For the 2016-17 winter season, what’s the best multi-mountain/resort ski season pass?
We’ve crunched the numbers and compared the best multi-mountain/resort passes; the following is a summary guide. Remember that the more days you ski or ride, the more value you get from your pass. Also, keep in mind the best time to purchase a pass is in the spring, typically around early April. Many resorts offer a discount bonus and a spring ski / ride FREE the remainder of the current ski season when you buy your pass early.
One of the most popular ski passes, the Epic Pass gives you unlimited access to twelve resorts, including Australia’s Perisher. Adult Pass: $849 (Pays for itself in 6 days) Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin International Resorts: Verbier (Switzerland), Perisher (Australia)
The Mountain Collective pass offers two days at each of its 14 resorts for a total 28 days of skiing/riding. Home resorts are SunValley, Stowe Mountain Resort, Taos, and Thredbo. Adult Price: $419 (Pays for itself in 5 days based on on individual resort pricing) Resorts: Alta/Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sun Valley, Taos, Thredbo, Whistler Blackcomb International Resorts: Valle Nevado (Chile), Hakuba Valley (Japan), Chamonix (France)
The M.A.X Pass gives you access for five days at each of its 39 participating resorts. There are no blackout dates and many options on both the east and west coast. Adult Price: $699 (Pays for itself in 7 days) Resorts: Big Sky, Boreal Mountain Resort, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Lee Canyon, Mt. Bachelor, Steamboat, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Winter Park, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Killington, Loon Mountain, Pico Mountain, Snowshoe, Stratton, Sugarloaf, Sunday River International Resorts: Cypress Mountain (Canada), Blue Mountain (Canada), Tremblant (Canada)
This pass includes unlimited access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, four days at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, unlimited 50% discounts on lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts, and a worry-free guarantee that will credit users up to four days towards a 2016/17 pass if they don’t ski at least five times this year. Adult Price: $899 (Pays for itself in 9 days) Resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-At-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl International Resorts: Two days at Zermatt (Switzerland)
Get access to multiple resorts in Colorado as well as resorts in places like New Zealand, you’ll be able to enjoy the snow year-round. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus offers many benefits from free “friends and family” tickets to discounts on rental equipment and tuning. Adult Price: $629 (Pays for itself in 7 days) Resorts: Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora Alpine Pass, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Alyeska Resort International Resorts: Tomamu (Japan), Alts Bandai (Japan), Nekoma (Japan), Cardrona (New Zealand), Mt. Ruapehu (New Zealand)
Access Southern California’s mountains every day with this pass. It offers unlimited skiing, five “bring-a-friend” tickets, and up to 20% off lodging at Mammoth Lodging Collection properties. Adult Price: $849 (Pays for itself in 11 days) Resorts: Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit
*Listed pricing is current as of November 1, 2016. Click on the name of the pass for the most up to date pricing details.
So you still haven’t bought your ski season pass yet and can’t quite decide on what’s the best pass to buy for a multi-resort pass packed with value to price ratio? ..
Here are some important factors and questions to determine which pass will give you the best value for the price aka “best bang for the buck”:
how many days do you plan to ski/ride this season?
how many resorts/mountains would you like to have access to?
is it required that you have no blackout days meaning holidays must be
included(note that holidays tend to be crowded slope-side, services sub-par/long wait times, and high traffic getting to and from the resort)?
would you like to have access to resorts across multiple States in the US plus international ski resorts access?
how many days would you need to use the pass for it to pay for itself?
Once you’ve had a chance to answer the questions above, you’ll be in a better position to decide which ski/ride season pass is the best value for you. Naturally, if you grew up skiing or riding at a particular resort, you’ll likely have a loyal tendency to favorite that resort but let’s say we set that aside and let’s just talk shop in terms of determining the best value season pass.
Ok, so we’ve crunched the numbers for you and ran a comparison of all the available 2016-17 multiple mountain ski season passes, our findings point to the Epic Pass as a great value for a multi-mountain pass and here’s why:
“Ski as much as you want, whenever you want.” – Vail Resorts..
