117 ski resorts where seniors ski free
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The post-World War II baby boom is now swelling the ranks of senior citizens in the U.S. The number of citizens over the age of 65 — about 75 million — 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 pack away their equipment. The ski industry in the United States is certainly not writing off the enthusiasts who built their business for the last 50 years. Rather, they are encouraging them to stay on the slopes by reducing lift ticket prices for seniors.
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 be simply an incentive to keep skiing or good PR or 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.
Lift ticket price breaks start as early as 60 years of age, but most seem to kick in at 65. Financial savings can vary from just $5 off to a $50 discount at the window.
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 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 37 of the 50 states — including Alabama! Of those, here are 117 mountains, hills and resorts that offer free lift tickets for seniors, usually beginning at age 70, though some hold out for octagenarians.
Where seniors ski for free
|Alaska||Arctic Valley and Moose Mt.||70+|
|Arizona||Arizona Snow Bowl and Mount Lemmon||70+|
|California||Mountain High and Snow Valley||70+|
|California||Bear Mt., June Mt., Mammoth Mt., Snow Summit and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows||80+|
|Colorado||Cooper, Purgatory, Sunlight, Wolf Creek and Telluride||80+|
|Illinois||Chestnut Mt. (weekdays only)||70+|
|Maine||Big Squaw and Titcomb||70+|
|Maine||Big Rock and Black Mt.||75+|
|Maine||Mt. Abram, SugarLoaf and Sunday River||80+|
|Maryland||Wisp Ski Resort||70+|
|Michigan||Nubs Nob, Snow Snake Mt. and The Homestead||70+|
|Michigan||Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mt., Crystal Mt. and Pine Mt.||80+|
|Montana||Bear Paw and Bridger Bowl||80+|
|Nevada||Diamond Peak Incline Village||80+|
|New Hampshire||Cannon Mt. (state residents only; midweek) and McIntyre||65+|
|New Hampshire||Bretton Woods, Dartmouth Skyway, King Pine, Loon Mt., Ragged Mt., Tenney Mt. and Watersville Valley||80+|
|New Jersey||Mountain Creek||72+|
|New Mexico||Cloudcroft, Pajarito, Red River, Sipapu and Ski Apache.||70+|
|New Mexico||Sandia Peak and Santa Fe||72+|
|New Mexico||Angel Fire||75+|
|New York||Maple Ski Ridge, McCauley Mt., Mt. Peter Ski Area and Oak Mt.||70+|
|New York||Catamount and Toggenburg||80+|
|North Carolina||Wolf Ridge||65+|
|North Carolina||Cataloochee Ski, Ski Beech and Sugar Mt.||70+|
|Oregon||Anthony Lakes, Cooper Spur and Mt. Ashland||70+|
|Oregon||Mt. Hood SkiBowl, Summit Ski and Timberline||71+|
|Oregon||Mt. Hood Meadows||75+|
|Pennsylvania||Bear Creek, Blue Mt., Shawnee Mt., Ski Sawmill and Spring Mt.||70+|
|Pennsylvania||Hidden Valley, Laurel Mt. and Seven Springs||80+|
|South Dakota||Terry Peak||70+|
|Utah||Nordic Valley and Powder Mt.||75+|
|Vermont||Killington and Pico Mt.||80+|
|Washington||Crystal Mt., Mt. Spokane and 49 Degrees N.||80+|
|West Virginia||Canaan Valley||70+|
|Wyoming||Hogadon Basin, Jackson Hole, Sleeping Giant and Snowy Range||70+|
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 stop by the lift ticket office to be properly checked in, ticketed and approved.
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 — cruise like it’s 1979!
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Featured image courtesy of Andre Schoenherr / Getty Images
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