Epic, Ikon or Mountain Collective: Which Downhill Pass is Right for You?

With win­ter right around the cor­ner, it is time to start plan­ning whether to opt for the Epic, Ikon or Moun­tain Col­lec­tive sea­son pass. Each pass offers access to a wide-reach­ing num­ber of North Amer­i­ca ski des­ti­na­tions, as well as inter­na­tion­al resorts, and with walk-up dai­ly lift tick­ets at favorite places like Steam­boat, Snow­bird, and Whistler Black­comb exceed­ing $100, each pass begins to pay for itself with­in ten ski trips. With sea­son pass­es offer­ing dis­counts on food, lodg­ing and oth­er resort ameni­ties, the real deter­min­ing fac­tor of what pass is best for you is the des­ti­na­tions they include. Whether it’s the usu­al win­ter stomp­ing grounds or a ski region you’d like to vis­it, each pass pro­vides the Gold­en Tick­et to some of the best win­ter play­grounds in the world.

Pass Breakdown and Pricing

Epic Pass

The 2019/2020 win­ter sea­son marks the 11th year of Vail Resorts offer­ing their Epic Pass. With lim­it­ed alter­na­tives to the mul­ti-resort access of the Epic Pass for the last ten years, Epic has been a pop­u­lar choice for sea­son pass hold­ers. Includ­ing icon­ic des­ti­na­tions like Breck­en­ridge, Whistler-Black­comb and Park City, the Epic Pass has always includ­ed some of the most pop­u­lar places to shred down a moun­tain.

For 2019, the Epic Pass runs for $969 and includes access to over 65 resorts, includ­ing 30 Euro­pean resorts across Aus­tralia, France, Italy, and Switzer­land. A slimmed-down ver­sion of the full pass, the Epic Local Pass goes for $719, with some restric­tions and black-out dates.

Ikon Pass

Alter­ra Moun­tain Com­pa­ny unveiled the Ikon Pass for the 2018/2019 sea­son. Now, in 2019/20 with access to 41 des­ti­na­tions in North Amer­i­ca and across the world, the Ikon Pass includes note­wor­thy des­ti­na­tions like SkiBig3’s Banff Sun­shine, Louise Lake, and Mt. Norquay. Ikon Pass also pro­vides access to Big Sky Resort and Jack­son Hole. For the 2019/2020 sea­son, the Ikon Pass sells for $1,049 and pro­vides unlim­it­ed access to 14 resorts and 7‑day-access at 26 glob­al des­ti­na­tions. The Ikon Base Pass goes for $749 with black­out dates and restric­tions.

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive

The Moun­tain Col­lec­tive pass grants access to 18 glob­al des­ti­na­tions with two days each, for a total of 36 days. Addi­tion­al days at the col­lec­tive des­ti­na­tions are 50% off. The Moun­tain Col­lec­tive des­ti­na­tions are referred to as the best win­ter des­ti­na­tions on the plan­et, fea­tur­ing Ara­pa­hoe Basin, Banff Sun­shine, Mam­moth Moun­tain, and Rev­el­stoke Moun­tain Resort. For the 2019/20 sea­son, the pass is list­ed at $489 for adults and $199 for chil­dren 12 & under.

Extra Perks

The sea­son-pass­es offer extra perks for pass hold­ers, includ­ing dis­counts on food, lodg­ing, and oth­er resort ameni­ties. The biggest perk for many is that both pass­es allow you to bring friends up the moun­tain. Epic Pass hold­ers receive six “ski-with-a-friend” pass­es that give a sin­gle-day dis­count for accom­plices, and the Ikon Pass includes 10 “Friends and Fam­i­ly” lift tick­ets that take 25% off the walk-up win­dow price.

Resorts Covered by Each Pass

The decid­ing fac­tor on what sea­son pass to pro­cure comes from the dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions they offer access to. Maybe you want access to the resort clos­est to home, or you have a new spot in mind to try this year—odds are, one of these pass­es will get you there. After decid­ing which resort is your go-to this win­ter, peruse the list below to see where else your pass of choice could take you.


Col­orado


Epic:

  • Vail, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Crest­ed Butte, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Key­stone, CO(unlimited access)
  • Breck­en­ridge, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Beaver Creek, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Tel­luride, CO (7 days)

Ikon:

  • Aspen Snow­mass, CO (7 days)
  • Steam­boat Ski Resort, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Win­ter Park Resort, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Cop­per Moun­tain, CO (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Ara­pa­hoe Basin, CO (7 days)
  • Eldo­ra Moun­tain Resort, CO (unlim­it­ed access)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Ara­pa­hoe Basin, CO (2 days)
  • Aspen Snow­mass, CO (2 days)

Utah — New Mex­i­co


Epic:

  • Park City, UT (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Snow­basin, UT (7 days)

Ikon:

  • Deer Val­ley Resort, UT (7 days)
  • Soli­tude Moun­tain Resort, UT (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Brighton Ski Resort, UT (7 days)
  • Alta Ski Area, UT (7 Days)
  • Snow­bird, UT (7 days)
  • Taos Ski Val­ley, NM

