Play the game! Where to ski for $57 or less

It’s true… the window ticket price for Vail ski resort is over $180, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to go skiing. Just like buying a Rolls Royce, you don’t NEED to go to the fanciest or glitziest resort to enjoy skiing. Instead, make the decision to visit a Mom & Pop operation in your area that either gives awesome discounts or maybe has a ridiculously affordable ticket price. To help in the hunt, here’s a few resorts that you can ski for under $57. If you’re particularly frugal, you can even pick up a lift ticket for under $25! So, don’t complain about the prices… just visit a resort that’s affordable!

Pacific Northwest

Mt Baker

Biggest snowstorms at Ski Resorts Chairlift Mt Baker Ski Area

Chairlift at the Mt. Baker Ski Area Image taken by: Carl Schmidt

Mt Baker Ski Area – Image Taken by Iwona Kellie

We’ve talked A LOT about this ski area. Why wouldn’t we? It has a deep history, gets the most snowfall in North America, and plays host to the Legendary Banked Slalom. That’s not all! You can also shred this mountain for ONLY $56 during the week. Now THAT’S a bargain.

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: 1,425 acres
Trails: 38 runs
Vertical Drop: 1,500 feet
Snowfall: 663”
Mid-week Lift Ticket: $56

Mt Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park

A great morning on Mt. Spokane – Image taken by: Jason

Mt. Spokane on a snowy day – Image taken by: Jason

Located in Washington’s largest state park, this ski spot is deep in the Selkirk Mountains, northeast of Spokane. Located on the same storm track as the Cascade ski resorts, Mt Spokane receives quite a bit of the white stuff but due to its geographic position, they also receive a drier form of snow. And, with the resort getting approval to expand, there will be a lot more terrain to tackle as well.

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: 1,425 acres
Trails: 45 runs
Vertical Drop: 2,000 feet
Snowfall: 300”
Mid-week Lift Ticket: $44

Other discounts: Every Wednesday night through Saturday night, you can go out and make some turns for six hours and it’s only $20 bucks.

Northern Rockies

Pebble Creek

Cheap Ski Resorts

Photo taken by: Tony Harrison – Image appears courtesy – Ski Idaho

Cheap Ski Resorts Pebble Creek Idaho

Photo taken by: Tony Harrison – Image appears courtesy – Ski Idaho

The local’s motto is “If you can ski at Pebble Creek, you can ski anywhere.” From our friends who’ve visited this locale, there’s a lot of truth to this statement. Regardless of the acreage, this modest sized ski area has some big terrain as well as wide open corduroy for the beginners. It’s a ski area that will have you walking away with a big grin on your face. We can’t wait to check it out ourselves in just a few weeks. Stay tuned!

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: 1,100 acres
Trails: 54 runs
Vertical Drop: 2,200 feet
Snowfall: 250”
Full – day lift ticket: $47

Addidional Mid-Week Specials (except Holidays – Jan 1 & 15 & Feb 19):

Monday – 2 For 1 Day

Tuesday – Business Card $25 Day

Wednesday – Men’s $25 Day

Thursday – Ladies’ $25 Day

Friday – College ID $25 DAY

Turner Mountain, MT

Turner Mountain Montana Cheap Ski Resorts distance trail overview

The massive terrain of Turner Mountain as seen from afar – Image appears courtesy: Turner Mountain

Turner Mountain Montana Cheap Ski Resorts inversion packed powder summit shot

The summit rises about the sea of clouds – Image appears courtesy: Turner Mountain

What do you need for an awesome ski area? Amenities, heated seats, perfectly groomed slopes? Nah. For us, it’s 100% about the terrain, snow, and most of all crowds. This ski area is on our bucket list ever since we heard about it. Only employing THREE folks during the winter, it’s 100% about the skiing and nothing else. A true community resort where the double chairlift was built by volunteers and equipment loaned from the town of Libby.

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: Unknown
Trails: 25 runs w/ ½ being expert
Vertical Drop: 2,110 feet
Snowfall: 250”
Full – day lift ticket: $38

Powder Highway

Mt Timothy Ski Area

Save Mt Timothy

Mt Timothy Ski Area from the distance – Image courtesy: Timothy Ski Society

Save Mt Timothy Ski Area British Columbia

Fresh cords at Mt Timothy Ski Area – Image courtesy Mt Timothy Ski Society

If you haven’t noticed about this list, there’s a theme. These aren’t corporate run outfits trying to squeeze out every dollar from your pockets. Instead, they’re community focused and just trying their best to get people outside. This fall we talked about Mt Timothy Ski Area having financial troubles due to the forest fires. Luckily, they raised enough money to keep the lifts turning AND they were able to keep the lift ticket price at an economical rate.

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: Unknown
Trails: 35
Vertical Drop: 1,017 feet
Snowfall: 95”
Full – day lift ticket: $50 (CAD)

Manning Park Resort

Manning Park Resort - Cheap Ski Resorts

Hozomeen Mountain – Image taken by: Iwona Erskine-Kellie

Manning Park Resort - Cheap Ski Resorts

Image taken by: Iwona Erskine-Kellie

Located in the provincial park of the same name, this ski area has gone through it’s ups and downs having to close down in 2013 due to $4.2 million in debt. Luckily, the local RV resort purchased the ski area and it was back in full operation as of the 2015-16 season. Enveloped by the scenic Cascade Range mountains, expect jaw dropping alpine vistas. Besides the ski area, there is a LOT of backcountry skiing options available around this jewel of Canada. Definitely worth a visit.

