Last call to pay less to ski this season with the Epic Pass: Lock in pricing by Sept. 6

Sep 1, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


Cooler temperatures are right around the corner as we head toward fall, and that means ski season is almost here. After the heat advisories that have hit different pockets of the U.S., many are probably dreaming of freshly packed snow and the thrill of racing down the mountain on a pair of skis.

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro, these days, the best way to pay for your lift tickets is usually with a ski pass instead of with individual mountain lift tickets. This is true even if you are only planning a single trip — or perhaps as little as one ski day. For those who enjoy Vail Resorts and its partner mountains, there’s no better and more affordable option to ski than with an Epic Pass.

Epic Passes are available for this upcoming season — but you only have a few days left to take advantage of early-bird pricing. Right now, you can get your pass for around 20% less than standard prices. However, on Sept. 7, those prices jump.

If you know you’re planning on hitting the slopes at all this upcoming season, now is the time to grab those passes.

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Early-bird Epic Pass pricing

Bucking the normal trend of things only getting more expensive year over year, the Epic Pass prices were lowered for the 2021–2022 ski season — but only until Sept. 7.

For the coming season, Epic Local Pass is currently available for $583 (down from a starting price of $729 last season). The full Epic Pass is priced at $783 (down from a starting price of $979 last season). That pass unlocks unlimited skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Stowe, Keystone, Park City and many other Vail-owned and partner resorts.

Keep in mind that while one pass carries a “local” name, that doesn’t mean it is limited to purchase by those who live near the mountain. Anyone can benefit from a whole lot of skiing throughout the season from just $583.

And the Epic Day Pass will start at $67 per day for some ski resorts or $87 per day for a wider range of Vail-owned and partner resorts. That price goes down to as little as $74 a day with a seven-day pass. This is amazing, considering single-day passes can start north of $200 per day at resorts such as Vail and Beaver Creek.

Starting Sept. 7, prices will revert to the standard rates. And while Epic Pass pricing is worth it for skiers even at full cost, why pay more if you don’t have to?

Related: How to plan a ski trip using points and miles

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

An Epic Pass will save you money — even on a short trip

You may have never considered getting an Epic Pass if you only ski or ride a day or two each season, but things have changed in recent years.

For the third year in a row, the Epic Day Pass will be available, but now with even more pricing options that start at $67 during the current early-bird pricing for resorts such as Keystone, Crested Butte or Stowe. For the Epic Day Pass, valid at resorts such as Vail, prices start at just $87 per day (compared to $200+ for single-day lift tickets).

These day passes are customizable for skiers and riders who may not need the level or frequency of access offered by a traditional season pass. Guests can create their own pass by selecting the number of days they plan to ski or ride – from one day to seven days, whether or not to add holiday access and which resorts to include.

Note that your cost-per-day on a multiday Epic Day Pass decreases if you’re skiing for multiple days.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Related: Best credit cards for ski pass purchases 

Epic Passes provide exclusive discounts

On top of all that, travelers with the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic Day Pass and more can enjoy discounts through the Epic Mountain Rewards program that was introduced in 2020. This simple but rewarding program provides the following discounts at Vail Resorts’ 34 North American owned and operated resorts:

  • 20% off food and nonalcoholic beverages (up to $150 per day)
  • 20% off group ski and ride lessons
  • 20% off the Epic Mountain Express private or shared shuttles from Denver International Airport (DEN) and Eagle County-Vail Regional Airport (EGE) Regional Airport
  • 20% off gear rentals
  • 20% select on-mountain activities

Additionally, all 2021–2022 Epic Pass products will come with included Epic Coverage, which provides refunds for personal events like job loss, injury or illness, as well as for certain resort closures, including closures due to COVID-19.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Related: How to plan a ski trip using points and miles

You’ll be able to ski and ride at world-class resorts

If your winter plans next season include bundling up to enjoy the great outdoors, then the amount of skiing and riding you’ll enjoy with the Epic Pass, or even the Epic Local or Day Passes, makes sense. While the Epic Pass is the juggernaut, the less expensive Epic Local Pass is the best value for travelers who don’t plan to ski over holidays or during peak periods.

This coming season, the holiday dates that impact the local pass are Nov. 26–27, 2021, Dec. 26–31, 2021, Jan. 16, 2022, and Feb. 19–20, 2022.

(Photo by miralex/Getty Images)

Epic Pass

If you’re craving access to all of Vail’s resorts, with additional access to partner resorts, and you don’t want to deal with previously mentioned holiday restrictions, you’ll be best served by the full Epic Pass.

Prices for the 2021–2022 season are currently priced at $783 for adults (ages 13 and up) and $399 for children (ages 5 to 12). Kids ages 4 and under can ski for free. There are no full Epic Passes priced specifically for teens. Note that those prices will jump to $979 and $499 respectively after Sept. 6, 2021.

This Epic Pass gets you access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Park City, Keystone, Crested Butte, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stevens Pass, Stowe, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher Australia, Falls Creek Australia, Hotham Australia, Mount Snow, Hunter, Attitash, Wildcat, Crotched, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost, Big Boulder Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River Mountain, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek and Paoli Peaks.

At partner resorts, the full Epic Pass gets you seven days of skiing each at Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin and the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Epic Local Pass

For the 2021 to 2022 season, the Epic Local Pass provides access to Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Stevens Pass, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt Brighton, Mount Snow, Hunter, Attitash, Wildcat, Crotched, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost, Big Boulder Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River Mountain, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek and Paoli Peaks.

You’ll also get access (with holiday restrictions) to Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Stowe.

The $583 Epic Local Pass also includes 10 total combined days (with previously mentioned holiday restrictions) at Vail, Beaver Creek and Whistler Blackcomb. There are additional days at some partner resorts such as Sun Valley, Snowbasin, Hakuba Valley and Rusutu Resort in Japan.

In short, if you can work around a few restrictions, the current Epic Local Pass pricing is actually a heck of a deal for $583 for adults, $303 for children ages 5–12 and $471 for teens from 13–18. To compare, a seven-day, unrestricted Epic Day Pass is currently $612 for adults, so you can get a lot more skiing for less with the Epic Local Pass if the restrictions work for you.

Related: 7 mistakes to avoid when planning a ski trip

Bottom line

The most cost-effective way to ski at major mountains has, for years, been with a pass. But even with that, skiing has been a sport that has been out of budget for many.

However, if you grab your passes before Sept. 7, you can take advantage of more accessible prices across the board. Prices as low as $67 per day for some world-class skiing? For comparison, that’s less than half the cost of a one-day ticket to Disney World or Universal Studios. The early-bird pass costs make it much easier to turn a ski trip into a reality without busting your budget.

On top of those more accessible prices to get you on the lift, you can also use your hotel points to stay near (or even on) the mountain to keep your out-of-pocket ski prices as low as possible.

Skiing in Keystone (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Ski passes generally only get more expensive as we get closer to next season, and Epic Pass is no exception. If you’re dreaming of snow-covered peaks and hot chocolate break, make sure you purchase your pass while prices are the lowest they’ll be this year.

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy. 

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