Here are more than 100 ski resorts where seniors ski free

Oct 31, 2020

The post-World War II baby boom is swelling the ranks of senior citizens in the U.S. Citizens over the age of 65 will make up 20% of the nation’s population within a decade.

But reaching a golden age doesn’t mean that senior skiers have to stay home and pack away their equipment. The ski industry in the United States is certainly not writing off the enthusiasts who helped build and sustain their business for the last 50 years. Rather, they are encouraging them to stay on the slopes by reducing lift ticket prices for seniors.

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(Photo courtesy of Grandpa Points/The Points Guy)

There seem to be multiple reasons for this trend. Lower prices can be, in part, a recognition that most senior citizens are well past their prime earning years and highest income levels.

Reduced ticket rates can also be an acknowledgment of the support seniors offered the ski industry in their previous decades. And lift ticket deals for seniors can simply be an incentive to keep skiing or good PR based on the hope that the senior skier is accompanied by generations of family members. If you go that route, here are places where kids can ski free.

Related: 6 mistakes to avoid when planning a ski trip

(Photo courtesy of Grandpa Points/The Points Guy)

Lift ticket price breaks start as early as 60 years of age, but most seem to kick in starting at 65. Financial savings can vary from just $5 off to a $50 discount or more.

Related: Tips for skiing after 70

Free skiing for seniors

There are deals, however, that go all the way to free lift tickets for seniors. We combed the web (and even made a few calls on a real landline) to find as many places as possible within the U.S. that offer free skiing for seniors.

Some are hills with single Poma lifts and just a few hundred feet of total vertical on a couple of runs, but there are also major resorts with hundreds of runs and thousands of feet of vertical served by dozens of lifts including high-speed quads, gondolas and magic carpets.

We found ski resorts in 26 of the 50 states — including Alabama! Of those, here are 115 mountains, hills and resorts that offer free lift tickets for seniors, usually beginning at age 70, though some hold out for octagenarians and a few optimistically start their “free” skiing at the ripe young age of 90.

Related: Ski free with your airline boarding pass

(Photo courtesy of Grandpa Points/The Points Guy)

COVID-19 impacts

All of that said, unless you are on a secret mission to Mars or you are reenacting Rip Van Winkle’s sleep, then you are fully aware that life on our beautiful planet has been dramatically altered in this year of 2020.

Virtually everything is different than it was pre-pandemic and normalcy is still a very elusive goal. Like most other facets of life, the ski industry quickly shut down last spring well before its originally scheduled closing date. Since then, the ski industry has been hard at work finding the best and safest path to getting the lifts running and skiers turning on the approaching winter snow.

While each ski resort is approaching COVID-19 adjustments in its own way, some common themes involve mandatory face coverings, distancing in lines and while indoors, reduced capacity on each lift or gondola and reliance on advance ticket purchases or even advance ski reservations. Cash transactions and day-of lift ticket sales will become an even more rare occurrence.

Ski areas will largely continue their own policies for “Seniors Ski Free” but with a few more caveats than usual. While the skier may qualify for the specific age requirement, the new world order may require adjustments for advanced planning and reducing touchpoints. Many resorts are suggesting age-appropriate seniors seek out their season passes to provide the most “hassle-free” avenue to the slopes in this transitional year. While the skiing will still be free, there is likely to be a one-time registration fee attached to the season passes with fees ranging from $5 to $50.

We have done our best to update the list below, but highly recommend that you follow-up with your preferred mountain for their specific suggestions, policies and updates that may still be evolving this season.

Related: What to know if you are skiing at a Vail Resort this year

Where seniors ski for free

State Resort Age Requirement
Alaska Arctic Valley
Moose Mt.
Alaska Eaglecrest 75+
Alaska Hill Top 80+
Arizona Arizona Snow Bowl

Mount Lemmon

California Mountain High

Snow Valley

California Bear Mt., June Mt., Mammoth

Snow Summit

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

California Dodge Ridge 82+
California Alta Sierra 90+
Colorado Cranor 62+
Colorado Monarch 69+
Colorado Ski Hesperus 70+
Colorado Cooper Purgatory Sunlight    Wolf Creek  Telluride 80+
Idaho Bald Mt. 70+
Idaho Schweitzer 80+
Maine  Titcomb 70+
Maine Big Rock Black Mt.

Big Squaw

Maine Mt. Abram Sugarloaf  Sunday River 80+
Maryland Wisp Ski Resort 70+ plus $5.00 process fee
Massachusetts Otis Ridge 70+
Massachusetts Berkshire East 80+
Michigan Mt. Holiday 65+
Michigan Nubs Nob Snow Snake  Homestead 70+
Michigan Pine Mt.
Big Powderhorn
Michigan Boyne Highlands Boyne Mt., Crystal Mt . 80+
Montana Bear Paw  Bridger Bowl 80+
Nevada Diamond Peak 80+
New Hampshire Cannon Mt.  McIntyre 65+  ( Cannon Mt.- state residents only and only on weekdays )
New Hampshire Gunstock 70+
New Hampshire Bretton Woods, Dartmouth Skyway,  King Pine, Loon Mt., Ragged Mt., Tenney Mt.  Watersville Valley 80+
New Jersey Mountain Creek 72+
New Mexico Cloudcroft    Red River*    Ski Apache. 70+                                                                                                                                            ( Red River appears to be charging $5 -$10 for 70+ to ski )
New Mexico Sandia Peak Santa Fe 72+
New Mexico Pajarito  Angel Fire    Sipapu 75+
New Mexico Taos 80+
New York Maple Ski Ridge, McCauley  Mt. Peter  Oak Mt. 70+
New York Swain 75+
New York Catamount Toggenburg 80+
North Carolina Wolf Ridge 65+
North Carolina Cataloochee Ski Beech  Sugar Mt. 70+
Oregon Anthony Lakes Cooper Spur  Mt. Ashland 70+
Oregon Mt. Hood SkiBowl, Summit Ski Timberline 71+
Oregon Mt. Hood Meadows 75+
Pennsylvania Bear Creek Blue Mt Shawnee Mt., Ski Sawmill Spring Mt. 70+
Pennsylvania Hidden Valley Laurel Mt.  Seven Springs 80+
South Dakota Terry Peak 70+
Tennessee Ober Gatlinburg 70+
Utah Nordic Valley  Powder Mt. 75+
Utah Alta 80+
Vermont Cochran’s 72+
Vermont Killington  Pico Mt. 80+
Vermont Sugarbush 90+
Virginia Massanutten 70+
Washington Bluewood 70+
Washington White Pass 73+
Washington Crystal Mt.    Mt. Spokane  49 Degrees N 80+
Washington Stevens Pass 90+
West Virginia Canaan Valley 70+
Wisconsin Whitecap 75+
Wisconsin Granite Peak 80+

Related: Best credit cards to use on ski trips

(Photo courtesy of Grandpa Points/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

If you’re headed to one of the mountains on this list, double-check before making travel plans based on free senior lift tickets. If you’re eligible, you’ll likely need to complete some steps in advance of heading to the slopes.

But if you’re healthy, willing and able to take advantage of a free-skiing offer, a reduced rate or, Jack Frost forbid, a full fare — put your smile on and enjoy the day!

Related reading:

Featured image by Andre Schoenherr/Getty Images

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