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Spring skiing starts soon with Ikon — Plus, how to get unlimited ski access at top resorts through 2023

March 07, 2022
11 min read
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This year’s ski season is rounding its last turn, but it’s not over yet.

And crazy as it may feel, right now is precisely the time of year when you should outline your ski plans for next year. Not only is it much easier to book the best slope-side hotels on points when you plan early, but ski passes are cheaper the earlier you buy, too. On top of that, the Ikon Pass just announced their pricing for next season and purchasing your 2022-2023 pass now can get you on the slopes this spring -- for no extra cost.

Here's how it works.

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Steamboat (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Ikon Pass basics

The Ikon Pass network is now made up of 50 ski resorts, some of which provide unlimited skiing and some that have a capped number of days based on the exact type of Ikon Pass you purchase.

Eligible resorts can vary by pass level. These resorts include both bigger and smaller names such as Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Palisades Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley, Jackson Hole, Tremblant, Taos, Big Sky, Sugarloaf, Stratton and more in the U.S., Canada and beyond.

You can find the full list of resorts here.

For this year, Ikon is actually offering more pass options giving you the ability to purchase the pass that works best for your skiing habits: a less expensive Ikon Base Pass with some restrictions, a mid-tier level Ikon Base Plus Pass with the same restrictions but more mountain access, the full Ikon Pass and a two-, three- or four-day “session” pass.

Related: Kids ski free — save on your family’s next ski vacation

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2022–2023 Ikon ski pass prices

For the 2022–2023 ski season, the initial Ikon Base Pass prices are:

  • $769 for adults ($719 renewal price through April 21, 2022)
  • $579 for those 13–22 years old (renewal discount of up to $50 off through April 21, 2022)
  • $569 for college students/nurses/military
  • $299 for kids 5–12 ($199 with purchase of an adult pass, up to two discount child passes per adult pass through April 21, 2022)
  • $99 for those 4 and under (though many mountains offer free skiing to 4-year-olds)

The Base Pass has a few peak blackout dates, unlimited skiing at 13 destinations and up to five days at 30 additional mountains.

You can also add on five-day access to Aspen Snowmass, Deer Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Alta and Snowbasin for an additional $200 with the Ikon Base Plus Pass. (Blackout dates include Dec. 26, 2022–Dec. 31, 2023, Jan. 14–15, 2023 and Feb. 18–19, 2023; Thredbo blackout dates include July 2-July 17, 2022 and July 1–July 16, 2023.)

Skiing at Snowmass (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

For the 2022–2023 ski season, the full Ikon Pass prices are:

  • $1,079 for adults ($979 renewal price through April 21, 2022)
  • $799 for those 13–22 years old (renewal discount of up to $100 off through April 21, 2022)
  • $769 for college students/nurses/military
  • $339 for kids 5–12 ($239 with purchase of an adult pass, up to two discount child passes through April 21, 2022)
  • $149 for those 4 and under (though many mountains offer free skiing to 4-year-olds)

This pass has no blackout dates, unlimited skiing at 14 destinations and up to seven days at 35 additional mountains.

Related: Best ski schools for kids

For the 2022–2023 ski season, the Ikon Session Pass pricing is:

  • Adult: $419 for 4 days; $349 for 3 days; $249 for 2 days
  • 13-22 years old: $359 for 4 days; $299 for 3 days; $219 for 2 days
  • College students/nurses/military: $359 for 4 days; $299 for 3 days; $219 for 2 days
  • Kids 0-12: $259 for 4 days; $209 for 3 days; $159 for 2 days (although many mountains offer free skiing for kids up to 4 or 5 years old)

This pass gives you four days of skiing at 37 destinations, although blackout dates apply at most resorts. For an adult, this means $105 to $125 per day, which may or may not be a good deal depending on where you're looking to ski. For example, at Steamboat, a one-day walk-up lift ticket could cost as much as $245 and a four-day consecutive ticket could cost close to $1,000. This makes the session pass well worth it. Although, if you are an East Coast skier, you might not find it to be as good of a deal.

Related: Hotels near Ikon ski pass resorts you can book with points

Ikon hasn't yet announced when the current pricing will be valid through, but if it follows the previous year's tracks, pricing will probably start to increase at some point in April or May. Typically, pricing goes up multiple times throughout the year until we reach the start of the next ski season. If you want to ski at the best possible price, lock in your pass before the first round of price increases.

Steamboat Springs at dusk (Photo by darekm101/Getty Images)

Use a payment plan

Ski passes are a big investment, so I’m thrilled to see a payment plan option for the Ikon Pass if you want to lock in today’s price and spread out payments.