In addition, the Epic Pass includes access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland! Access now includes four of Europe’s most iconic destinations. France’s largest ski areas, Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere offer a unique playground to skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, accessing five glaciers, 391 ski lifts and over 800 miles of marked runs for all ability levels within a 30-mile radius. The three areas combine high-altitude skiing guaranteeing quality snow from November to May with stunning view of Mont Blanc and a 360-degree panorama of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.
South of the Alps, nestled amongst some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world such as Brenta Dolomites and Adamello (11,666 feet), is some of the best skiing in Italy. Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta is home to 150 lifts and 236 miles of ski slopes that that make up acclaimed resorts such as Madonna di Campiglio and Pinzolo in Val Rendena; Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio and Tonale in Val di Sole; Ponte di Legno, Andalo-Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgaria-Lavarone. The winter offering is enriched by the high-quality cuisine and the exclusive “Italian style.”
Verbier, part of the 4 Vallees ski area, is the largest resort in the Swiss Alps, is acknowledged as one of the premier “off piste” resorts in the world, and is home to a number of professional freeride competitions. Above and beyond this reputation, Verbier is well-known internationally for its electrifying, cosmopolitan nightlife, and the resort is proud of its legendary après-ski and its lively clubs. While skiers and snowboarders from all over the world rave about this off-piste paradise and fun evenings, families also appreciate the resort’s social atmosphere and family-friendly offerings.
For decades, the mountain range between Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which is home to Arlberg, has been a highly sought-after metropolis for international ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Arlberg is widely considered the cradle of modern skiing and in December 2016, thanks to the opening of four new chair lifts, it will be Austria’s largest linked ski area. Also the birthplace of champions, athletes from Ski Club Arlberg have garnered an incredible 83 medals at various Olympic Games and World Championships.
“For value, for ease of use, for access to world-class destinations, for constant improvements in the guest experience, and now for being the only pass to offer significant access to Europe, the Epic Pass is in a class by itself,” Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.
Epic Pass access to the European ski areas is described below:
Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere
Six (6) days of free skiing with two (2) days of skiing at each resort area
Les 3 Vallees (Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides les Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Bellevelle, Val Thorens and Orelle), Paradiski (Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne), and Tignes-Val D’Isere
2016/2017 Epic pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card and a valid photo ID to the lift cashier in each resort to redeem their lift access
Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta
Three (3) days of free skiing
Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio, Ponte di Legno – Tonale, Andalo – Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgarida – Lavarone
Epic Pass holders must email at least one week prior to arrival and specify the Dolomiti ski area where they will pick up their pass and show a valid Epic Pass
Details can be found below
Five (5) consecutive days of free skiing
Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon
To redeem lift access, 2016/2017 Epic Pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card, as well as a valid photo ID, to the resort’s Ticket Office
Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
Three (3) consecutive days of free skiing
Lech, Zurs, Stuben, St. Christoph and St. Anton
Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
Epic Pass holders must book their lodging directly with the property and the property will deliver the passes to the guest upon confirmation of their Epic Pass
Plus, 5 total holiday-restricted days at: Whistler Blackcomb – Rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort” – If Whistler Blackcomb is on your to do list, you’ll be glad when you’ve experienced it; however be forewarned, once you go, you won’t be able to wait to get back there again. Rated best ski/ride resort for ..
January 2016 brings back to back storms with over 4 feet of new snow in 7 days and more snow in the forecast; it’s the best snow in five years so get to your favorite Tahoe resort and enjoy skiing/riding or learn a fun new snow sport since it’s the most snowfall record in years; gather some family and friends together for a getaway(browse our list of Tahoe vacation rentals). Here are some great lift ticket discounts and deals..
What’s the cheapest Tahoe resort lift ticket deal?
