Are you planning an epic adventure to the mountains, numerous resorts, plenty of experiences? But wait, which ski passes will be the crowning glory? Let's find out.
From the USA to Europe and every major ski area inbetween, there are some incredible ski passes out there. Some ski passes give you a 1000km or more of skiable terrain; some offer skiing in 3 or more different countries, some allow for discounts in the resort plus much more. Gone are the days where you had to settle for one measly resort with a ski pass that wouldn’t allow flexibility or the freedom to explore. We thought it was high time someone put together a list of the best ski passes in the world, to enable you to search, browse and book based on all the adventures that await you.
So, given that we aim to please here at Ridestore Magazine, we have put together the ultimate list of world best ski passes. We have even created an “honourable mention” list, of the passes that didn’t quite make the cut, but still deserve a little paragraph. You will also find all the critical info such as prices, insider tips and the “in the know” info. You will also see a frequently asked questions section to answer any of those niggling queries. Got your new season ski pass at hand? Time to look at the new ski jackets and ski pants styles for the season!
Price: $1,049 or €887 for an adult season pass
Pass basics: 7 countries, 4 continents, all the world’s most seminal mountain ranges.
Unlimited use– Steamboat, CO, Winter Park, CO, Copper, Mountain Resort, CO, Eldora Mountain Resort, CO, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA, Mammoth Mountain, CA, June, Mountain, CA, Big Bear Mountain Resort, CA, Stratton, VT, Sugarbush Resort, VT, Snowshoe, WV, Crystal Mountain, WA, Tremblant, QC, Blue Mountain, ON, Solitude Mountain Resort, UT
Limited use– Aspen Snowmass, CO, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY, Big Sky Resort, MT, Killington-pico, VT, Newwindham Mountain, NY, Boyne Highlands, MI, Boyne Mountain, MI, The Summit AT, Snoqualmie, WA, Newmt. Bachelor, OR, Skibig3, AB, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC, Newred Mountain, BC, Cypress Mountain, BC, Sunday River, ME, Sugarloaf, ME, Loon Mountain, NH, Taos Ski Valley, NM, Deer Valley Resort, UT, Brighton Resort, UT, Alta Snowbird, UT, Zermatt, Switzerland, Thredbo, Australia, Mt Buller, Australia, Niseko United, Japan, Valle Nevado, Chile, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt, New Zealand
Description: For sure, if this was a competition, IKON would be the winner. The Ikon ski pass is bananas. 7 countries, 4 continents, all the world’s most seminal mountain ranges. You have the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Japan and Switzerland. It really doesn’t get better.
If you are planning a season of some major travelling (we are already jealous), then this is the pass for you. It’s really all you need, along with your kit, you can be free to explore. The Ikon pass allows skiing on the worlds most famous mountains, the big boys such as Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley, Revelstoke, Niseko plus many more.
Check out what more awesomeness you can get with this pass. It’s not just next-level skiing, you also have a discount on insurance, food and much more.
Recommended by Angelica:
I loved having this pass. I travelled from the East to the West coast of the USA. My fave spots were Big Sky and Grand Targhee (Jackson Hole’s snowier and quieter younger brother). I also went to Niseko later in the season and used the same pass- EPIC!
Price: $999 or €850 for an adult season pass
Pass basics: Another incredible international pass with more stunning options in North America, Europe and Asia.
Unlimited use- Vail, CO, Beaver Creek, CO, Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Breckenridge, CO, Park City, UT, Keystone, CC, Heavenly, CA/NV, Northstar, CA, Kirkwood, CA, Stowe, VT, Wilmot, WI, Afton Alps, MN, Mt Brighton, MI, Perisher, Australia – 2021 Access, Falls Creek- Australia – 2021 Access, Hotham, Australia – 2021 Access, Okemo, VT, Mount Sunapee, NH, Crested Butte, CO, Stevens Pass, WA, Mount Snow, VT, Attitash Mountain Resort, NH, Wildcat Mountain, NH. Crotched Mountain, NH, Hunter Mountain, NY, Liberty Mountain Resort, PA, Roundtop Mountain Resort, PA, Whitetail Resort, PA, Jack Frost, PA, Big Boulder, PA, Alpine Valley, OH, Boston Mills, OH, Brandywine, OH, Mad River Mountain, OH, Hidden Valley, MO, Snow Creek, MO, Paoli Peaks, IN
Limited use- Sun Valley, ID, Snowbasin, UT, Telluride, CO, Fernie Alpine Resort Canada, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Canada, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Canada, Nakiska Ski Area, Canada, Mont-sainte Anne, Canada, Stoneham, Canada. Japan- Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort, Able Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba Happo-one Snow Resort, Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, Hakuba Norikura Onsen Snow Resort, Jiigatake Snow Resort, Kashimayari Ski Resort, Tsugaike Kogen Snow Resort, Hakuba Sanosaka Snow Resort, Rusutsu, Japan, Europe– Skirama Dolomiti, Les 3 Vallees, 4 Vallees, Arlberg
Description: The Epic Pass, in fact, epic. Although the Ikon pass allows more unlimited riding, if you can stay up to speed, the Epic pass has infinitely more options. Just check out all the resorts you can ride in across Europe and Japan.
