The cheapest season passes at places you actually want to ski

This story originally appeared in POWDER. Words by Jack Foersterling.

This is how to get the most bang for your runs this winter. Photo: Pixabay/Pexels

We get it: Skiing is expensive. If you’re anything like us, paying for a season pass that costs more than a down payment on a car, only to sit in never-ending lift lines every weekend, isn’t exactly why we fell in love with skiing.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The dream is still alive. Just check out this beautiful list. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best season passes across the U.S. and Canada that won’t break the bank and still provide pretty great skiing. These were our parameters: less than a $500 season pass, more than 1,000 feet of vertical and at least 200 inches of annual snowfall. Powder to the people, friends.

WEST COAST/ROCKY MOUNTAINS

Colorado

Arapahoe Basin (Keystone, CO)
– Season Pass: $319. Includes three days at Taos, New Mexico.
– 2,270′ vert
– 350″ average snowfall

Ski Cooper (Leadville, CO)
– Season Pass: $299 (Aug. and Sept.), $399 (rest of season). Includes three free days at tons of resorts across the U.S.
– 1,300′ vert
– 260″ average snowfall

Copper Mountain (Summit County, CO)
– Season Pass: $409
– 2,601′ vert
– 304″ average snowfall

Eldora Mountain Resort (Nederland, CO)
– Season Pass: $409
– 1,600′ vert
– 311″ average snowfall

Monarch Mountain (Monarch, CO)
– Season Pass: $459
– 1,162′ vert
– 350″ average snowfall

Sunlight Mountain Resort (Glenwood Springs, CO)
– Season Pass: $439
– 2,010′ vert
– 250″ average snowfall

Winter Park Resort (Winter Park, CO)
– Season Pass: $429. Includes three days at Mount Hood Meadows, Oregon.
– 3,081′ vert
– 353″ average snowfall

Discovery Ski Area in Montana. Photo: Courtesy of Discovery Ski Area/POWDER

Montana

Blacktail Mountain (Lakeside, MT)
– Season Pass: $450 until Oct. 31, 2017; $540 after
– 1,440′ vert
– 250″ average snowfall

Discovery Ski Area (Philipsburg, MT)
– Season Pass: $299
– 2,388′ vert
– 215″ average snowfall

Lost Trail Powder Mountain (Conner, MT)
– Season Pass: $399
– 1,800′ vert
– 325″ average snowfall

Maverick Mountain (Polaris, MT)
– Season Pass: $350 by Oct. 10, 2017; $395 by Nov. 10, 2017; $435 rest of season
– 2,020′ vert
– 200″ average snowfall

Oregon

Mount Ashland Ski Area (Ashland, OR)
– Season Pass: $399
– 1,150′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Mount Hood Ski Bowl (Government Camp, OR)
– Season Pass: $499 early season; $519 after Oct. 23, 2017; $699 after Nov. 12, 2017
– 1,500′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

49 Degrees North Mountain Resort in Washington. Photo: Courtesy of 49 Degrees/POWDER

Washington

49 Degrees North (Chewelah, WA)
– Season Pass: $359
– 1,851′ vert
– 301″ average snowfall

The Summit at Snoqualmie (Snoqualmie Pass, WA)
– Season Pass: $479 before Sept. 15, 2017; $429 for ages 19 to 25
– 2,280′ vert
– 428″ average snowfall

Bluewood (Dayton, WA)
– Season Pass: $405
– 1,125′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park (Mead, WA)
– Season Pass: $349
– 2,000′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Diamond Peak Resort in Nevada. Photo: Courtesy of Jaclyn Ream/Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Nevada

Diamond Peak (Incline Village, NV)
– Season Pass: $429
– 1,840′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Wyoming

Snow King Mountain (Jackson, WY)
– Season Pass: $215
– 1,571′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Utah

Eagle Point (Beaver, UT)
– Season Pass: $424
– 400″ average snowfall

New Mexico

Angel Fire Resort (Angel Fire, NM)
– Season Pass: $399 before Oct. 31, 2017; $499 Nov. 1 to Dec. 11, 2017; $599 after Dec. 12, 2017
– 2,077′ vert
– 210″ average snowfall