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Alta Ski Area, UT (2 days)
  • Snow­bird, UT (2 days)
  • Taos Ski Val­ley, NM (2 days)

Cal­i­for­nia


Epic:

  • North­star, CA (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Heav­en­ly, CA/NV (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Kirk­wood, CA (unlim­it­ed access)

Ikon:

  • Squaw Val­ley Alpine Mead­ows, CA (unlim­it­ed access)
  • June Moun­tain, CA (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Mam­moth Moun­tain, CA (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Big Bear Moun­tain Resort, CA (unlim­it­ed access)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Mam­moth Moun­tain, CA (2 days)
  • Squaw Val­ley Alpine Mead­ows, CA (2 days)

Wash­ing­ton


Epic:

  • Stevens Pass, WA (unlim­it­ed access)

Ikon:

  • Crys­tal Moun­tain Resort, WA (unlim­it­ed access)
  • The Sum­mit at Sno­qualmie, WA (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Access unavail­able

Mon­tana — Wyoming — Ida­ho


Epic:

  • Sun­val­ley, ID (7 days)
  • Hid­den Val­ley, MT (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Snow Creek, MT (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)

Ikon:

  • Big Sky Resort, MT (7 days)
  • Jack­son Hole Moun­tain Resort, WY (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Big Sky Resort, MT (2 days)
  • Jack­son Hole Moun­tain Resort, WY (2 days)

Maine — Ver­mont — New Hamp­shire


Epic:

  • Stowe, VT (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Oke­mo, VT (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Mount Snow, VT (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Mount Sunapee, NH (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Atti­tash Moun­tain Resort, NH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Crotched Moun­tain, NH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Wild­cat Moun­tain, NH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)

Ikon:

  • Sun­day Riv­er Ski Resort, ME (7 days)
  • Sug­ar­loaf, ME (7 days)
  • Strat­ton Moun­tain, VT (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Killing­ton — Pico, VT (7 days)
  • Sug­ar­bush Resort, VT (7 days)
  • Loon Moun­tain, NH (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Sug­ar­bush Resort, VT (2 days)

New York — Penn­syl­va­nia — West Vir­ginia


Epic:

  • Hunter Moun­tain, NY (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Round­top Moun­tain Resort, PA (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Big Boul­der, PA (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Lib­er­ty Moun­tain Resort, PA (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • White­tail Resort, PA (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Jack Frost, PA (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)

Ikon:

  • Snow­shoe Moun­tain, WV (unlim­it­ed access)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Access unavail­able

Wis­con­sin — Min­neso­ta


Epic:

  • Wilmot, WI (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Afton Alps, MN (unlim­it­ed access)

Ikon:

  • Access unavail­able

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Access unavail­able

Michi­gan — Indi­ana — Ohio


Epic:

  • Mt. Brighton, MI (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Paoli Peaks, IN (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Brandy­wine, OH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Boston Mills, OH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Mad Riv­er Moun­tain, OH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)
  • Alpine Val­ley, OH (unlimited/unrestricted skiing/riding)

Ikon:

  • Boyne High­lands, MI (7 days)
  • Boyne Moun­tain, MI (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Access unavail­able

Cana­da


Epic:

  • Whistler Black­comb, BC (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Fer­nie Alpine Resort, **7 total days at the fol­low­ing resorts
  • Kim­ber­ly Alpine Resort**
  • Kick­ing Horse Moun­tain Resort**
  • Nakiska Ski Area**
  • Mount-Sainte Anne**
  • Stone­ham**

Ikon:

  • SkiBig3, AB (7 days)
    • Banff Sun­shine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt Norquay
  • Rev­el­stoke Moun­tain Resort, BC (7 days)
  • Cypress Moun­tain, BC (7 days)
  • Mont Trem­blant, QC (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Blue Moun­tain, ON (unlim­it­ed access)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Banff Sun­shine, AB (2 days)
  • Lake Louise, AB (2 days)
  • Rev­el­stoke Moun­tain Resort, BC (2 days)

 


Switzer­land


Epic:

  • Access unavail­able

Ikon:

  • Zer­matt Mat­ter­horn (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Access unavail­able

Aus­tralia — New Zealand


Epic:

  • Per­ish­er, NSW 2020 access (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Hotham, VIC 2020 access (unlim­it­ed access)
  • Falls Creek, VIC 2020 access AUS (unlim­it­ed access)

Ikon:

  • Thred­bo, NSW (7 days)
  • Mt. But­ler, VIC (7 days)
  • Coro­net Peak, The Remark­ables, Mt. Hutt, NZ (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Mt. Buller, VIC (2 days)
  • Thred­bo Alpine Vil­lage, NSW (2 days)
  • Coro­net Peak, The Remark­ables, Mt. Hutt, NZ (2 days)

Japan


Epic:

  • Haku­ba Val­ley, JPN (5 days)
  • Rusut­su Resort, JPN (5 days)

Ikon:

  • Niseko Unit­ed, JPN (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Niseko Unit­ed, JPN (2 days)

Chile


Epic:

  • Access unavail­able

Ikon:

  • Valle Neva­do (7 days)

Moun­tain Col­lec­tive:

  • Valle Neva­do (2 days)