Some resorts only offer limited days and during specific periods but, like we say, if you do your research, this pass allows the levels of ski freedom one can only dream of. It’s also cheaper, not by much but, at least a burger on the mountains worth in savings.
Some of our favourite destinations include Northstar in CA if you love park riding and if you are a freeride junkie, head to kicking Horse in Canada. It’s a Freeride World Tour destination.
Price: $589 or €500 for an adult
Pass basics: The perfect jet setting holiday makers pass.
USA- Alta Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass, , Big Sky Resort, Grand Targhee Resort New 2020/21, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Mammoth Mountain, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush Resort, Sugarloaf New 2020/21
AUS, NZ, JP- Coronet Peak + The Remarkables — NZ, Mt Buller — Australia, Niseko United — Japan, Thredbo Alpine Village — Australia
Canada- Banff Sunshine, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Lake Louise, Sun Peaks Resort New 2020/21, Panorama Mountain Resort New 2020/21
South America- Valle Nevado – Chile
Europe- Chamonix — France New 2020/21
Description: The Mountain Collective pass works slightly differently than a standard season pass. The pass allows you 2 days at the collective destinations for a total of 46 days and 50% off all additional days at the collective destinations. The pass is perfect for those not doing an entire season of travel and riding. Instead, for your average enthusiastic skier or boarder who wants to hit a few different resorts on the weekends, might even travel abroad for a week or 2, you have total flexibility.
Resort highlights include Grand Targhee which is much quieter than its neighbour in Jackson Hole, but you have uninterrupted powder, an extremely snowsure resort and much more liberty to shred out of bounds!
Price: €895 for an adult season pass
Pass Basics: Travel Europe while visiting some hidden gem ski resorts.
Included resorts: A list of the resorts included in the 2020/21 SnowPass has not been released yet but last year’s resorts are available at SnowPass.com
Description: Snowpass is the first European season ski pass. It gives the holder access to over 100 ski resorts from 12 European countries (Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Portugal, Liechtenstein and Belgium) making it the largest ski pass in the world. Use of Snowpass is limited to 10 days skiing in each resort it covers. A great option for those wanting to discover smaller, quieter resorts that are off the beaten track, and ski in a variety of different countries.
Price: €1070 for an adult season pass
Pass basics: Surrounded by some of the most iconic peaks in Europe, including the Matterhorn, the Aosta Rosso pass gives access to a number of charming Italian resorts and one French.
Included resorts: Cervinia, Torgnon, Chamois, Pila, Gressonay, Champoluc, Courmayer, La Thuile, La Rosiere and Alagna. Access to Zermatt can be added for an additional €193 which also includes 7 non-consecutive says in Verbier.
Description: An alpine region in the North-west of Italy, Valle d’Aosta borders both France and Switzerland. The town of Aosta acts as a central hub from which the ski resorts can be reached, but is well worth a visit in itself.
Cervinia is the largest resort which the Aosta Rosso pass covers and boasts varied slopes and busy aprés. From Cervinia you can also cross the border over into Zermatt opening up a larger, more challenging ski area.
The other, smaller resorts in the valley are full of Italian character and you’ll find plenty of slopes to suit all abilities. Alagna, one of the resorts included, has some of the best off-piste skiing in the Italian Alps.
While Italian resorts don’t have quite the same reputation for aprés as other countries, you’ll still find bustling bars in all the ski towns in Aosta and certainly fewer queues for lifts than elsewhere.
Recommended by Angelica:
I had this ski pass for 5 seasons and loved it. So many resorts in close proximity and skiing in 3 countries! Particularly enjoyed the short 2hr drive to Verbier.
Price: €910 for an adult
Pass basics: Ski among breathtaking scenery in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Included resorts: Cortina D’Ampezzo, Kronplatz Plan de Corones, Alta Badia, Val Gardena, Alpe di Siusi, Val di Fassa, Carezza, Arabba, Marmolada, 3 Peaks Dolomites, Val di Fiemme, Obereggen, San Martino Di Castrozza/Rollepass, Gitschberg Jochtal – Brixon, Alpe Lusia – San Pellegrino, Civetta.