The payment plan is only available for a limited time (that date is still unknown), where you’ll put $0 down and then have the option to split the payment over 3, 6 or 12 months -- with as low as 0% APR. During the checkout process, you’ll be able to see your options and the cost depending on the plan selected. Note: The payment plan is not available for those outside of the United States.

If you're paying it off in one chunk, here are the best credit cards to use for ski pass purchases. Ski tickets don’t always code under one particular bonus category, so a card that awards bonus points on everyday purchases can be your best bet.

Related: Best credit card to use for ski trips

New this year

Ikon has actually shaken things up this year.

First the good news: Three new resorts have been added. You'll now have access to Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley in France, Sun Valley in Idaho and Snowbasin in Utah. Yes, Sun Valley and Snowbasin are leaving the Epic Pass.

Snowbird is also now considered a single destination on the Ikon Base Pass and is no longer grouped with Alta. This means those who purchase the Ikon Base Pass can have five full days at Snowbird, although Alta access will require you to purchase the Ikon Base Plus Pass (more on that in the bad news section), but it'll provide you with an additional five days. However, for the full Ikon Pass, Alta and Snowbird are still grouped together, giving you seven days total between the two.

Additionally, Arapahoe Basin (otherwise known as A-Basin) no longer has blackout dates for the Ikon Base Pass.

Now, the semi-bad news. Crystal Mountain, on the full Ikon Pass, no longer offers unlimited access and instead passholders will be capped at seven days. If this is your mountain of choice, you might need to re-think whether the Ikon Pass makes sense for you.

Additionally, Deer Valley and Alta access are now only available on the Ikon Base Plus Pass. If you're looking to purchase the Ikon Base Pass and wanted to visit either of those two mountains next winter, it'll cost you an additional $200.

Assurance plan

Making an expensive purchase and not knowing what next season will bring can be a scary thought.

Fortunately, Ikon is still offering their “Adventure Assurance” plan for the 2022/2023 season. This is the same plan that was introduced the past two years and is automatically included in the price of your lift ticket.

This allows any passholder to receive a credit for the price paid to put towards the following years 2023/2024 ski season for any reason, no questions asked. You’ll have until Dec. 8, 2022, to select this option, which should be more than enough time to figure out what the ski season will look like. Note: If you use your pass this spring, you won't be able to qualify for the credit.

Ski spring 2022 with next year’s Ikon Pass

The weather definitely hasn't been a ski resort's best friend this winter, but some mountains have received several feet of new snow over the past few weeks. While there's no way to know quite yet exactly how long the lifts will keep turning, usually there are at least a select few that plan to stay open into May. If you buy next year’s Ikon Pass this spring, you can start using it for spring skiing at select resorts now.

Use the 2022–2023 Ikon Pass beginning March 10, 2022:

  • Big Bear Mountain Resort
  • Blue Mountain
  • Snowshoe Mountain
  • Stratton
  • Sugarbush

Use the 2022–2023 Ikon Pass beginning April 4, 2022:

  • Tremblant
  • Solitude

Use the 2022–2023 Ikon Pass beginning April 11, 2022:

  • Mammoth Mountain
  • Palisades Tahoe
  • Winter Park

Related: Using the ski train to spend a day on the slopes in Winter Park

Skiing at Mammoth (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Book points-friendly properties at Ikon resorts

As long as you’re mapping out your 2022–2023 ski passes and resorts, you might as well factor in hotels.

For us, Marriott properties seem to align most frequently with the Ikon Pass, and while Hyatt properties often align well with Epic, there are exceptions. A few points-friendly properties to consider if you pick up the Ikon Pass include:

  • St. Regis Deer Valley (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • The Westin Snowmass Resort (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • St. Regis Aspen (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • W Aspen (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • Sheraton Steamboat (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • Le Westin Resort and Spa, Tremblant, Quebec (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • SpringHill Suites Jackson Hole (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • The Cloudveil (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • Resort at Squaw Creek (World of Hyatt)
  • South Mountain Resort, Loon Mountain (Choice Privileges)
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lincoln East - White Mountains, Loon Mountain (IHG Rewards)
  • Killington Mountain Lodge (Hilton Honors)
  • Hilton Niseko Village (Hilton Honors)
  • Holiday Inn Summit Frisco (IHG Rewards)
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fraser – Winter Park Area (IHG Rewards)

Related: 13 of our favorite ski-friendly resort hotels you can book on points

Ski into the St. Regis Deer Valley and then go for a swim. (Photo by Summer Hull/ The Points Guy)

Bottom line

For the advance planners who like to have the information and plan in advance, this is your moment to decide if an Ikon Pass makes sense for your ski plans.

The payment plan, pass assurance and ability to purchase up to two discounted child passes with an adult pass are great aspects of the program. Also, if you're itching to get one more run under your skis this season, buying now to get access to spring skiing could be a great incentive.

Featured image by DKCooper
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more