The Best of Colorado Ski Passes

Alexa Phillips

(Photo courtesy of Samantha Zehner)
(Photo courtesy of Samantha Zehner)

Ski season is fast approaching, which means shelling out some cash to get a ski pass. That means deciding which pass gets you the most bang for your buck, so here some of the best ski passes based on price point and location.

Epic Local Pass

Unlimited Access at:

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  • Breckenridge: 2 hrs. 24 min. away from Fort Collins
  • Keystone: 2 hr. 12 min.
  • Arapahoe Basin: 2 hrs. 7 min.
  • Afton Alps (Minnesota): 13 hrs. 4 min.
  • Mt. Brighton (Michigan): 17 hrs. 38 min.

Limited Restrictions at:

  • Canyons (Utah): 6 hrs. 16 min.
  • Heavenly (California): 14 hrs. 41 min.
  • Northstar (California): 14 hrs. 8 min.
  • Kirkwood (California): 15 hrs. 4 min.

10 restricted days at:

  • Vail: 2 hrs. 32 min.
  • Beaver Creek: 2 hrs. 41 min.

Blackout dates:
Vail, Beaver Creek, Canyons, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood
11/28-29, 12/26-31, 1/17, 2/14-15

College student pricing: $499

Rating: 2/4

A good deal if you like skiing Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, as you get unlimited access to these resorts, plus 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek for what you pay as a college student. Sophomore biology major Joe Brausch vouches for the Epic Pass because it “has a bit more variety than the Colorado Pass” and for the proximity of the resorts, since “the major three resorts on the pass being pretty close to each other.” This pass also provides access to ski destinations in the Midwest, Utah and California, so depending on how much you travel – this might be a good option.

Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus

Unlimited access at:

  • Winter Park: 2 hrs. 12 min.
  • Copper Mountain: 2 hrs. 14 min.
  • Eldora: 1 hr. 39 min.

Restricted access at:

  • Steamboat (6 tickets): 3 hrs. 22 min.
  • Crested Butte (3 days): 5 hrs. 11 min.
  • Mt. Ruapehu (7 days): New Zealand

No blackout dates

College student pricing: $399

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Rating: 4/4

This pass does a good job with the variety of the ski resorts for the college student’s price. It also has no blackout dates, which is a bonus if you want to ski on breaks or during the holidays. In addition, if you want to take a trip to do some exotic skiing, the pass includes a week of access in New Zealand.

Summit Value Pass

Unlimited access to:

  • Keystone: 2 hrs. 12 min.
  • Arapahoe Basin: 2 hrs. 7 min.

Limited Restrictions at:

  • Breckenridge

Blackout dates:
Breckenridge
11/28-29, 12/26-31, 1/17, 2/14-15

College student pricing: $399

Rating: 3/4

This pass is great if you like the resorts in Summit County. The locations are really close to Fort Collins, which is convenient if you are planning on skiing during the weekend. The blackout dates are the same as the Epic Local Pass, but all the locations are within Colorado, which is great if you are looking for a staycation this winter.

In addition to the multi-mountain passes, there are single mountain passes available at resorts such as Winter Park, Steamboat, and Copper Mountain. Pricing and restrictions vary depending on where you choose to ski. Sophomore hospitality management major Andew Beckelheimer prefers the Steamboat-Winter Park Pass mainly because he “gets 6 days of skiing at Steamboat along with unlimited days at Copper and Winter Park.” In the end, no matter what the pass, it comes down to preference for resort and what pass suites your needs. For more information regarding pricing, restrictions and benefits, visit snow.com or skicolorado.com.

Article produced by College Avenue Magazine.