China Peak in California. Photo: Courtesy of Ski China Peak/POWDER

California

Dodge Ridge (Pinecrest, CA)
– Season Pass: $379
– 1,600′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Homewood Mountain Resort (Homewood, CA)
– Season Pass: $499
– 1,650′ vert
– 450″ average snowfall

Mount Shasta Ski Park (McCloud, CA)
– Season Pass: $499
– 1,435′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

China Peak (Lakeshore, CA)
– Season Pass: $429
– 300″ average snowfall

Bogus Basin in Idaho. Photo: Courtesy of Bogus Basin/POWDER

Idaho

Bogus Basin (Boise County, ID)
– Season Pass: $399 until Sept. 30, 2017; $499 after Oct. 1, 2017
– 1,800′ vert
– 250″ average snowfall

Kelly Canyon Ski Resort (Ririe, ID)
– Season Pass: $320 before Aug. 31, 2017; $370 Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, 2017; $420 regular price
– 1,000′ vert
– 200″ average snowfall

Lookout Pass Ski Area (Mullan, ID)
– Season Pass: $229 before Oct. 31, 2017; $369 regular price
– 1,150′ vert
– 400″ average snowfall

Pebble Creek Ski Area (Inkom, ID)
– Season Pass: $425 before Nov. 1, 2017; $535 regular price
– 2,200′ vert
– 250″ average snowfall

Pomerelle Mountain Resort (Albion, ID)
– Season Pass: $450
– 1,000′ vert
– 500″ average snowfall

Silver Mountain (Kellogg, ID)
– Season Pass: $369 before Sept. 6, 2017; $659 regular price
– 2,200′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

British Columbia

Mount Seymour (Vancouver, BC)
– Season Pass: $349 before Sept. 30, 2017; $819 regular price. Includes two days at Mount Washington, Manning Park and Apex Mountain.
– 1,082′ vert
– 394″ average snowfall

EAST COAST (with at least 100 inches of annual snow)

Sunday River in Maine. Photo: Courtesy of Sunday River/POWDER

Maine

Sunday River (Newry, ME)
– Season Pass: $479 ages 19 to 29. Twelve blackout dates.
– 2,340′ vert
– 167″ average snowfall

New Hampshire

Cranmore Mountain Resort (North Conway, NH)
– Season Pass: $479. Excludes holiday blackout dates.
– 1,200′ vert
– 150″ average snowfall

Ragged Mountain Resort (Danbury, NH)
– Season Pass: $299 before Sept. 16, 2017; $399 before Oct. 11, 2017; $449 after Nov. 1, 2017
– 1,250′ vert
– 100″ average snowfall

Bolton Valley in Vermont. Photo: Courtesy of Bolton Valley/POWDER

Vermont

Bolton Valley Ski Area (Richmond, VT)
– Season Pass: $189 "ski bum" pass, ages 18 to 25
– 1,703′ vert
– 300″ average snowfall

Magic Mountain Ski Area (Londonderry, VT)
– Season Pass: $279 ages 18 to 29
– 1,500′ vert
– 150″ average snowfall

Pico Mountain Ski Area (Mendon, VT)
– Season Pass: $449 until Oct. 11, 2017; $479 Oct. 12, 2017, and later
– 1,967′ vert
– 250″ average snowfall

Sugarbush Resort (Warren, VT)
– Season Pass: $399 ages 19 to 29
– 2,600′ vert
– 262″ average snowfall

Ski Butternut in Massachusetts. Photo: Courtesy of Ski Butternut/POWDER

Massachusetts

Ski Butternut (Great Barrington, MA)
– Season Pass: $350 before Dec. 1, 2017; $490 regular price
– 1,000′ vert
– 115″ average snowfall

New York

Catamount Ski Area (Hillsdale, NY)
– Season Pass: $445 until Aug. 31, 2017; $495 until Nov. 30, 2017; $550 final
– 1,000′ vert
– 108″ average snowfall

Titus Mountain (Malone, NY)
– Season Pass: $369
– 1,200′ vert
– 100″ average snowfall

Pennsylvania

Blue Knob (Claysburg, PA)
– Season Pass: $299
– 1,072′ vert
– 120″ average snowfall

West Virginia

Snowshoe Mountain Resort (Snowshoe, WV)
– Season Pass: $349
– 1,500′ vert
– 180″ average snowfall

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