also be beer and wine tasting, as well as, a
Kid’s Zone for our younger guests. If I had to choose one event this summer, this is where you’d find me. But, I’m a lover of delicious chili, so that decision is easy for me. You can find more information on the event on our events calendar and tickets on the KCA website.
The weather has been fantastic the last couple of weeks and we know that will continue on the rest of the summer. Up at 7,800 feet (Kirkwood’s base el.) summer temps are often perfect for outdoor activities. The wildflowers are now beginning to bloom, the mountain biking trails are in excellent shape and everyone up here is getting excited for summer operations to officially get underway in July. Don't forget that summer Lodging Deals are available. We hope to see you up here!