For college students, if you are free to go skiing/riding on Fridays, Boreal offers the cheapest/best lift ticket deal at only $15. Ski and ride from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, enjoying the area’s closest ski resort right off Highway 80. Available for only College students and active duty military at Boreal. Must have valid I.D.
Not a college student? You can still get $25 lift tickets on Feb 5 and March 18, dubbed as FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS
Only $25 for anyone with $5 of that going back to either High Fives Foundation and Truckee Humane Society. Make sure to head to the Boreal Bar for an awesome after party with music, good times, and food specials.
Discounted ski bus trips: If you’re looking for a discounted ski bus from the SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts, check out the discounted one day and overnight ski bus trips with pick-ups around the Bay Area. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride. You can add a learn to ski or snowboard package or book a round trip bus ride only if you already have a lift ticket or season pass.
Tip: SF Bay Area Hyundai is running a promo where you get two free lift tickets to Bear Valley ($140 value) with any test drive.
For our latest scoop on Tahoe discounts and deals on lift tickets and vacation packages, get our newsletter.
Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC) Discount Lift Tickets in the Tahoe Area:
“Purchase a ticket and enjoy a day of skiing or riding all season long, non holidays. All proceeds benefit backcountry avalanche forecasting in the Lake Tahoe Region.
Sierra Avalanche Center has partnered with Tahoe’s top resorts to offer SAC Ski and Ride Days. Each of the participating resorts have donated lift tickets or trail passes to the Non Profit to support educational programs and the avalanche advisory. When you purchase a lift ticket through SAC your money goes directly toward Know Before You Go avalanche safety education across the Lake Tahoe region.
SAC SKi & Ride Days are a great way to support our mission and enjoy a day of skiing or riding at your favorite Tahoe resort. Look for the yellow ticket button on the home page to learn about participating resorts and details. Once we sell through our supply the link will be inactive for purchase.” – updated on 1/14/16
The participating resorts are offering skiers and snowboarders special discounted lift tickets and the opportunity to support education. One hundred percent of the lift ticket proceeds go to the Excellence in Education Foundation, which provides enhanced educational opportunities for our local students. Please see listings below for ticket details. Updated: 1/14/16
$30 lift tickets valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 18 – Jan. 3; Jan. 15 – 18; Feb. 12 – 20). Tickets on sale herePlease allow up to 24 hours for ticket to be mailed. Tickets also available at Tahoe Dave’s.
$15 trail passes valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday. SOLD OUT! Thank you for your support.
Purchase downhill ski tickets in advance at Tahoe Dave’s (Truckee, Kings Beach, Tahoe City). Purchase cross-country passes in advance at Paco’s in Truckee and Alpenglow in Tahoe City. A limited supply of tickets are sold on a first-come, first served basis and will not be available at the resorts. Tickets are not refundable. All Skiing for Schools proceeds are donated to Excellence in Education through your lift ticket purchase and the generous support of participating ski resorts. The Foundation would also like to acknowledge both Northstar and Squaw /Alpine for their generous $15,000 cash contributions in addition to the discounted lift tickets provided.
For more information, please call 530-550-7984
Special lift ticket deals and promos for Tahoe visitors:
SQUAW VALLEY | ALPINE MEADOWS
Fly & Ski Free at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Guests arriving by airplane can ski or ride the afternoon for free (and evenings during night operations). Present your same-day commercial airline boarding pass with a matching photo ID at the Guest Services & Sales Center at Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows and receive a complimentary afternoon lift ticket valid from 12:30 – 4pm.
Fly in and ski or ride free that same day at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort! Must present same day boarding pass and a valid I.D. to receive complimentary lift ticket. Lift tickets are valid Sunday-Friday, non-holiday* are non-transferable, not for resale and cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. *Holiday Dates include December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016; January 16-18, 2016; February 13-20, 2016.
Fly & We’ll Buy at Heavenly
Fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and ski that afternoon, for FREE! After all, Heavenly is for those who are up for first chair and are still going strong well after last call. You come here to go all in, and worry about sleep later. Present your boarding pass and photo ID at the Guest Service office to receive your free afternoon lift ticket, valid same-day from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.
