Save Money with Annual Ski Passes: Everything to Know for the 2019-20 Season

Discounted skiing is the best way to ski. Here’s how to get it, no matter which mountain you’re headed to.
Last updated May 13, 2021 | By Matt Miczulski
Save Money with Annual Ski Passes

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The winter months might be enough to keep some people indoors, but for others, there’s no better reason to be outside. With ski season fast-approaching, there’s no time to waste if you’re considering picking up your annual pass before it’s time to hit the slopes.

As you plan your season, take a look at what these different annual pass programs offer and how they can keep your wallet intact as you travel over the winter months. Whether you’re seeking the epic trails of big-name resorts or the soft, fresh powder of an independent mountain, there’s a good chance there’s an annual pass for you.

Plus, we’ll share an additional tip on how to save money no matter which mountain you travel to.

In this article

How does an annual pass work?

If you know you’ll be gearing up often this ski season, getting one of these annual passes will not only save you significant money but it will also give you access to numerous ski resorts around the globe.

As any avid skier will tell you, daily lift tickets can be pricey. One ticket can cost you anywhere from $25-$135 just for a day. While an annual pass means handing over more money upfront, it will undoubtedly save you money if you take multiple ski trips during the season.

There’s no shortage of annual passes out there, which means you have a ton of options at your fingertips. Whether you want to tackle as many mountains as possible this season or try to perfect just a handful of trails, an annual pass is the most affordable option for any avid skier.

We’ve laid out the details of some of the best annual passes out there, so all you have to worry about is which mountain you want to conquer next.

Epic Pass

Prices

  • Epic Pass: $989 for adults, $519 for children 5 to 12
  • Epic Local Pass: $739 for adults, $589 for teens 13 to 18, $389 for children 5 to 12
  • Epic Day Pass: Ranges from $95 to $132 per day for adults 13 and older, $49 to $69 per day for children 5 to 12 depending on if you want holiday access

Overview

Epic Pass offers three levels: Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, and Epic Day Pass. With the top-tier Epic Pass, you get unlimited and unrestricted access to all Epic resorts, as well as six discount tickets for a friend or family member.

With the local pass, you get much of the same unlimited access, but there are a couple of limitations on the resorts you can access and the dates you can hit the slopes. You’ll get six discounted tickets for friends and family with the Epic Local Pass as well.

If you know you’ll only make it out a few days this season, the Epic Day Pass gives you the flexibility to choose the number of days (1-7) you want to add to your pass. The more days you purchase, the less expensive each day becomes. Also, if you want access to ski on holidays, you’ll have to pay an additional amount.

Epic Pass

The Epic Pass gives you unlimited, unrestricted access to the following 37 resorts with no restricted dates:

  • Vail, CO
  • Whistler Blackcomb, BC
  • Keystone, CO
  • Northstar, CA
  • Stowe, VT
  • Afton Alps, MN
  • Perisher, Australia
  • Hotham, Australia
  • Crested Butte, CO
  • Mount Snow, VT
  • Wildcat Mountain, NH
  • Hunter Mountain, NY
  • Roundtop Mountain Resort, PA
  • Big Boulder, PA
  • Boston Mills, OH
  • Mad River Mountain, OH
  • Paoli Peaks, IN
  • Beaver Creek, CO
  • Breckenridge, CI
  • Park City, UT
  • Heavenly, CA/NV
  • Kirkwood, CA
  • Wilmot, WI
  • Mt. Brighton, MI
  • Falls Creek, Australia
  • Okemo, VT
  • Mount Sunapee, NH
  • Stevens Pass, WA
  • Attitash Mountain Resort, NH
  • Crotched Mountain, NH
  • Liberty Mountain Resort, PA
  • Whitetail Resort, PA
  • Jack Frost, PA
  • Alpine Valley, OH
  • Brandywine, OH
  • Hidden Valley, MO
  • Snow Creek, MO

Epic Pass also gets you seven days at each of the following resorts:

