Ski season is just around the corner (seriously) and eager riders are quickly snatching up their ski passes for the upcoming season. With so many resorts around the Basin, it can be a challenge to find the perfect pass, which is why we’ve compiled a list of available passes from frugal to flashy!
Here are our picks for ski passes this year
The Epic Pass at Vail Resorts
Ah, the Epic pass… Vail Resorts continues on their crusade to conquer the ski world and, in doing so, added seven new locations bring the total number of resorts covered under the pass to sixty-five. Not to mention its restriction free…sort of! Vail’s most popular resorts including Tahoe’s Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood have no blackout days under this pass. However, resorts like Telluride and Japan’s Hakuba Valley have seven and five day limits respectively.
Overall, the Epic pass features the most days on snow with the widest variety of resorts at your disposal. However, it does come with a higher price tag at $949.
The IKON Pass at Squaw Valley
Vail threw down the proverbial pass gauntlet and Alterra, Squaw’s parent company, has responded with the new IKON Pass! The IKON Pass features a commendable thirty-six resorts, including Tahoe’s Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and fan-favorite Mammoth. Skiers and riders can opt for the full-fledged IKON Pass sans blackout days, or the IKON Base Pass which has a few scattered blackout days in December and January. With respective costs of $1,049 and $749, the discount is steep enough that a few blackout days may be ignored, although both passes still fall on the pricier end of the spectrum.
The Tahoe Local Pass & Tahoe Value Pass at Vail Resorts
A slightly more reasonable alternative to the Epic pass, the Tahoe Local Pass feature’s Vail’s three lakeside resorts: Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood. Predictably, the decrease in cost means you’ll be subjected to more restricted days, primarily around the holidays but weekends are still included with this pass. The Tahoe Value Pass is almost the same as the Tahoe Local Pass with the caveat that Saturdays are considered restricted days under the Value Pass. Vail does offer some consolation for the unfortunate restrictions in the form of a half-price discount if you wish to ski on a restricted day.
The passes will cost you $519 for an adult Value Pass and $609 for an adult Local Pass. With the relatively marginal price difference, most Tahoeians favor the Local Pass and simply avoid the resort on crowded holidays!
The Season Pass at Mount Rose
Located on the crest between Reno and Lake Tahoe, Mount Rose Ski Resort is ideal for those who want to go from the tarmac to the slopes in 30 minutes or less! With its iconic chutes and more intense terrain, diehards can’t get enough of this resort. Boasting the highest elevation of any Tahoe resort, Mount Rose is almost always the first of the resorts to kick off the season. Mount Rose also offers a range of pass options to fit your budget and timeline with prices starting at $199 and extending to $649 for a completely unrestricted pass!
The Season & Local Pass at Diamond Peak
This unpretentious North Shore resort makes up for its smaller size with killer lake views! Diamond Peak boasts a true community feel, with free shuttle service available all season long. Passes top out at $479 with additional discounts provided to Incline Village and Crystal Bay residents. As a bonus, Diamond Peak also offers 72 tickets to other smaller resorts including Boreal and Homewood.
The Unlimited Pass & All Access Pass at Boreal
Calling all park rats! Boreal Mountain is, of course, known for its fantastic park terrain, but the true value of the pass shines after dark. That’s right, Boreal offers night skiing until 9 pm. Outside of its incredible hours, there are no blackout dates at all, and a surprising array of terrain to choose from! At only $329 for a standard adult pass, Boreal is a score for snow fiends on a budget. Pass holders can also upgrade to the All Access Pass which includes unlimited access to Woodward, an indoor trampoline and trick park, for $559. Sign us up!