With the cold air nipping at our noses and the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to start planning your next winter getaway. But which ski resorts offer the best value for money? Holidu, a vacation rental search engine, decided to conduct a study to determine which US ski resorts offer the least expensive trips without sacrificing on the slopes this season. To do so, are compared the prices of more than 500 ski resorts in the United States, focusing on those with more than 80 kilometers of slopes. All of this is done to provide you with the most cost-effective ski resorts for the upcoming winter season.
To create the ski price index, are calculated the average price per person per day for the ski pass and accommodations in both high and low season. Stay tuned for this season’s snowiest list, and get ready to hit the slopes for some epic trips without breaking the bank.
According to the final Ski Price Index data:
Powder Mountain in Utah won first place as the overall least expensive ski slopes. Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado all have two resorts in the top ten! Sugarloaf offers the best value for money, with the lowest cost per km of skiable slopes.
Top ten budget-friendly ski resorts
1. Powder Mountain, Utah | $74 per night (Average per person, per day; ski pass + lodging)
The snowy Powder Mountain in Utah is at the top of our list. This slope, located in Eden, Utah, is 135 kilometers long and has the most skiable acreage of any resort in the United States. With 9 operational lifts and hours of operation ranging from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, you’re sure to get your money’s worth on this mountain. Powder Mountain has 154 runs, 25 percent of which are suitable for beginners, 40 percent for intermediates, and the remaining 35 percent for advanced skiers. Powder Mountain, with over 500 inches of snowfall per year, should be at the top of any skier’s list.
135 km total ski area / All levels are recommended. / $1.83 per kilometer of slope
2. Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho | $78
Schweitzer Mountain, located in Sandpoint, is regarded as having some of the best skiing in Idaho and ranks second among the most affordable places to ski in the United States. Schweitzer Mountain is Idaho’s largest ski area, and it truly has something for everyone. Within its 95 km of slopes, you are sure to find something that suits you, from Nordic Skiing trails to Terrain Parks. Schweitzer Mountain is sure to impress, with 10 lifts carrying a whopping 15,900 riders per hour. Schweitzer Mountain also provides a variety of other enjoyable activities, such as twilight trails and tubing!
95 km total ski area / All levels are recommended / $1.21 per kilometer of slope
3. Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon | $103
Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon is next on our list, with 90 kilometers of ski slopes. This resort is located in Mount Hood, Oregon, and is only 90 minutes from Portland. This resort operates in the Mt. Hood National Forest with a special permit and has some of the most breathtaking views! Check out some of their specials or events, such as Breakfast with Santa on December 22 and 23, or get your skis on for New Year’s Eve and check out their extra special celebratory dinner presented by pFriem. Whatever your reason for visiting, make sure to stop by Mt. Hood Meadows for all of your ski and snowboarding needs this winter.
Ski Area Total: 90 km / Recommend For all skill levels / The cost of a kilometer of slope is $0.87.
4. Alta, Utah | $109
Alta, Utah, is the next stop on our list because it is celebrating its 84th winter. This resort has 85 km of skiable slopes, 105 trails, and 12 lifts. Alta has something for everyone, from ski school for kids to mountain adventures and helicopter skiing for thrill seekers. Alta also has 19 restaurants, five of which are directly on the mountain for all of your apres-ski needs. So, what are you still waiting for? Plan a trip to this snowy mountainside for your next winter wonderland adventure.
85 km total ski area / All levels are recommended. / $1.12 per kilometer of slope
5. Purgatory Resort in Colorado | $110
Purgatory Resort, located in the charming ski town of Durango, Colorado, is our next top pick. This resort has 116 kilometers of ski slopes, 119 runs, and 6 lifts. Purgatory has so much to offer, whether you want to ski through the wide open mountain or try one of their more difficult tree trails. This snowy town, nestled along the San Juan Mountains, is sure to satisfy your ski needs!
Total Ski Area: 116 kilometers / Recommended For all skill levels / The cost of a kilometer of slope is $0.77.
6. Mt. Baker, Washington | $112
Mt. Baker is located in the North Cascades of Washington, nestled on the border of Canada. This resort receives a whopping 663 inches of snow on average, making it the ideal location for your next ski adventure. On its 100 km of slopes, this sprawling resort has a variety of 38 diverse trails, making it ideal for any level of skier. Mt. Baker is the place to go if you want to enjoy a ski season without breaking the bank!
100 km total ski area / All levels are recommended. / The cost of a kilometer of slope is $0.89.
7. Sugarloaf, Maine | $117
Sugarloaf is located in the heart of Carrabassett Valley, and its 87 km of skiable slopes include 162 trails and glades. Maine’s Western Mountains surround this gem, which is the state’s second tallest mountain! With 57 percent of its mountain dedicated to intermediate and beginner skiers, this is a great place to bring the family while still enjoying the 43 percent reserved for advanced and expert skiers! Prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime trip that won’t break the bank.
Total Ski Area: 87 kilometers / Recommendation For all skill levels / The cost of a kilometer of slope is $0.74.
8. Mission Ridge, Washington | $125
Mission Ridge, which has been open since 1966, is located 12 miles from Wenatchee, Washington. It has 100 kilometers of ski slopes in the Cascade Mountains. This is not a mountain for the faint of heart, with only 10% of the trails labeled as easy. The chair lifts can transport over 4,900 skiers per hour to the 36 designated trails. Grab your skis and poles for a winter full of skiing on the cheap!
Total Ski Area: 100 km / Suitability: Intermediate to Expert / Cost per kilometer of slope: $0.80
9. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon | $132
Mt. Bachelors is the sixth largest ski resort in the United States, with 4,300 acres of terrain accessible by ski lift and 100 kilometers of skiable slopes. Mt. Bachelor, located in Oregon’s Central Cascades, is actually on top of a shield volcano, making it a truly unique skiing destination. This mountain has 101 runs and receives 462 inches of snow per year on average. Mt. Bachelor is definitely the place to go if you are a more seasoned skier, with over half of its trails focusing on more intermediate to expert slopes.
100 km total ski area / Recommended for: intermediate to advanced users / The cost of a kilometer of slope is $0.76.
10. Winter Park Resort, Colorado | $135
Winter Park Resort is the state’s longest continuously operating ski resort, having been in operation for over 80 years. Located in Winter Park, Colorado, approximately 66 miles from Denver, it is argued to be the closest major destination resort to Denver International Airport. This resort has 23 lifts, 166 trails, and a summit elevation of more than 12,000 feet. Winter Park skiing is no joke, with 26 percent reserved for beginner to intermediate skiers and the remaining 72 percent reserved for advanced to expert skiers. However, with 143 kilometers of slopes, the entire family is sure to find suitable slopes. Winter Park Resort is the place to go for your next snowy adventure.
The total ski area is 143 kilometers. / Suggestion For: Intermediate to Advanced / $1.06 per kilometer of slope