fbpx

Advertiser Disclosure

plan for next ski season

It’s Already Time to Start Planning Your 2024-25 Ski Season (Yes, Really)

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.

The flakes are still falling, the lifts are still running, and there are plenty of ski trips still to be had for this ski season, but cost-savvy skiers and snowboarders are already lining up their ski passes for winter 2024/25 – myself included.

Why? Because right now is when you can lock in those 2023-24 ski passes at the cheapest prices. That's why I'm preparing for next season already: Spring savings make my oft-expensive pursuit of sliding down snowy mountains more affordable.

Don't worry, there are still some ways to save on a last-minute ski trip. But the best bet for saving is planning ahead – way ahead. From ski passes to hotels and rental cars to even flights, booking in advance is the key to saving on this often expensive wintertime activity. But most importantly: All the major ski pass programs (which can offer huge savings for avid skiers and snowboarders) are already selling passes for next season – at the best price you'll find.

Even amid the current ski season, it's the best time to plan for any skiing you plan to do next year. Here's why.

 

Lake Louise lift line
The Larch chair at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.

 

Not sure where to start? Check out our roundup of the best ski resorts for your next trip!

 

Season Passes are at their Cheapest

If you're planning to hit the slopes a few times or more each year, buying a season pass – or even a mega ski pass that covers multiple resorts – can unlock some huge savings. And these season passes won't get any cheaper than they are right now. 

Whether you're looking to ski in the Swiss Alps or at Little Switzerland Ski Area in Slinger, Wisconsin, the best deals on next year's passes usually spring up during … well, spring.

 

Ikon vs Epic ski pass guide
Brundage Mountain Resort, Idaho.

 

At my small, local ski hill in Minnesota, buying a season pass during the spring sale saves you about $250 on what eventually sells as a $550 season pass. It's a no-brainer for both you and the mountain. They get a little cash infusion from their members heading into the quiet summer months, and you get a cheap pass in your pocket so you're ready to rip as soon as the snow flies next fall.

But it's not just individual resorts and the little guys who offer big savings in the springtime. The mega ski passes like the Ikon Pass, Epic Pass, Mountain Collective Pass, and Indy Pass that offer days at dozens of different resorts worldwide have all announced their introductory pricing for the 2024-25 season.

2024-2025 Ski PassesIkonEpicMtn. CollectiveIndy Pass
Adult Price$1,249$982$605$349/$469* (*no blackout dates)
Teen Price$929N/A$485N/A
Youth Price$369$501$205$199/$259*
Total Number of
Destinations
586424186
Unlimited Access Destinations1742N/AN/A
Additional Destinations4122N/AN/A
(prices current as of Mar. 8, 2024)

Choosing the right pass is important to help you save money on your ski season. With day lift tickets often eclipsing $200 at some of the most sought-after resorts, having one of these mega passes is the most affordable way to ski if you plan to ski for a week or more next year.

Check out our guide comparing the Epic vs Ikon Pass (as well as some of the smaller options.)

But let's take a closer look at what's different this year and why right now is a great time to buy.

 

Ikon Pass

With 58 ski destinations in its portfolio – and at least seven days of skiing and riding allowed at each one – the Ikon Pass is one of the ski pass behemoths. It also comes at a big price of over $1,000.

But if you ski or snowboard a lot, that price tag could be worth it, considering many major ski areas now routinely sell $200-plus single-day lift tickets.

At $1,249 for the full Ikon Pass, it's the cheapest price you can expect for that pass this year. Historically, Ikon Pass does not run any promotions or discounts. This is as cheap as it gets.

 

Ikon Pass

 

The Ikon Pass has an unbeatable roster of resorts. Even if you ski just five days on the pass, it's worth it. Many of these resorts are some of the best in the world and come with hefty day ticket price tags.

For reference, my wife purchased just four ski days at Big Sky – a resort on the Ikon Pass – for more than $1,000 last winter. Compared to the overall price of the Ikon Pass – which includes Big Sky – it was a tough pill to swallow. We won't be making that mistake again this year.