Description: The Dolomiti Superski pass allows the holder access to 1200 km of pistes over 12 ski areas. Originally part of Austria but today situated in North-East Italy, the Dolomites form part of the Italian Alps and are famed for their beautiful dramatic scenery. The Dolomiti Superski pass gives the chance to explore quaint resorts and experience the region’s unique blend of Italian and Austrian culture.
One of the big draws to the area are the the two circular routes on offer – the Sellaronda which is a tour of the four Ladin Valleys around the Sella massif and can be done in either direction and the First World War tour which takes in some of the significant sites in the area from WWI.
The Dolomites have a lot to offer intermediate skiers but there are also some more challenging slopes to be found. The area has retained a lot of its original Austrian influence so dishes such as Strudel are common and you may also hear Austrian spoken by locals.
Price: €906 for an adult pass valid for 21 days
Pass basics: Situated beside one of the world’s most iconic mountains, Mont Blanc, Chamonix combines great skiing with busy resort life.
Included resorts: Chamonix, Les Houches St-Gervais, Evasion Mt-Blanc, Valley Floor areas, Aiguille du Midi, Montenvers Mer de Glace, Courmayeur, Verbier 4 Vallées.
Description: One of the oldest and most famous ski resorts in France, Chamonix sits alongside Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. With some slopes that can be difficult, it has a great deal to offer those looking for a challenge – advanced skiers should consider the 20km Vallée Blanche off piste run on the Glacier du Géant which is only accessible with a guide.
Chamonix itself is a large and busy town with a great range of hotels, bars and restaurants. Aprés options are plentiful but are found more in town than on the mountain with live music often on offer.
The Mont Blanc Unlimited pass includes a host of benefits both on and off the mountain and is a good option for those wanting to experience French alpine culture. Holders can ski Courmayeur in Italy and Verbier in Switzerland and as well as the included ski areas, can also use the cinema, ice rink and swimming pool, visit the Skyway and museums and travel through the Mont Blanc tunnel.
Price: €703.50 for an adult valid for 21 days
Pass basics: Experience the world’s largest skiing valley, with long runs, pretty towns and traditional Austrian culture.
Included resorts: Hochzillertal-Hochfügen-Spieljoch, Zillertal Arena, Mayrhofner Bergbahnen, Ski-& Gletscherwelt Zillertal 3000
Description: The Zillertaler Superskipass covers all four ski areas in the Ziller ski area found in the Zillertal Valley in Tirol, Austria. Offering everything from glacier skiing to snow parks, over 515km of terrain, Ziller has something for everyone. The largest resort in the valley is Mayrhofner, home to SnowBombing festival, held in April each year, which attracts big-name musicians from all over the world. It also boasts varied skiing, with everything from easy beginner slopes to Harakiri, Austria’s steepest run and, once you’re finished on the mountain, hectic aprés.
Confident skiers should also check out the longest run in Austria – the piste in Zell am Ziller drops 1930m during its course, covering a thigh-burning 10km. An impressive 73% of all the pistes in Zillertal can be covered by artificial snow if necessary, making it a good option for those wanting guaranteed snow.
Price: €850 for an adult season pass
Pass basics: Cover some serious distance with this multi-resort pass that encompasses a vast amount of Austria.
Included resorts: Tirol Snowcard covers 90 ski areas in Tyrol, including the 5 glacier resorts – Hintertux, Sölden, Kaunertal, Pitztal and Stubai.
Description: For skiers wanting to experience Austria’s top flight mountains, Tirol SnowPass gives access to 90 different ski areas. This includes a total of 3000km of pistes and trails and 1100 lifts allowing the chance to fully experience Austria’s beautiful alpine scenery and picturesque, traditional resorts. With such a huge area to choose from, pass holders will find plenty to cater to skiers of all abilities whether you’re looking for parks, free-ride or beginner slopes. The inclusion of five glacier areas extends the season giving you more time to take advantage of high altitude skiing.
The country is world-renowned for its aprés ski – expect steins of beer and Oompah bands creating a festive atmosphere both on and off the mountain. Some resorts such as St Anton and Ischgl are particularly lively.
Austria’s ski areas are generally at lower altitudes than other countries, but most resorts have very efficient snow-making facilities, and the infrastructure in the areas covered by the Tirol Snowcard is well designed, allowing them to accommodate large numbers of skiers. The pass also allows the holder to use ski busses in resort.
Price: Depending on the duration
Pass basics: Explore the stunning Hakuba Valley at your leisure.
