The 10 best cheap ski resorts in the US

Planning for a ski vacation often comes to a disappointing stop once costs are added up. You don't have to break the bank to hit the slopes, though.

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Jan 9, 2014 8:13PM
Writer totally missed out on Sunlight ski area in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Jan 10, 2014 8:54AM

Damnit !!! they found Turner.....


yeah look its actually terrible..... ahhh.... never has pow at all..... no hidden tree shots.... it blows... just go to Colorado or something.... so you know don't bother coming here... errrrrr.... ahh.. its bad. actually there are snakes here. soo.... just stay away....

Jan 9, 2014 9:51PM

wolfe creek Colorado if you can get through the pass weather sensitive.


Jan 25, 2014 5:07AM
What about all the cheap Colorado Ski resorts? Ski Cooper, Loveland, Powderhorn and Sunlight to name a few all $60 per day or less.
Jan 25, 2014 11:56AM

Unbelievable you didn't mention any cheap resorts in Colorado, one of the easiest to get to and most popular ski destinations in the country!!  How about Ski Cooper near Leadville, Monarch near Salida, Ski Sunlight near Glenwood Springs, all near the big corporate mountains of Colorado, but light years away in pricing, family experience and value!!


Jan 25, 2014 9:55AM
Jan 10, 2014 9:27AM
Have you checked out Burke Mountain in West Burke, Vermont? Great mountain. no crowds, very reasonable.
Jan 10, 2014 12:15PM
Beaver Mountain, UT.  30 miles from Logan (110 miles from SLC).  It's a family owned resort with $45 all day lift passes.  It's not as big as the SLC resorts but it is also less expensive and less crowded.
Jan 9, 2014 11:44PM
Mt. Bachelor is NOT cheap as far as Oregon ski resorts go, Its the most expensive one, Second only to Mt. Hood. Hoodoo ski resort has lift tickets for $55 and $25 on "Tight wad Tuesdays" its only about 35 miles from Bachelor, Willamette Pass is also a bit cheaper and in the same general area, If your looking for a cheap day on the slopes, Go to one of these resorts. If your in the Tahoe region and looking for a deal, Donner Ski Ranch and Boreal are both cheaper than Homewood, They're on Donner summit just outside of Truckee, CA. the only down side is you don't get the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.
Jan 10, 2014 10:01AM
Having skied all but two of the areas I think the article misses the mark.  We pre-bought lift  tickets at killington Vermont, which are normally 89$ per day (buy 7 get one free) and it worked out to 51.50 a day. No one buys day tickets at major resorts any longer.
Jan 25, 2014 10:04AM
The best place to ski for cheap and with the best snow is Wolf Creek Colorado and stay in Pagosa Springs or South Fork. Santa Fe is usually pretty icy, so not good.  
Jan 10, 2014 12:16PM
BrianHead, in southern Utah is great.  Less than 3 hours north of Vegas, and the same from Salt Lake city.  A gem of a resort, and accessible easily from I-15.  You'll fall in love with this place.  It is also where I got the nickname I use.  It's even been featured several times on Warrens ski films.
Jan 25, 2014 2:17PM
Wow, no Snowshoe, WV, no Beech Mtn, no Sugar Mtn...

very limited article that didn't include solid investigation.
Jan 9, 2014 6:35PM
The expense with these locations is not the lift prices but the cost of staying there and lodging.   Utah may be the best because it is only 35 minutes from Salt Lake.
Jan 25, 2014 4:37PM
Any Lotto winners out there want to get into the ski area business?  Maverick Mountain in Montana is For Sale again!  Ski operation includes a 1200-acre US Forest Service permit boundary, with 15 runs on a 2020-foot vertical drop with a base-to-summit double chairlift, a base lodge with cafeteria and bar, and a Mitey-Mite beginner lift.   An approved terrain expansion has already been cut and is waiting for a new lift to service it.  The property is off the beaten path but fairly close to a couple of hot springs resorts.  A real steal at only $850K!  Heck, you could make it private and only open on weekends!