  • Telluride, CO
  • Sun Valley, ID
  • Snowbasin, UT

You’ll also get seven total days at these resorts of the Canadian Rockies:

  • Fernie Alpine Resort
  • Kimberley Alpine Resort
  • Stoneham
  • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
  • Nakiska Ski Area
  • Mont-Sainte Annie

The Epic Pass will give you five days each at these Japanese resorts:

  • Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park
  • Able Hakuba Goryu
  • Hakuba Iwatake Snow
  • Kiigatake Snow Resort
  • Tsugaike Kogen Snow Resort
  • Rusutsu, Japan
  • Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort
  • Hakuba Happo-One Snow Resort
  • Hakuba Norikura Onsen Snow Resort
  • Kashimayari Ski Resort
  • Hakuba Sanosaka Snow Resort

And if you plan to spend any of the winter months in Europe, you’ll also get access to 21 European resorts. Epic? The name speaks for itself.

Epic Local Pass

With the Epic Local Pass, you get unlimited, unrestricted access to the following resorts:

  • Breckenridge, CO
  • Keystone, CO
  • Wilmot, WI
  • Afton Alps, MN
  • Mt. Brighton, MI
  • Okemo, VT
  • Mount Sunapee, NH
  • Crested Butte, CO
  • Stevens Pass, WA
  • Mount Snow, VT
  • Attitash Mountain Resort, NH
  • Wildcat Mountain, NH
  • Crotched Mountain, NH
  • Hunter Mountain, NY
  • Liberty Mountain Resort, PA
  • Roundtop Mountain Resort, PA
  • Whitetail Resort, PA
  • Jack Frost, PA
  • Big Boulder, PA
  • Alpine Valley, OH
  • Boston Mills, OH
  • Brandywine, OH
  • Mad River Mountain, OH
  • Hidden Valley, MO
  • Snow Creek, MO
  • Paoli Peaks, IN

The following resorts have unlimited access, but with date restrictions:

  • Park City, UT*
  • Heavenly, CA/NV*
  • Northstar, CA*
  • Kirkwood, CA*
  • Stowe, VT*

With the Epic Local Pass, you’ll get a total of 10 days at these resorts, but with date restrictions as well:

  • Vail, CO*
  • Whistler Blackcomb, BC*
  • Beaver Creek, CO*

For the following resorts, you’ll get two days each, both with date restrictions:

  • Sun Valley, ID*
  • Snowbasin, UT*

The Epic Local Pass will also give you five total days each at Hakuba Valley and Rusutsu, Japan. None of these resorts have restricted dates.

Epic Day Pass

If you prefer to pay according to the number of days you’ll be skiing, you can pick up the Epic Day Pass and enjoy many of the same resorts while only paying for the days you’ll be on the slopes:

  • Vail, CO*
  • Beaver Creek, CO*
  • Breckenridge, CO*
  • Keystone, CO*
  • Crested Butte, CO*
  • Park City, UT*
  • Heavenly, CA/NV*
  • Northstar, CA*
  • Kirkwood, CA*
  • Stevens Pass, WA*
  • Afton Alps, MN*
  • Mt. Brighton, MI*
  • Wilmot, WI*
  • Stowe, VT*
  • Okemo, VT*
  • Mount Sunapee, NH*
  • Whistler Blackcomb, BC*
  • Telluride, CO (Requires 4, 5, 6, or 7-day pass)*
  • Snowbasin, UT (Requires 4, 5, 6, or 7-day pass)*
  • Sun Valley, ID (Requires 4, 5, 6, or 7-day pass)*
  • Six Canadian Rockies resorts (Requires 4, 5, 6, or 7-day pass)*

*The holiday restrictions at select ski resorts for Epic Local Pass and Epic Day Pass holders are as follows: Nov. 29-20, 2020; Dec. 26-31, 2020; Jan. 18, 2020; Feb. 15-16, 2020.