From the Plane to Powder!
Flying into Reno to enjoy the legendary snow and terrain at Kirkwood? Don’t throw away your boarding pass, bring it to the guest service office located in the Village Plaza the same day as your flight and we’ll set you up with a FREE half-day lift ticket! Please bring a photo ID with your boarding pass to redeem your half-day ticket which is good from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.
Flying? First Runs Are On Us at Northstar California
Flying to Northstar through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport? Show us your boarding pass from the same day and enjoy a half-day lift ticket on us. There’s no better way to shake out your travel legs than with an afternoon on the slopes. To redeem, simply show your boarding pass and photo ID at the Guest Service office to receive your free afternoon lift ticket, valid same-day from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.
MT. ROSE-SKI TAHOE
Ski the Day you Fly for only $37!
Present your boarding pass the day you arrive in Lake Tahoe (the day your flight arrives) and receive a $37 lift ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the Guest Services Office. Offer is valid non-holiday*. *void holiday periods: December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016; January 16-18, February 13-14, 2016.
The 2016-17 Lake Tahoe Six-Pack includes(the lift tickets are flexible, allowing you to choose one of two resorts with each ticket):
• 1 lift ticket valid at Heavenly, Kirkwood or Mt. Rose–Ski Tahoe
• 1 lift ticket valid at Heavenly or Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort
• 1 lift ticket valid at Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort or Kirkwood
• 1 lift ticket valid at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows or Mt. Rose–Ski Tahoe
• 1 lift ticket valid at Squaw Valley or Northstar California
• 1 lift ticket valid at Alpine Meadows or Northstar California
Why is it the best all around Tahoe lift ticket package deal?
A combination of variety, flexibility and affordability gives the Tahoe Six-Pack lift ticket deal the best bargain you can buy; here’s why, you get..
1) a variety of mountains/terrains at seven Tahoe resorts so you won’t get bored
2) flexibility: the Six-Pack lift tickets are valid throughout the 2016-17 season (the following holiday blackout dates apply: February 18-19, 2017) and do not have to be used on consecutive days. Given Lake Tahoe’s typically long winter season, this means ticket holders can use one lift ticket as early as November and another as late as the month of April. The lift tickets are also fully transferable to family and friends.
3) affordability/savings: the Tahoe Six-Pack costs $488.95 per adult 6 pack lift tickets; your per lift ticket cost breaks down to $81.50. You save up to $68.50 off regular lift ticket pricing; for example buying a lift ticket at Squaw’s ticket window will cost you $150 while buying the Six-Pack gets you the same lift ticket for $81.50 as part of the promo package deal.
Six-Pack Tickets orders placed Monday through Thursday will be sent to the fulfillment center to ship on a daily basis, though expect 1-2 days for handling before they ship USPS Priority Mail, which takes 3 days, so assume a minimum of 7-10 business days to get your tickets. Orders placed Friday – Sunday will be sent the following Monday..
Only 1 voucher per Six-Pack redeemable per resort, per day.
Six-Pack Tickets orders placed Monday through Thursday will be sent to the fulfillment center to ship on a daily basis, though expect 1-2 days for handling before they ship USPS Priority Mail, which takes three days, so assume a minimum of 7-10 business days to get your tickets. Orders placed Friday – Sunday will be sent the following Monday. Emails will be sent out with tracking information at that time. We’re no longer offering pick up locations on the North Shore, only South Shore pick up locations, excluding weekends.
If you’re traveling from outside of California tickets can be mailed to your respective hotel.
Lake Tahoe boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, and the region has some of the highest annual snowfall amounts in North America with 2016-17 season setting a new record for snowfall; January 2017 already recorded 400 inches of snow whereas the entire season of 2015-16 only recorded 450 inches of snow total. The nine Tahoe resorts, all offering unparalleled scenic vistas of panoramic mountain and lake views, are conveniently located near the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.