Jan 25, 2014 3:51PM
How does Turner Mt. rate in the 10-Best mid-priced ski hills?  Just on price?  Have you ever tried to get to Turner from anywhere besides Libby, MT?   Good luck, especially in the winter.  What is the closest lodging to Turner besides sleeping in your car?  How about Maverick Mountain, a similar-sized one-chairlift ski hill that is a lot closer to the beaten path than Turner is?  The only  problem with Maverick is that Montana Snowbowl is the closest ski area to Butte. 

Let's give a serious look to Montana Snowbowl for a minute.   The ski area is only 10 miles from the city of Butte, which is a college town.  Butte has an airport served by Delta Airlines.   While there is a small amount of base lodging most of the lodging choices are 10 miles from the ski area at the freeway exit off of I-90 or in-town.   Montana Snowbowl is a large ski area at 2600 ft. vertical drop and it has two chairlifts plus a beginner lift rather than just one chairlift.  The cost?  $44.  What about apres-ski nightlife?  Didn't I tell you that Butte was a college town and a former mining town?  Believe me, there is enough competition in the nightlife business there to keep prices reasonable too.

What about the East?  How many decent mid-priced hills did you miss?  How about Magic Mountain or Pico in Vermont?  Magic has a 1700 ft drop and Pico has 1967 ft.  Both have base lodging, bars, and restaurants, and the cost?   Magic is $49 midweek and $63 weekend, if you don't buy a discount somewhere else, and Pico is $52 midweek and $67 on the weekend.   What about New Hampshire?  How about Sunapee or Wildcat?  Both have base-to-summit high-speed lifts.  Sunapee has a 1500 ft vertical and Wildcat 2112 ft vertical.   They are a little more-expensive but much less expensive than Sugarloaf.   Sunapee is $72 midweek and $76 on weekends but if you buy in online in advance the cost drops as much as 33%.  Wildcat is $63 midweek and $70 weekends and their tickets are interchangeable with Attitash, another decent mid-priced ski hill.

I'm partial to the closest ski hill to my house.  Eldora has a 1600 ft vertical drop and four main mountain fixed-grip chairs and four beginner or easy intermediate lifts, plus an extensive snowmaking system. and they do a fair amount of grooming every night too.  Why buy lift tickets at the ski hill when you can stop at the grocery store on the way and get them for $56?   In the fall a 4-day pass can be ordered online for as little as $129 too.  One great thing about Eldora is that I-70 isn't involved so no stop & go traffic for 3 hours to get there!   The nearby town of Nederland has several decent restaurants and microbreweries and limited lodging, and Boulder, the home of the University of Colorado and hundreds of bars, restaurants, and lodging choices is only 18 miles from the ski hill, plus a city bus serves the ski hill and Nederland from Boulder once per hour all day long for a reasonable price too.  

Those are my five choices for decent mid-priced ski hills.  Honorable mention goes to Bogus Basin near Boise, ID, which is only $49, and Red Lodge, MT, is 2400 ft vertical and only $50.  Turner Mt wouldn't be a bad choice if one were an advanced or expert skier and they lived in Libby but it isn't a ski hill that caters to beginners.   One more tip.  Next time that you are driving all the way to Jay Peak why not just keep right on going to Owl's Head, Quebec, which has 9 chairlifts on a 1772 ft vertical drop and is only $45 on the weekend?   Owl's Head is only 30 minutes further up Rt. 101 from the Jay Peak turn off.

Jan 25, 2014 1:04PM
Yes they missed a few good Mtns. Sad that Skiing has become and advertisement for more funds to Cyberspace!
Jan 25, 2014 9:05AM
Loveland col. is fun always do one day on the way to Beavercreek  A basin  love Colorado
Jan 10, 2014 1:42PM
LOL, you still have to have equipment and you still have to get there!
Jan 25, 2014 4:05PM
You did not mention Diamond Peak, Nevada on the North West  side of Lake Tahoe.
Beautiful views from a family ski slopes. 45 min drive to another mountain Homewood on California side of Lake Tahoe. With this poor snow season Diamond Peak is making snow and has several good runs open. No lines, excellent instruction, extremely friendly staff and the Nevada activities of Lake Tahoe .

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