Ikon Pass

Prices

  • Ikon Pass: $1,099 for adults 23 and over, $859 for young adults 13 to 22, $459 for children 5 to 12, $49 for children 4 and under
  • Ikon Base Pass: $799 for adults 23 and over, $639 for young adults 13 to 22, $419 for children 5 to 12, $49 for children 4 and under

Overview

Skiers will have access to 41 unique locations around the world when they pick one of two annual pass options offered by Ikon Pass. On top of access to Ikon Pass ski resorts, pass holders will also receive additional discounts on lodging, ski rentals, lift tickets, and food and beverage at select destinations. You’ll also get a set of discounted lift tickets for your family and friends (10 for Ikon Pass, 8 for Ikon Base Pass), so they can join you on the slopes.

Ikon Pass

The Ikon Pass gives you unlimited access to these 14 destinations:

  • Steamboat, CO
  • Big Bear Mountain Resort, CA
  • Winter Park Resort, CO
  • Stratton, VT
  • Copper Mountain Resort, CO
  • Snowshoe, WW
  • Eldora Mountain Resort, CO
  • Crystal Mountain, WA
  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA
  • Tremblant, QC
  • Mammoth Mountain, CA
  • Blue Mountain, ON
  • June Mountain, CA
  • Solitude, UT

Plus, you’ll get up to seven days each at the following resorts:

  • Sunday River, ME
  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO
  • Sugarloaf, ME
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY
  • Loon Mountain, NH
  • Big Sky Resort, MT
  • Taos, NM
  • Deer Valley Resort, UT
  • Sugarbush Resort, VT
  • Brighton, UT
  • Boyne Highlands, MI
  • Boyne Mountain, MI
  • Zermatt Matterhorn, Switzerland
  • The Summit At Snoqualmie, WA
  • Thredbo, Australia (Pass holder access begins in 2020)
  • Mt. Buller, Australia (7 days in 2019, 7 days in 2020)
  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC
  • Cypress, BC
  • Niseko United, Japan
  • Valle Nevado, Chile (Pass holder access begins in 2020)

Plus, you’ll get 7 days total at the following:

  • Aspen Snowmass, CO: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk
  • Killington-Pico, VT: Killington and Pico Mountain
  • SkiBig3, AB: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay
  • AltaSnowbird, UT: Alta Ski Area and Snowbird
  • Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt. Hutt, New Zealand (Pass holder access begins in 2020)

Ikon Base Pass

With the Ikon Base Pass, you’ll have unlimited access to 12 resorts and limited restrictions at select destinations:

  • Winter Park Resort, CO
  • Big Bear Mountain Resort, CA
  • Copper Mountain Resort, CO
  • Snowshoe, WV
  • Eldora Mountain Resort, CO
  • Crystal Mountain, WA
  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA*
  • Tremblant, QC
  • Mammoth Mountain Resort, CA*
  • Blue Mountain, ON
  • June Mountain, CA*
  • Solitude Mountain Resort, UT*

*Blackout dates are as follows: Dec. 26-31, 2019; Jan. 18-19, 2020; Feb. 15-16, 2020

As an Ikon Base Pass holder, you’ll also get five days at each of the following resorts:

  • Cypress, BC*
  • Steamboat, CO*
  • Sunday River, ME*
  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO*
  • Sugarloaf, ME*
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY*
  • Loon Mountain, NH*
  • Big Sky Resort, MT*
  • Taos, NM*
  • Stratton, VT*
  • Deer Valley Resort, UT*
  • Brighton, UT*
  • Sugarbush Resort, VT*
  • Boyne Highlands, MI*
  • Zermatt Matterhorn, Switzerland
  • Boyne Mountain, MI*
  • Thredbo, Australia (Pass holder access begins in 2020)*
  • The Summit at Snoqualmie, WA*
  • Mt. Buller, Australia (5 days in 2019, 5 days in 2020)
  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC*
  • Niseko United, Japan*
  • Valle Nevado, Chile (Pass holder access begins in 2020)

Plus, five days total at these resorts:

  • Aspen Snowmass, CO: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk*
  • Killington-Pico, VT: Killington and Pico Mountain*
  • SkiBig3, AB: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay*
  • AltaSnowbird, UT: Alta Ski Area and Snowbird*
  • Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt. Hutt, New Zealand (Pass holder access begins in 2020)

