117 ski resorts where seniors ski free

Feb 6, 2020

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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.

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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 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.

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 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.

Related: Ski free with your airline boarding pass

(Photo courtesy of Grandpa Points/The Points Guy)

Where seniors ski for free

State Resort Age Requirement
Alaska Arctic Valley and Moose Mt. 70+
Alaska Eaglecrest 75+
Alaska Hill Top 80+
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+
California Dodge Ridge 82+
California Alta Sierra 90+
Colorado Cranor 62+
Colorado Monarch 69+
Colorado Ski Hesperus 70+
Colorado Cooper, Purgatory, Sunlight, Wolf Creek and Telluride 80+
Idaho Bald Mt. 70+
Idaho Schweitzer 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+
Massachusetts Otis Ridge 70+
Massachusetts Berkshire East 80+
Michigan Mt. Holiday 65+
Michigan Nubs Nob, Snow Snake Mt. and The Homestead 70+
Michigan Big Powderhorn 75+
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 Gunstock 70+
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 Mexico Taos 80+
New York Maple Ski Ridge, McCauley Mt., Mt. Peter Ski Area and Oak Mt. 70+
New York Swain 75+
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+
Tennessee Ober Gatlinburg 70+
Utah Nordic Valley and Powder Mt. 75+
Utah Alta 80+
Vermont Cochran’s 72+
Vermont Killington and Pico Mt. 80+
Vermont Sugarbush 90+
Virginia Massanutten 70+
Washington Bluewood 70+
Washington White Pass 73+
Washington Crystal Mt., Mt. Spokane and 49 Degrees N. 80+
Washington Stevens Pass 90+
West Virginia Canaan Valley 70+
Wisconsin Whitecap 75+
Wisconsin Granite Peak 80+
Wyoming Hogadon Basin, Jackson Hole, Sleeping Giant and Snowy Range 70+

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 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!

Related reading:

Featured image courtesy of Andre Schoenherr / Getty Images

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