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: 140 Acres plus open gate policy
Vertical Drop: 1,433 feet
Trails: 34
Snowfall: 215”
Full – Day lift ticket: $57 (CAD)

Lake Tahoe

Homewood

Homewood Mountain Resort Snowboarder Powder Day Cheap Ski Resorts

Snowboarder powder slashes his way down to Lake Tahoe – Picture taken by: Kiwi Camera – Appears courtesy: Homewood Mountain Resort

 

Homewood Mountain Resort Snowboarder Powder Day Cheap Ski Resorts

DEEP Powder Day – Appears courtesy: Homewood Mountain Resort

Lake Tahoe is home to LOTS of ski resorts. Of course, the star-studded areas are incredibly expensive but that doesn’t mean you can’t ski in Tahoe for a good price. One of our personal favorites, Homewood resort, is a great option. Besides having some of the best views of Lake Tahoe, it also doesn’t get as crowded as some of the larger resorts around the lake (that we won’t mention by name).

Facts:

Source

Skiable Area: 1,260 Acres
Trails: 67
Vertical Drop: 1,650 feet
Snowfall: 450”
Daily Weekday Lift Ticket: $59

Flexible Lift Tickets: Homewood offers flexible lift ticket pricing if you buy online offering tickets for as low as $44

Donner Ski Ranch

Donner Ski Ranch Donner Lake view scenery cheap ski resorts

View of Donner Lake from the slopes at Donner Ski Ranch – Image appears courtesy: Donner Ski Ranch

This ski area, located on the famous Donner Summit, is one of the oldest and iconic ski areas on the West Coast. As soon as you step onto the grounds, you can feel that it has personality and charm. It’s 100% about the skiing here and the culture surrounding it. Instead of high-speed lifts and a high-end McMansion village filled with $20 coffees, you’ll be greeted to cozy fixed grip chairs and a historic lodge built in 1947. Definitely worth checking out if you want to feel the soul of the sport.

Facts:

Skiable Area: 460 Acres
Trails: 52
Vertical Drop: 750 feet
Snowfall: 396”
Daily Lift Ticket: $75
Old School Days: $40 (Valid every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, starting January 9, 2018, excluding February 20, 21 & 22, 2018)

Northeast

Mt Abram Maine

Mt Abram Ski Area Maine groomed corduroy Cheap Ski Resorts

Amazing views and awesome corduroy – Image appears courtesy: Mt. Abram

Mt Abram Ski Area Maine night skiing Cheap Ski Resorts

Night time is the right time… to ski that is – Image appears courtesy: Mt. Abram

Being the largest doesn’t mean it’s the best or even the most desirable. Only a few miles outside the town of Bethel, this family run ski area is a great illustration of this. It was the first in Maine to offer a Boundary to Boundary policy. What does that mean? Well, it signifies that if you see a set of ski tracks go into the woods, you can follow them. All they ask is for you to use good judgement and ski with a friend. From perfect groomers to sweet tree lines, this ski area offers as much as the big boys in the region. Another interesting fact is all the trails at Mt Abram were named by the creator of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Jay Ward. So, get your Boris or Natasha on and get some turns in!

Facts:

Skiable Area: 560 Acres

Trails: 54
Vertical Drop: 1,150 feet
Snowfall: 115”
Weekday All-Mountain Lift Tickets: $39

McCauley Mountain Ski Area

McCauley Mountain Ski Area Chairlift Powder Day Cheap Ski Resorts Old Forge

Near the summit of McCauley Mountain – Photo by: Kurt Gardner – Image appears courtesy: McCauley Mountain

McCauley Mountain Ski Area Heidis Run Cheap Ski Resorts Old Forge

Mogul filled Helmer’s Run under the chair – Image appears courtesy: McCauley Mountain

Growing up in Chicago, my father used to talk about skiing at a place called “Old Forge” back in the late 50’s. A big smile would suddenly form as he reminisced about his “skiing days.” Years later, I began to research to see what happened to this place. It’s now called McCauley Mountain! Although very, very small, this ski area has all the skiing and snowboarding variety you’d find at the larger resorts on the East Coast but in a very inexpensive package. Outrageous bumps and double-black glades, as well as easier trails from the summit, it has it all. Don’t believe us about the double black glades? Well, it’s produced three Olympic alpine skiers and two Olympic Nordic skiers (with a third—a female  biathlete—qualifying now). Not bad for a small hill, eh?

Facts:

Skiable Area: 325 Acres
Trails: 21
Vertical Drop: 633 feet
Snowfall: 225″
Weekend All-Mountain Lift Tickets: $30
Weekday All-Mountain Lift Tickets: $20

As you can see, no matter where you live in North America there are ways to get on the snow at a decent price. So, this season don’t give the excuse that it’s too expensive. Instead, head to a Mom & Pop resort, support local, and feel the REAL soul of skiing.

2 thoughts on “Play the game! Where to ski for $57 or less

  1. There a bunch of inexpensive mountains clustered around Missoula. MT. Lookout Pass, Lost Trail, Discovery, Snow Bowl and Maverick

    1. Hey Michael, you’re right! I was trying to highlight one resort per region but for my 2018 version I’ll include these as well.

Leave a Reply

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