Resorts included: Hakuba All Valley, Happo-One, Iwatake, Tsugaike, Hakuba 47/ Goryu, Cortina/Norikura, Sanosaka, Jiigatake, Kashimayari
Description: The Hakuba Valley Lift Pass gives holders access to a whopping 10 Mountains, 200+ runs, and 90+ lifts all with the same easy pass. This almighty pass is the key to all of Hakuba’s powdery fun and is comparatively affordable compared to other resort super passes around the world. Given that one must travel to enjoy Hakuba Valley when you are there, you want to max out your stay. That’s why buying a multi-pass like this one, allows you to truly explore the area in a real way. Not just the more well-known resorts like Hakuba 47 but explore spots like Goryu and Iwatake. You can also enjoy night skiing on this pass. You might have to pay a small upgrade in some resorts, but it’s an absolutely unique experience of night ski in powder in Japan.
If this was a competition, we would be awarding this epic explorative pass, winner of the Asia category!
Recommended by Angelica:
This pass was a god send when I spent the month in the Hakuba Valley. My absolute fave spot is Tsugaike. It’s tranquil, uncrowded and the best tree skiing in the world!
Price: Price unavailable
Pass basics: Explore Hokkaido and discover hidden gems
Resorts included: All resorts in the Hokkaido Valley
Description: “The Hokkaido Ski Season Net discount system is one of the most underrated and underused discount systems for Japanese ski resorts. Season pass holders at any of the participating resorts can get discounts of up to ¥2,400 off day passes, plus a huge number of other various discounts and bonuses. This discount system includes some major resorts like Furano, Tomamu and Kiroro as well as some undiscovered local gems like Kamui Ski Links. Season pass holders simply need to show their season pass at the ticket counter at participating resorts to receive the discounts.” – Thanks to our friends at Ski Japan.
Get access to 25 Austrian resorts over 5 regions with the Ski Armadé pass. Costing €659 for an adult, Ski Amadé offers access to Austria’s biggest ski network. You’ll find well groomed slopes, state of the art lifts and guaranteed snow – 90% of the pistes included in the pass can be covered by artificial snow if necessary. With 750km of slopes including a good mix of gradients, Ski Amadé is a great option for those wanting to explore some of Austria’s lesser known resorts.
Started in 1978, the Portes du Soleil ski pass was the first international lift pass and gives the holder access to 12 resorts in both France and Switzerland at the cost of €897 for an adult. The Portes du Soleil pass gives the opportunity to ski in the neighbouring Alpine regions of French Chablais and Swiss Valais which make up the world’s oldest cross-boarder ski destination. In addition to the 803 slopes and 209 lifts, the area also has 30 snowparks, boardercross and ski cross tracks.
At a cost of €1370 for an adult season pass, Les Trois Vallées encompases not only some of the most prestigious ski resorts in Europe but also gives the holder several days access to top resorts in Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Chile and America making it a perfect choice for those wanting to ski internationally. Back within Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens make up three of the seven included resorts and offer groomed pistes, sophisticated aprés and gourmet dining (there are a total of 19 Michelin starred restaurants located in Les Trois Vallées resorts).
The Paradiski area is made up of three resorts in the Tarentaise Valley, France – Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry and includes 425km of skiable terrain and 264 pistes linked by the largest cable car in the world. Costing €1088 for an adult for the season, highlights of the area include l’Aiguille Rouge, one of the longest and most famous runs in the alps, panoramic alpine views and a skiable waterslide which involves participants attempting to ski over a pool of water. Add to this a bustling French aprés scene and you’ve got yourself a great choice for a season ski pass.
Located in Switzerland, Les 4 Vallées covers four resorts, the largest of which is Verbier. At a cost of CHF 1599 for an adult for the season, the pass gives the holder access to Switzerland’s largest ski area covering 410km of piste. Verbier is an internationally renowned resort and free-ride paradise, often featuring as a destination on the Freeride World Tour and known for its cosmopolitan feel. You’ll also find panoramic views on offer at the top of the Mt Fort glacier, at 3330m above sea level, on clear days you can see the Matterhorn, Grand Combin and Mont Blanc.
Including the three Austrian resorts of Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun the Ski Alpin Card costs €720 for an adult for the season. Glacier skiing extends the winter, lasting from October right through until April and giving more time to enjoy the 408km of varied pistes, many snowparks and freeride routes on offer. Once you’ve come down from the mountain, head back into the picturesque Austrian resorts for lively aprés and traditional Austrian cuisine.
And that’s a wrap folks. Are you pumped to ride now? Explore all four corners of the world and all the super cool resorts therein? We have explored plenty of amazing places in the USA and Canada, as well as Europe and beyond. Learning more about how to get more bang for your buck and how to maximise your mountain time. Where would you go first?