The IKON ski lift ticket was created by the Alterra Mountain Company in 2018.
What is the IKON Ski Season Pass?
IKON passes are essentially lift tickets bought in bulk that apply to multiple mountains. Depending on the type of pass purchased, you will get access to all or most of their associated ski resorts for anywhere from 2 days to the full season.
All IKON season passes (except for the individual resort ones) allow you to access most or all of their member resorts. For a skier that plans to travel across the country skiing different slopes, a nationwide pass like IKON can be a great deal.
Types of IKON Passes
IKON has four different season pass types.
They have their Default Pass that has no blackout dates and provides unlimited access to skiing at 14 of their destinations, and up to seven days at all others. As you could have probably guesses, this pass is by far their most expensive as well.
The IKON Base Pass is a little cheaper, but also comes with blackout dates (typically around holidays and season starts). This pass provides unlimited skiing at 13 of their member resorts and up to 5 days at 30 others.
IKON also has Session Passes, that can be purchased for 2-, 3-, or 4-days at 37 of their associated destinations. These days are restricted with blackout dates as well.
Finally, you can also buy season-long passes at many of their member resorts. These passes only will work at the specific destination resort you purchase it for. This defeats the purpose of an IKON pass, but it gives you a frame of reference when comparing their pass prices.
IKON Friends and Family Benefit
With both the Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass, the pass holder gets the benefit of discounted Friends & Family tickets. This benefit gets you 25% off daily window rates and share the fun with your crew. Ikon Pass holders get to share up to 10 friends and family tickets with no blackouts. Ikon Base Pass holders get up to 8 Friends & Family tickets to share, but have to do so around the holiday blackout dates of Christmas & New Years, MLK Day, and President’s Day.
Family and friend ski lift tickets can be shared from within your IKON account, or at participating pass destination ticket offices.
Other IKON Pass Benefits
While IKON passes get you deals on other items including rentals and food, the pass itself is only good as a lift ticket.
When you purchase a lift ticket from IKON, you get a few benefits. First, the tickets are usually cheaper than if purchased one at a time at each resort you intend to go to.
Other Ikon pass benefits includes Adventure Assurance, which allows you to defer your ticket if an unforeseen issue causes you to not be able to use your ticket at all. Ikon Pass holders also receive early booking privileges to the highly sought-after CMH Heli-Ski trips that normally sell out 18 months ahead. Pass holders also get 10% off food, beverage, and retail options at all Ikon destinations.
IKON Pass Pricing
For the 22/23 season, IKON prices have increased just a bit from the prior year. Adult (mostly) unlimited passes start at $1,079 with the young adult pass and children passes coming in at $799, and $339, respectively.
Limited access IKON passes are around $770 per adult, and 2-day session passes are around $250 per adult. These are the passes that have to contend with blackout dates.
IKON also sells individual season passes for many of their associated ski resorts as well.
Read more about IKON’s pass prices here.
Alternatives to IKON
IKON is only one of five nationwide ski lift passes. Each pass network has its own benefits, prime locations, and important limitations. While there are four alternatives to the IKON pass, typically EPIC is listed as the most common competitor.
IKON also has the second-most difficult resorts in its lineup.
The first difference that jumps out between EPIC and IKON prices are the varying amounts of Unlimited and Limited ski resorts within each network. Limited usually means that you are allowed to ski anywhere between 2-7 days at each resort in that category. However, average skiers only ski 2.7 times a year, which means this limitation is not really one at all. This only becomes an issue if you are buying a specific pass for your local resort that you plan on skiing often throughout the season.
|Pass||Unlimited Access Resorts||Limited Access Resorts||Day Passes Available?|
The table above shows statistics for North American ski resorts only. Most of the passes include ski resorts in other countries like Australia or Italy, but since we are a US-based travel company, we are focusing only on local resorts to us.
New IKON Resorts for the 22/23 Season
The 22 23 IKON Pass has poached the Sun Valley and Snowbasin ski areas from Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for the 2022-23 ski season. Idaho’s Sun Valley and Utah’s Snowbasin are both owned by Grand America Hotels & Resorts.
Which Regions are best for IKON Passes?
Since each nationwide ski pass has a specific set of ski resorts within its network, some regions of the US and Canada are better served by a specific pass. Based on where IKON ski resorts are located, here are the list of regions that we feel are best served by the IKON season pass:
- Salt Lake City
- New England (equally great with EPIC)
Colorado and Utah are tied with 6 resorts in the IKON pass network. California and Vermont are not too far behind either.
When Can You Purchase an IKON Pass?
IKON passes are only available to be purchased at the beginning of each ski season. For example, the IKON pass for the 22/23 ski season goes on sale March 10th, 2022. IKON also offers a discount when tickets are purchased early as soon as they go on sale. Payment plans are also available.
IKON passes stop being sold for the season starting around the beginning of December. If you want an IKON pass for your favorite slopes, you need to get them early.
If you are planning a ski trip in January or February, more than likely you’ll have to pay full price for a lift ticket at the resort. Most if not all IKON passes will not be sold that late into the season.
List of all IKON Pass Resorts
All Alterra resorts (Steamboat, Palisades, Deer Valley, Big Bear, Crystal Mountain, etc) are a part of the IKON pass. Alterra has also partnered with other ski conglomerates to include their resorts as well. Some of these other companies are Alta, Jackson Hole and Aspen.
As you can see below, some ski resorts are a part of more than one nationwide pass system. Not all IKON ski resorts are exclusive to IKON.
Here is the full list of 2022/2033 IKON Pass destinations: