This year’s ski season is rounding its last turn, but it’s not over yet, in part thanks to better-than-average snow out west.
As crazy as it may feel, right now is precisely the time of year when you should outline your ski plans for next year. It’s not only much easier to book the best slope-side hotels on points when you plan early, but ski passes are cheaper the earlier you buy.
On top of that, Ikon Pass just announced its pricing for next season. Purchasing your 2023-2024 pass now can get you on the slopes this spring — for no extra cost.
Here’s how it works.
Ikon Pass basics
The Ikon Pass network is now made up of 55 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 Ikon resorts here.
Similar to last year, Ikon is offering many different pass options, which will give you the ability to purchase the pass that works best for your skiing habits.
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There is 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
2023-2024 Ikon Pass prices
For the 2023-2024 ski season, the initial Ikon Base Pass prices are:
- Adults: $829 for adults ($779 renewal price for a limited time).
- Ages 13-22: $599 for those ($549 renewal price for a limited time).
- College students/nurses/military: $589.
- Kids ages 5-12: $299 ($199 with purchase of an adult pass, up to two discount child passes per adult for a limited time).
- Kids ages 4 and under: $99 (though many mountains offer free skiing to 4-year-olds).
The Base Pass has a few peak blackout dates, unlimited skiing at 14 destinations and up to five days at 33 additional mountains.
You can add five-day access to Aspen Snowmass, Deer Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Alta, Sun Valley, Snowbasin and Toas for an additional $220 with the Ikon Base Plus Pass. (Blackout dates include Dec. 26-Dec. 31, 2023, Jan. 13-14, 2024, and Feb. 17-18, 2024; Thredbo blackout dates include July 1-13, 2023, and July 6-21, 2024.)
For the 2023-2024 ski season, the full Ikon Pass prices are:
- Adults: $1,159 ($1,059 renewal price for a limited time).
- Ages 13-22: $859 ($759 renewal price for a limited time).
- College students/nurses/military: $829
- Kids ages 5-12: $369 ($269 with purchase of an adult pass, up to two discount child passes for a limited time).
- Kids ages 4 and under: $149 (though many mountains offer free skiing to 4-year-olds).
This pass has no blackout dates, unlimited skiing at 15 destinations and up to seven days at 39 additional mountains.
Related: Best ski schools for kids
For the 2023-2024 ski season, the Ikon Session Pass pricing is:
- Adults: $439 for four days; $369 for three days; $259 for two days.
- Ages 13-22: $369 for four days; $309 for three days; $229 for two days.
- College students/nurses/military: $369 for four days; $309 for three days; $229 for two days.
- Kids ages 0-12: $269 for four days; $219 for three days; $169 for two 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 39 destinations, although blackout dates apply at all resorts. For an adult, this means $110 to $130 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 $275, and a four-day consecutive ticket could cost close to $1,100. This makes the 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
If pricing follows the previous year’s tracks, the first round of increases will likely take place in late spring or early summer.
Typically, pricing goes up multiple times throughout the year until 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.
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.
You’ll put $0 down and then have the option to split the payment over three, six or 12 months — with as low as 0% annual percentage rate. During checkout, you can see your options and the cost depending on the plan selected. The payment plan is only available for a limited time, and it’s unavailable for those outside the U.S.
If you’re paying it off in one chunk, these 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 for the 2023-2024 season
Although there aren’t any jaw-dropping changes from Ikon for next season, there are a few things to note.
For starters, those who purchase their pass early will receive $100 off every Ikon Pass Travel package of $1,000 or more. You can use this discount on an unlimited number of bookings for travel between Nov. 1, 2023, and June 1, 2024. However, you must book by May 5, 2023.
When purchasing a 2023-2024 Ikon Pass, you’ll also receive two discount codes to use on eligible Smith products, 20% off a $200 or more purchase at The North Face and a free Outside+ membership.
There have also been a few — although not many — access changes. Taos Ski Valley is no longer part of the Ikon Base Pass or Ikon Session Pass. You’ll need to purchase the slightly more expensive Ikon Base Plus Pass for access. If this is your mountain of choice, you’ll need to re-think which pass makes the most sense for you.
Additionally, while you’ll no longer need to make reservations for Taos, reservations will now be required for Deer Valley Resort for the 2023-2024 season.
Related: These are the best ski resorts in the U.S.
Making an expensive purchase and not knowing what the next season will bring can be a scary thought.
Fortunately, Ikon still offers its “Confidence to Buy” plan for the 2023-2024 season. This is the same plan introduced in the past few 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 toward the following year’s (in this case, the 2024-2025) ski season for any reason, no questions asked.
You’ll have until Dec. 14, 2023, 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 2023 with next year’s Ikon Pass
In the West, we’ve seen some of the best ski weather yet. Although the East Coast got to a late start, March has seen some incredible spring skiing for that part of the country, too.
There’s no way to know exactly how long the lifts will keep turning. However, at least a select few resorts usually plan to stay open into May. If you buy next year’s Ikon Pass this spring, though, you can start using it for spring skiing at select resorts for no additional cost.
Use the 2023-2024 Ikon Pass beginning March 16, 2023:
- Big Bear Mountain Resort.
- Blue Mountain.
- Snow Valley.
- Snowshoe Mountain.
Use the 2023-2024 Ikon Pass beginning April 3, 2023:
Use the 2023-2024 Ikon Pass beginning April 10, 2023:
- Mammoth Mountain.
- Palisades Tahoe.
- Winter Park.
Related: Using the ski train to spend a day on the slopes in Winter Park
Points-friendly properties at Ikon Pass resorts
As long as you’re mapping out your 2023-2024 ski passes and resorts, you might as well factor in hotels.
Marriott properties seem to align most frequently with the Ikon Pass, and Hyatt properties often align well with Epic Pass. There are exceptions, though.
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).
- 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: 15 of our favorite ski-friendly resort hotels you can book on points
If you’re a planner who likes to get the best deals possible, this is the time to decide if an Ikon Pass makes sense for you. 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 trip under your skis this season, buying now to access spring skiing at no extra charge could be a great incentive to act sooner rather than later.