*Blackout dates are as follows: Northern Hemisphere - Dec. 26-31, 2019; Jan. 18-19, 2020; Feb. 15-16, 2020; Southern Hemisphere - July 4-19, 2020 (Thredbo only)

Mountain Collective

Prices

  • $509 for adult passes, $199 for children 12 and under

Overview

The Mountain Collective Pass gives skiers two days of skiing at each of 18 destinations around the world for a total of 36 days. There are no blackout dates, and after your two days at the resort, you’ll receive an unlimited amount of days at 50% off the 1-day in-resort rate. If you plan on staying the night, you’ll also get up to 25% off lodging (blackout dates may apply).

Mountain Collective Pass

With the Mountain Collective Pass, you’ll get two days at each of the following resorts:

  • Alta Ski Area, UT
  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO
  • Aspen Snowmass, CO
  • Big Sky Resort, MT
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY
  • Mammoth Mountain, CA
  • Snowbird, UT
  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA
  • Sugarbush Resort, VT
  • Taos Ski Valley, NM
  • Banff Sunshine, Canada
  • Lake Louise Ski Resort, Canada
  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Canada
  • Niseko United, Japan
  • Mt. Buller, Australia
  • Valle Nevado, Chile
  • Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, New Zealand
  • Thredbo Alpine Village, Australia

As a Mountain Collective Pass holder, you’ll also have access to this 2019-2020 global affiliate:

  • Chamonix, France

Indy Pass

Price

$199

Overview

For those who want to support or just prefer independent resorts, the Indy Pass might be for you. You get unrestricted access to over three dozen resorts and restricted access to even more. You can redeem for free-day tickets twice at each of the 44 partner resorts for a total of 88 days. If you need it, you can purchase a third ticket at each resort for at least 10% off the daily rate.

Indy Pass

Enjoy two days of skiing at each of the following 44 resorts:

  • Berkshire East Mountain Resort, MA
  • Blue Knob All Seasons Resort, PA
  • Bolton Valley Resort, VT
  • Bryce Resort, VA
  • Canaan Valley Resort, WV
  • Cataloochee Ski Area, NC
  • Catamount Mountain Resort, NY/MA
  • Greek Peak Mountain Resort, NY
  • Magic Mountain Ski Area, VT
  • Massanutten Resort, VA
  • Mohawk Mountain, CT
  • Ober Gatlinburg, TN
  • Pats Peak, NH
  • Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, PA
  • Suicide Six Ski Area, VT
  • Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort, MI
  • Giants Ridge, MN
  • Caberfae Peaks, MI
  • Cannonsburg Ski Area, MI
  • Little Switzerland, WI
  • Nordic Mountain, WI
  • Pine Mountain Resort, MI
  • Powder Ridge Winter Recreation Area, MN
  • Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek, MI
  • Spirit Mountain, MN
  • Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area
  • Terry Peak Ski Area, SD
  • Trollhaugen, WI
  • Tyrol Basin Ski and Snowboard Area, WI
  • 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, WA
  • Apex Mountain Resort, Canada
  • Beaver Mountain, UT
  • Brundage Mountain Resort, ID
  • Castle Mountain Resort, Canada
  • Eaglecrest Ski Area, AK
  • Hoodoo Ski Area, OR
  • Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area, WA
  • Lost Trail Powder Mountain, MT
  • Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort, WA
  • Mt. Shasta Ski Park, CA
  • Red Lodge Mountain, MT
  • Silver Mountain Resort, ID
  • Sunrise Park Resort, AZ
  • White Pass Ski Area, WA

Holiday Blackouts: Canaan Valley WV, Beaver Mountain UT, Silver Mountain ID, Magic Mountain VT, Ober Gatlinburg TN: Not valid Dec. 26-31, 2019 Jan. 18-19, Feb. 15-16, 2020

