Are Utah ski passes the most cost-effective way to recreate this winter?

Nov 20, 2023, 3:00 PM

Skiers make their way down the slopes at Deer Valley Ski Resort, utah ski passes can get you more b...

Skiers make their way down the slopes at Deer Valley Ski Resort. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — When word came last week that two Utah ski resorts eclipsed the $300 day pass price, I’m sure it sent alarm bells throughout the ski and snowboard community. 

I should preface this information by saying that those prices at Deer Valley and Park City Resort are for walkups, peak day skiing on high traffic and deep pow days. 

But the $239 and $242 pricing on non-peak days is still intimidating for even the casual snow enthusiast.

The good news: Utah ski passes

There are still bargains to be found all over the state, even at the two resorts getting the headlines.

First, let me address the elephant in the room for ski pricing in general, not just here in Utah but globally.

Resorts want you to invest in a season pass for many reasons. 

First, they can bank that money before the season starts no matter what Mother Nature does or doesn’t deliver during the season. 

Second, it provides them with a mechanism to get an idea of their daily resort load to have better control of the skier experience, which is always a priority. 

Third, it does make skiing in today’s ski industry affordable, particularly for those who ski at least 10 times per season, especially with products like the IKON and EPIC passes. 

Let’s tackle the active skier first.

If you ski seven or more days per season

I should make the point that daily lift prices are a bit of a moving target but it really comes down to simple math.

Let’s start with Deer Valley and the IKON pass. What if I told you that for around $1300 you could get seven days at Deer Valley? 

Simple math: seven times the day price of $239 equals $1673, so you’ve already lowered your day rate to $185.

But wait, it gets better.

Using that same pass, you get unlimited access to 16 resorts including Solitude here in Utah and Steamboat in Colorado.

There’s more.

You also get seven days at 41 other resorts including Utah resorts Snowbird or Alta and Brighton. 

Want to ski Chamonix in France, Sun Valley in Idaho or Kitzbuhel in Austria? The IKON pass includes those too.

Park City is a Vail Resort and their signature product is the EPIC Pass.

Again, for about $1000 you not only get a season pass at Park City but also get all of their Colorado resorts including Vail, Breckenridge and Telluride. 

Canada’s Whistler, Vermont’s Stow and California’s Heavenly, along with other international destinations, are also on the pass.

Easy payment plans and Early Bird specials will save you even more money on both the EPIC and IKON.

The occasional skier or boarder

For the occasional skier or boarder, there are plenty of affordable options right out your backdoor.

$35 at Nordic Valley, $39 at Eagle Point or $57 at Brian Head for instance.

For families, free skiing options for kids are offered at Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude and Snowbasin so your “per head” pricing makes it possible for the entire family to make lasting memories together.

Bottom line, don’t let the headlines scare you out of taking a few turns and creating lasting memories at our amazing resorts in the greatest snow on Earth.

More tips As ski prices rise, here are a few tips on how to save money

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

Quicksilver gondola cabins travel along a cable on a snowy day at Park City Mountain Resort....

Mariah Maynes

Vail Resorts proposes new gondola at Park City Mountain Resort

Vail Resorts, the parent company of Park City Mountain Resort, has proposed the installation of a new gondola.

4 days ago

A group is suing the Utah Department of Transportation to try and halt construction of a gondola in...

Roy Burton, KSL.com

Group sues UDOT to block work on Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola

In asking the court to halt the work, the lawsuit cites the gondola's estimated price tag of over $725 million and impact on the canyon.

4 days ago

Alta avalanche...

Waverly Golden

Alta Ski Area: Avalanche conditions

Alta Ski Patrol encountered significant avalanche activity during pre-public avalanche mitigation work this morning.

4 days ago

Little Cottonwood Canyon is seen covered in snow, Friday, March 24, 2023 during avalanche mitigatio...

Peter Johnston

Salt Lake County Mayor: Little Cottonwood gondola is bad for the Olympics

The Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola maybe not exists by the time the 2034 Olympics happen, but Mayor Jenny Wilson has concerns.

7 days ago

a dog plays in the snow with its owner, dogs need extra protection in winter...

Emma Keddington

Winter protection for your dog: ‘Treat your dog like you’re treating yourself’

If you have a dog, you should make sure they have the same amount of winter protection you'd give yourself.

8 days ago

Midway Ice Castles tickets on sale...

Devin Oldroyd

Tickets for Midway Ice Castles are now on sale for January opening

The weather will dictate the opening, but the Midway Ice Castles exhibit is currently scheduled to be open between Jan. 13 and Feb. 3.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Are Utah ski passes the most cost-effective way to recreate this winter?