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How to Ski 12 US Resorts on the Cheap


Looking for the cheapest way to ski or snowboard a lot of different first-rate ski resorts this year?  Now it’s easier than ever. New multi-resorts passes have been introduced recently, which allow you to ski many different resorts all on the same pass.  Some resorts limit you to 5 days, and others offer unlimited days of skiing. With our suggested itinerary below, you can ski 12 different resorts in Colorado and Utah, and save over $1300 on lift tickets for 14 days of skiing or riding.  You will need to buy the $599 IKON Base Pass, which includes unlimited days at 12 resorts and 5 days each at 25 resorts. The IKON Pass is a fantastic new offering saving skiers and riders a big chunk of change from buying lift tickets at the resort, or even online in advance.  With lift tickets averaging over $200/day at major resorts, buying a multi-resort pass is the way to go. Another great way to save on your ski and snowboard rentals is to check out the price comparison tools on TripOutside.com to find deals and discounts on ski rental at the resorts featured below.


Winter Park

Fly into Denver and head west, starting with Winter Park resort (unlimited days) which is one of the closest resorts to Denver.  Winter Park is spread across 2 different mountains with lots of options for all levels. Advanced skiers and riders will enjoy the alpine bowls, moguls and renowned tree skiing.  The village area is small, but the town of Fraser is nearby as well, which has options for dining and lodging.


After you’ve had enough of Winter Park, head north 2 hours to Steamboat Springs (unlimited days) to ski their famous champagne powder snow.  This town isn’t called Ski Town USA for no reason! It has one of the largest ski resorts in Colorado and has a variety of terrain across seven mountain peaks.   Steamboat has tons of lodging, dining and nightlife, both in the base village and the downtown area. The apres scene is the best around the base village, or check out Butcherknife Brewing Co, an eco-minded craft brewery with excellent rotating taps.  To soothe sore muscles, head out to the clothing-optional Strawberry Hot Springs (4×4 required in winter) for a relaxing soak in the 104-degree water. There are many pools to choose from, some with small waterfalls.

Park City

Drive about 6 hours to Park City, where you will have a ton of resorts to choose from to enjoy the “greatest snow on earth”.  IKON Pass resorts in the Park City area include Deer Valley (5 days – no snowboards allowed), Brighton (5 days) and Solitude (unlimited days).  Brighton and Solitude are in Little Cottonwood Canyon across the range from Park City, about 45 minutes drive. But they are directly in the path of winter storms and get more snow than the Park City side.  Their 500 inches of the white stuff, combined with wide open runs and a lack of lift lines makes it easy to see why the locals favor these resorts. For apres ski, enjoy a cold brew at Molly Green’s pub at the base of Brighton resort.

A bit farther at just over an hour from Park City, Alta and Snowbird resorts (5 days each) are also worth the visit.  The two resorts are connected (Alta is skiers only) and also average over 500 inches of snow a year. They have a combined 4700 acres and boast the longest ski season in Utah.  You can make this a day trip from Park City or Salt Lake, or stay in one of the lodging options right at Alta or Snowbird.


After you have gotten your fill of Utah’s powder, head back to western Colorado to experience Aspen resort (5 days).  Aspen is renowned for its plethora of dining, nightlife and shopping. Aspen’s four connected resorts boast 5,300 acres of skiable terrain.

Finish out your ski tour at Copper Mountain (unlimited days) on the way back to Denver.  The resort has 2,500 acres of naturally divided terrain, so its great for all abilities.  Copper’s small but charming village has lots of great lodging options and is known for it’s rowdy apres ski.

For resort information, rental price comparison tools, and the best deals and discounts on ski rentals check out www.tripoutside.com/ski-rental-price-comparison-tool.