Weekday Non-Holiday Access Only: Cataloochee Mountain NC, Mission Ridge WA: Not valid weekends or holidays Dec. 26-31, 2019, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, 2020

Power Pass

Prices

  • Power Pass: $799 for adults 37-64, $649 for adults 30-36, $549 for adults 25-29, $499 for adults 19-24, $399 for teens 13-18, $349 for children 11-12
  • Local Power Pass: $449 for adults 25-59, $339 for adults 19-24
  • Free Power Kids Pass: Free for children 10 and younger

Overview

The Power Pass is another annual ski pass that gives skiers access to a handful of mountains. Depending on the pass, you’ll get unlimited skiing at select mountains, as well as free lift tickets to a variety of others. There are no blackout dates either.

Power Pass

The Power Pass gives skiers unlimited skiing at the following six mountains with no blackout dates. You can also get six 30%-off tickets for use at all six mountains that you can share with friends and family.

  • Purgatory Resort, CO
  • Hesperus Ski Area, CO
  • Arizona Snowbowl, AZ
  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, NM
  • Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, NM
  • Nordic Valley, UT

Plus, Power Pass holders will also get three free lift tickets at each of the following mountains:

  • Copper Mountain, CO
  • Loveland Ski Area, CO
  • Eldora Mountain Resort, CO
  • Sunlight Mountain Resort, CO
  • Monarch Mountain, CO
  • Ski Cooper, CO
  • Powder Mountain, UT
  • Powderhorn Mountain Resort, CO
  • Brian Head Resort, UT
  • Homewood Mountain Resort, CA
  • Brundage Mountain Resort, ID
  • Grand Targhee Resort, WY
  • Hogadon Basin, WY
  • Snow King, WY
  • Kiroro Ski Resort, Japan
  • Ski Marmot Basin, Canada
  • 5 Berge & Co Ski Resorts, Germany and Austria
  • Masella Ski Resort, Spain

Local Power Pass

The Local Power Pass will give you unlimited skiing at the following four mountains with no blackout dates:

  • Hesperus Ski Area, CO
  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, NM
  • Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, NM
  • Nordic Valley, UT

You’ll also get an additional six 30% off tickets that can be used at all six mountains. With the Local Power Pass, you’ll also get three free lift tickets at Arizona Snowbowl.

Free Power Kids Pass

If you’ve got children 10 and younger, they’ll be able to join you on the slopes for free with the Free Power Kids Pass. That’s right, any child 10-years old or younger can get a free season pass. That pass comes with unlimited skiing at the following fives mountains with no blackout dates:

  • Purgatory Resort, CO
  • Hesperus Ski Area, CO
  • Arizona Snowbowl, AZ
  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, NM
  • Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, NM

Other discounts to look for if a pass isn’t for you

Annual passes make sense for many skiers but not all. Luckily, many of these pass programs offer even deeper discounts for students, seniors, and military personnel. You can also look to take advantage of weekday-only and locals-only days where you can get your skiing in without committing to an entire season on the slopes.

Using a travel rewards credit card for your everyday spending throughout the year could help you save big come winter. If you want to get the most out of your pass, you’ll likely have to drive or fly to a number of these destinations. These expenses can really add up. Having a rewards card and joining hotel loyalty programs could earn you points and miles that amount to a legit discount even over the course of just one season.

The short story? Buying an annual pass can help you save on the mountain, and a travel rewards credit card can help you get there for less. Plan how to manage your money on the slopes by thinking ahead. And if travel rewards feel like a complicated hobby to get into, we recommend you start out with one of these beginner travel credit cards.

What is the best ski pass?

This depends on how much skiing you’ll be doing and which mountains you’ve been sizing up — whether you prefer the slopes of bigger ski resorts or the twists and turns of local independent mountains. Many of the pass programs outlined above have different levels of passes, so you shouldn’t have any issue finding one that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Whichever pass you go with, if you know you’ll be ascending the mountain several times this year, an annual pass (combined with your travel rewards credit card) is the best way to get your skiing in at the most affordable prices.

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Author Details

Matt Miczulski Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.