This is the pass I'm purchasing once again for my 2024-2025 ski season. And I'll get it at the lessened $1,149 renewal discount – a savings of $100. As always, it's tough to stomach that upfront purchase, but I skied 11 days on my Ikon Pass this past season and used the pass to get five different 25%-40% discounts for my friends and family, too. I expect similar numbers next year.

 

Epic Pass

For the 2024-2025 season, the Epic Pass starts at $982 – a small increase of $80 from last year's initial rate.

 

Epic Pass prices

 

Like the Ikon Pass, roughly five days of skiing will make purchasing the pass worth it. Epic resorts like Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler-Blackcomb are known for having $200-plus day lift tickets.

The Epic Pass offers more destinations (64) for a lower cost (~$300 less than Ikon), so it's a better value on paper. If you live near Epic resorts in Colorado, the Midwest, or the East Coast, this pass makes a ton of sense.

Let's say you live in the Twin Cities suburbs, where local hill Afton Alps is an Epic Pass member. That means you get unlimited access to that hill, plus all of the other hills on Epic's roster out west.

For my money, however, Epic Pass actually has fewer substantial mountains on its list than Ikon. Epic has many smaller, local ski areas on its list of resorts, making that total of 63 destinations a little misleading. I would count 40-ish major resorts on Epic's list, with the rest being smaller Midwest or East Coast hills.

It's still a fantastic value if you plan to ski for five or more days, and definitely deserves your consideration if you considering a trip to one of those major resorts in 2024.

 

Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective is a great budget option for people interested in the resorts featured on the Ikon Pass at about half the price.

The Mountain Collective's introductory offer of $605 will only last a few months before it climbs again.

Passholders get just two days at each resort on the list, which features Ikon crossovers like Alta, Aspen, Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Snowbird, Taos, and more.

 

Mountain collective 2024/25

 

If you purchase the pass during Mountain Collective's introductory offer this spring, you also get to select a bonus third day at a resort of your choice. I held a Mountain Collective pass two years ago and used my bonus day on a trip to Big Sky – saving me about $270.

Plus, one of the best perks of the Mountain Collective is the pass also gives skiers and riders 50% off all additional days at its destinations. During my aforementioned Big Sky trip, I used my three free days (thanks to the bonus day) and paid only half price (about $125) for my fourth day.

The Mountain Collective is a great option for skiers and riders who don't like the look of that $1,200 price tag on the Ikon Pass, but are still planning a few short trips in 2024-25. Because of the two-day limit, it's better for a weekend warrior-type skier or someone who isn't planning a full-week trip anywhere next year. It's also a pretty good hedge if you haven't purchased a major pass before, but are looking to dip your toes into the waters of the mega passes.

One inconvenience of the Mountain Collective is that you usually still have to go to the ticket window at each resort to get your lift ticket or card, unlike the Epic and Ikon passes where you can head straight to the lifts with your card. However, Mountain Collective is experimenting with offering a card, too, to remedy this problem.

Indy Pass

The single best value in skiing is back for 2024-25, but it's already sold out!

The Indy Pass has expanded its member resorts to over 186 for next year. Skiers and riders get two free days at each ski area, all independently owned resorts. It's all of the skiing – and none of the crowds.

This year, the Indy Pass sold out in just over two weeks at a rate of $349 with blackout dates – or $469 without.

The pass – just a few years old now – has increased in popularity to the point where Indy Pass has capped its sales to keep with the company's mission of returning skiing to its independent roots. There is now a waitlist you can join. More inventory may or may not be made available in the future.

 

Indy Pass

 

The Indy Pass is a pretty amazing deal. I've purchased an Indy Pass in two different seasons before this one. Just two or three ski days will make this pass worth it, no problem.

The biggest drawback to the Base Pass is the blackout dates. At the most popular Indy Pass resorts, it means skiing on holidays and weekends is blacked out. I went to Mt. Hood Meadows a few weeks ago for a Friday and Saturday weekend trip and I was able to use my pass Friday with no problem, but I had to pay full price Saturday due to a blackout date I wasn't aware of.

That could make the Indy+ Pass an even more amazing value at a higher price point since it frees you from planning around blackouts.

If you're more of a cross-country skier, the Indy Pass also has a ton of cross-country ski area partners that give you free access. And for backcountry skiing enthusiasts, you get two free days at Bluebird Backcountry (a human-powered-only ski resort with no chairlifts) in Colorado, too.

