There’s an ancient Colorado proverb that goes something like this: The best time to buy your ski season pass was last spring. The second best time is now.
Procrastinating powderhounds can rejoice—it’s still not too late to purchase your powder ticket. That’s the good news. The bad news? You’re going to pay top dollar, and you’re down to the wire—many offers end in November. So here’s your last-minute tip sheet for finding your golden ticket to the white stuff.
The evolution of ski passes has led to multimountain access around the country and world. Great if you’re looking to check off some bucket-list destinations.
The Juggernaut: Epic Pass
For You If: You want it all and don’t mind paying for it. Cushy amenities matter for the whole family. You like a supersize experience, from acreage to access to lodging and towns.
Who’s In: 65 resorts, including Colorado biggies Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Arapahoe Basin and North American classics including Park City, Heavenly, Whistler Blackcomb.
What’s New: Crested Butte and Telluride
Are You Really Going to Use That? Maybe you’ll make it to Europe (30 resorts), but Japan?
Pros: The most in-state options and acreage.
Cons: Big bucks and big weekend crowds.
Cost: $949 adult (13+), $499 child (5-12)
Variations: The Epic Pass Local opens 27 resorts, including unrestricted access at Breck, Keystone, C.B., A-Basin and 10 holiday-restricted days at Vail, the Beav and Whistler for $709 adult (19+), $569 teen (13-18), $379 child (5-12), $629 college.
The Summit Value Pass includes unlimited Keystone and A-Basin and holiday-restricted Breck for $569 adult (19+), $469 teen (13-18), $339 child (5-12), $469 college.
Info: More options at epicpass.com.
Deadline: Buy before Nov. 18.
The Challenger: Ikon Pass
For You If: You want major Rockies access, plus national and international options to pursue the powder. You’re willing to ante up to stick it to the (Vail) man.
What’s New: It’s the evolution of the Rocky Mountain Super Pass, upgraded to go head-to-head with the Epic.
Who’s In: 36 resorts including unlimited Colorado access at Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Steamboat and Eldora. Plus 5-7 days each at regional classics Aspen Snowmass; Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Deer Valley, AltaSnowbird and Taos
Are You Really Going to Use That? Japan and Australia
Pros: Front Range-accessible options for chasing freshies, regional classics worth road-tripping.
Cons: Steep price tag.
Cost: $1,069 adult (18+), $869 teen (13-17), $599 child (5-12), $29 (4-), $869 college and military
Variations: The Ikon Base Pass gives unlimited access at seven resorts, including Copper, Winter Park and Eldora. Five days each at the others, including Aspen Snowmass, Taos and Jackson Hole for $749 adult (18+), $629 teen (13-17), $449 child (5-12), $29 (4-).
Deadline: Dec. 13
The Wanderer: Mountain Collective
For You If: You’re a nomadic adventurer on a bucket list world tour or filming your sponsor-me video.
Who’s In: Two days each at 17 destinations on five continents—14 in North America. The closest? Taos and Aspen Snowmass.
What’s New: Big Sky, Montana, and Niseko United, Japan
Are You Really Going to Use That? New Zealand and Australia
Pros: Lots of legendary mountains for less.
Cons: You’ll pay to reach them.
Cost: $469 adults, $99 12 and under
The Indies: Powder Alliance
For You If: You love your local mountain and want to explore other independent classics. Avoiding I-70 is your jam.
Who’s In: Up to 54 free days at 19 resorts including Monarch and Loveland, both new this year, and regional Angel Fire, New Mexico.
Are You Really Going to Use That? La Parva, Chile, and Kiroro, Japan
Pros: Lower cost and back-road bliss.
Cons: Pray for snow at your home mountain.
Cost: Price of a season pass at your participating home resort; and you get three days at the others: free midweek and half-price weekend.
For You If: You’re having commitment issues, aren’t hardcore or are on a tighter budget.
The Elevation Multi-Day Pass 4-Day is four unrestricted, nontransferable days for $189 adult (15+), $119 child (6-14).
The Transferable 4-Pack allows four unrestricted days for anyone, even all on one day for $229
Deadline: Nov. 18.
Copper Mountain Four Pack
Four nontransferable, unrestricted days. Must buy in-person at Copper or Christy Sports for $219.
Deadline: Nov. 19
Any four nontransferable days at 25 resorts including all Colorado Vail Resorts. Costs $439 adult (13+), $269 child.
Deadline: Nov. 18
Loveland Unrestricted 4-Pak
Four transferable single day tickets. Use them yourself or share—on the same day or four different days—for $169.
Deadline: Nov. 18
Single Mountain Majesties
For You If: You’re not as interested in playing the field. You want budget unlimited access.
The Full Season Pass grants all the Legend you can handle, plus three days at Taos for $359 adult (19-69), $269 youth (15-18), $179 child (6-14). A Midweek Season Pass is good on weekdays only for $259, $219, $129. Or get unlimited access through 2019-20 on a Double Down 2-Season Pass for $599, $429, $299.
Copper Pass means unrestricted access, plus three days at five other resorts, including Monarch, for $499 adult (18-69), $389 college, $389 teen (13-17), $279 child (5-12), $389 senior (70+), Free 4-. The Secret! Season Pass lets you on the mountain 15 minutes early and bypass crowds for $200 more.
Unlimited access plus three days each at 37 partners, including Monarch, Loveland, Purgatory, Sunlight, Powderhorn, Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Angel Fire, New Mexico and more nationwide. Costs $429 adult (15-59), $179 child (6-14), $329 senior (60-69), $149 super senior (70-79), $10 5-, $199 military adult, $109 military child.
Loveland Ski Area
Unlimited access, plus three days each at 32 partners through the Powder Alliance and others for $419 adult (23-69), $309 young adult (15-22), $189 child (6-14), $99 senior (70+).
Deadline: Dec. 2
Ski independent as much as you can, plus three days each at 36 partner resorts, including Powder Alliance membership and more, such as Copper, Loveland, Ski Cooper, Purgatory and Angel Fire. Costs $499 adult (18-61), $329 teen (13-17), $209 junior 7-12, $20 child (6-), $359 senior (62-68), $20 super senior (69+), $289 college, $199 military.
Explore the Seven Territories of Winter Park with no restrictions for $529 adult (18+) $429 teen (13-17), military and college, $289 child (5-12), $29 (4-).
Best Military Deals
Active or retired military and dependents get unlimited access to 18 resorts, including all Colorado Vail Resorts, for only $149.
A-Basin Military Pass
Unrestricted A-Bay for active military, veterans and their families, plus three Taos days for $99 adult (15-69), $79 child (6-14).
Little Ripper Steals
5th & 6th Grade Passports
Fifth-graders get three days at 22 Colorado Ski Country resorts, such as A-Basin, Aspen, Copper, Loveland, Monarch and Winter Park—for free! Sixth-graders get four days at each for $105.
A-Basin Kids Free 2 Ski Pass
Two free days for 6-12 year-olds; register by Dec. 17.