If you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder, you’ve probably already renewed your pass for this season — those springtime deals are just too good.
Still, early fall is a great time to score a single mountain pass or one of the ever-growing number of multi-mountain passes, such as the Epic Pass, Mountain Collective and the M.A.X. Pass.
Since many of these passes and deals aren’t new, others have reviewed, compared and dissected.
Instead, today’s post focuses on passes that let your kids ski for free, passes that will let you ski almost anywhere in your country or state and just one all around unique single mountain Colorado pass that showcases my favorite trend in season passes — add ons, freebies and reciprocal deals.
Those are two magic words we all like to hear. And while no-cost lift tickets will never be a reality for most adults, they are a reality for many kids.
Ski the Northwest Rockies 5th Grade Passport
This pass stands out from other 5th grade passes, because any 5th grader, in any state, can use it. You don’t have to live in Idaho or Washington. You just have to plan to ski at certain resorts in these two states.
With three free days at each of seven resorts, the Ski the Northwest Rockies 5th Grade Pass is fantastic for local families or those planning a western ski vacation.
Here’s a list of participating ski areas:
49 Degrees North, Washington
Brundage Mountain, Idaho
Lookout Pass, Idaho
Loup Loup Ski Bowl, Washington
Mt. Spokane, Washington
Silver Mountain, Idaho
SkiCanada.org Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass
A program for Canadian children, the $29.95 CDN SnowPass is valid for two years, if you get it in Grade 4.
SkiCanada.org is an official FIS SnowKidz organizer and the SnowPass is recognized as the “World’s Largest Kids’ Snow Program.”
The pass is valid in all provinces and at more than 150 Canadian ski areas and resorts. Offers vary by resort and some have blackout dates, while others may require an accompanying adult to purchase a lift ticket.
Colorado Ski Country USA 5th and 6th Grade Passport
The Colorado Ski Country USA 5th Grade Pass offers three free days at each of 22 resorts. The 6th grade pass offers four days of skiing at the same 22 resorts for $105 if the student registers before November 30th. After November 30th, the cost rises to $125.
And guess what? You don’t have to be a Colorado resident to get a 5th grade pass! You just have to love skiing Colorado!
Epic SchoolKids Pass
Vail Resorts has a pass for school kids (grades K-5) in Colorado and Utah. The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack offers four free days each at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone.
The Epic SchoolKids Utah Pack provides five free days at Park City.
Other School Age Passes
May other states offer “ski free” deals to kids in certain grades. If you live in Idaho, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah or Vermont and you have kids, be sure to read up on their passport programs.
Looking for the most flexibility and the most resorts on one pass? Here are some truly golden tickets.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Gold Pass
If money were no object, we’d buy the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Gold Pass.
An annual fundraiser for the United States Ski and Snowboard teams, the Gold Pass will set you back a hefty $10,000, although $9,000 of this is a tax-deductible donation.
What do you get for your donation? Up to 50 days of skiing and riding at each of 250 U.S. ski areas and ski resorts in 34 states.
Passes are fully transferable, but each pass can be used at only one ski area per day.
Every year, just 450 passes are available.
This year is an especially good year to buy a Gold Pass and support Team USA at the 2018 Olympics.
The Ski California Gold Pass
The Ski California Gold Pass plugs pass holders into 32 ski resorts in California and Nevada and the nation’s longest ski season (Mammoth Mountain didn’t close until August 6th this year).
Fully transferable, with no blackout dates, the pass is good for 50 days at each downhill and nordic resort.
Only 100 Ski California Gold Passes are available this season for $2,750 if purchased before October 1st.
In addition, Praxis Skis, a west coast ski manufacturer, is offering pass holders a discount on custom skis, dropping their price from $1200 per pair to $750 per pair.
The Canadian Lift Pass Program: Gold, Silver or Bronze
The Canadian Lift Pass Program is not a season pass, but rather a set of 20 preloaded lift tickets. Passholders can spread their tickets, and ski days, across 137 resorts, use them all at one resort, or any combination in between.
Gold Pass holders can ski at all participating Canadian resorts, while Silver and Bronze Pass holders have some restrictions. This season a Canadian Lift Gold Pass is $1,300 CDN if purchased before September 30th. Silver Passes are $1,040, while Bronze Passes are $680.
SkiCanada.org also offers a Fun Pack pass for beginners, with five tickets for use at 37 resorts and a Nordic Pass good for five days at seven nordic venues.
More Gold and Silver Passes
Colorado Ski Country USA offers a transferable Gold Pass with unlimited skiing and no blackout dates at 22 Colorado resorts.
Only 100 passes are available each year and you can apply now.
Ski Utah offers two passes: the Silver Pass and the Gold Pass. Utah’s Silver Pass is for one person and provides 30 days of skiing at each of 13 Utah resorts, plus 60 days at Park City.
The Gold Pass is good for 50 days at each Utah resort, with 100 days at Park City. Plus, it’s fully transferable, so your friends and family can use it when you have to work.
Ski and Soak
One of the best trends in recent years is the growth of local mountain passes that offer free and discounted days at other ski resorts and ski areas, along with other discounts and deals.
While details vary by pass, here’s a unique combination: The Sunny Soaker Pass.
The Sunny Soaker season pass provides unlimited skiing at Colorado’s Sunlight Mountain Resort and unlimited admission to Glenwood Hot Springs for the entire 2017-2018 ski and ride season.
Pass holders also get free and discounted skiing at resorts in Japan, Spain, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico and Arizona.
Know of a great pass deal? Heard of an especially unique season pass? Let us know in the comments!
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