 

Your Local Ski Mountain (or Hill)

This time of year is also the best for purchasing other ski passes. Whether you're like me and looking to snag a pass to your local Midwest ski hill or live near a mountain you frequent, this time of year is almost always the cheapest to lock in your pass for next season.

The prices and locations vary wildly depending on where you are in North America, but it's worth checking out your favorite hill's website to see what kind of pass sale they're running right now. My favorite local bump is Welch Village, about an hour south of the Twin Cities, and it's selling its unrestricted season pass for adults for just $329 if you purchase before April. By Christmastime, that pass will be north of $500.

 

Lake Louise Ski Resort
The base area at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

 

Similar savings can be found all over the continent, so do your homework now to decide if it's worth it or not for you to ski this year!

 

Score The Cheapest Ski Gear

Passes, flights, rental cars, and hotels can add up on a ski trip. But to get started, you need some gear. And all that equipment and apparel you need can get pricey, too.

That's why it pays to plan. You'll generally find the best deals and biggest sales on skis, snowboards, boots, poles, and soft goods like jackets and pants over the next two months or so.

 

Alberta Peak
The top of Alberta Peak at Wolf Creek.

 

Ski shops all over the country, especially the brick-and-mortar stores, will start looking to unload last year's models of equipment and apparel in preparation for their summer selections and next year's new winter models, too. Pop into your local ski shop to see if there are some savings you can take advantage of.

The savings on ski and snowboard equipment in March and April can be enormous. I purchased my last pair of skis for $400 in April. The next fall, I saw REI selling the same pair for $1,100. Don't fall into the holiday trap! Think ahead to save big.

 

Travel Bookings for Next Winter are Open

There's no best day to book flights. There's no hard-and-fast rule about the best time to book flights or how far in advance you should book to get the best deal, either. Flight prices are fickle – and constantly changing.

But if you've poked around on Google Flights lately, you might have noticed you can book flights as far out as next January and into February 2025, too. Aside from Southwest, which releases its schedule in batches, most airlines start selling flights about 11 months in advance.

This time last year, I had already secured my January trip to the legendary ski island of Hokkaido, Japan and was also on the hunt for flights to British Columbia, Canada, a trip from which I just returned. While ski season flight deals are just starting to trickle in, we've already seen a few and sent them to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members, including this gem flying to Bozeman, Montana (BZN) home to world-famous Big Sky Mountain Resort.

 

Bozeman flight deal

 

The deal had some fantastic summer availability for Yellowstone National Park-goers, but there were a few sneaky surprises for early-planning skiers, too. Like this MLK Day weekend fare to Big Sky for less than $200 roundtrip!

 

Seattle to Bozeman airfare

 

If you're not ready to book your flights, I don't blame you. But at the very least, set yourself a few Google Flights price alerts so you get an email as soon as fares go down for next winter.

 

Bottom Line

If you want to maximize the value of your 2024-25 ski or snowboard season, the best time to make some of those purchases is right now while the snow is still flying this season.

Spring brings the best deals in the snow sports industry. Season passes, gear, and travel are all at some of the cheapest prices they'll be all year. So even if you still have a ski trip coming up in the next few weeks or months, start taking a good, hard look at next winter if you want to save.

That way, when the snow starts falling next season … all you have to worry about is the skiing itself!

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 Responses

  • Hi.I’m flying in from NZ for a week at Salt Lake City. It’s a bit confusing with all the options, knowing which pass is best! 3-4 days of skiing, Alta, Brighton Snowbird. Others if I am fit enough. Is the Indy the best option? other?
    How far ahead does one need to book for a day’s skiing? we don’t have that system in NZ…

    • Hi Alumine! If you’re skiing Alta, Brighton, and Snowbird, all of those resorts are on the Ikon Pass. But if you’re only doing three to four days, don’t spring for the full pass. Instead, Ikon offers a “Session Pass” which gets you up to four days of skiing.

      Beyond that, I would do the math on the day tickets each resort offers to see if that’s best. Enjoy the trip!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Free Flight Alerts

Cheap international and domestic flight deal email alerts

Get Cheap Flight Alerts