What makes the Epic Pass so epic? We'll tell you.
Here at Snowboard Mag, we’re rooted in Colorado. People come from all over the globe to snowboard here, and for good reason. We have some of the best resorts, a high altitude, tons of snowfall, and great vibes. But we also love to travel and explore.
The Epic Pass makes it possible for us to snowboard at all our favorite spots here in our favorite sunny state, but also get our fix traveling throughout the country and internationally to explore new resorts.
When gauging the long list of resorts included on the Epic Pass, narrowing it down to one favorite would be impossible because each is charming and gives us our fix in their unique way. So below, we compiled a list of each resort that’s included on the Epic Pass and why we love it. Colorado and beyond.
P.S. The deal cuts off this Sunday, November 19th.
Why We Love It: Vail’s back bowls get you to hoot and holler louder than ever. Nothing beats the feeling of getting the first chair at Vail, and heading over to Blue Sky Basin, and snowboarding on the natural meadows and glades. With over 370 inches of snow each year, Vail has some of the most pristine snowboarding around, allowing them to host the Burton U.S. Open, Pink Vail, and Spring Back to Vail.
Why We Love It: Breck offers terrain across five different peaks and the highest chairlift in North America — The Imperial Express Superchair. It gets you to 12,840 feet high from a real mountain town below. Our favorite features on the mountain to tackle include Imperial Bowl, hiking up Peak 6 for some steeper terrain, and hitting Breck’s award-winning park, Park Lane, on Peak 8.
Resort: Beaver Creek
Why We Love It: Beaver Creek has beautiful tree runs through aspens and ferns, 1,800 acres of perfectly groomed corduroy terrain, and a family-friendly environment. Snowboarding there is always a great time because the resort isn’t as busy as some of the other resorts, and they hand out free, warm cookies every day at 3 p.m. You can’t have a bad day at B.C.
Why We Love It: Put simply, Keystone is a magical place. As one big giant playground, Keystone has five above-treeline bowls, many access points to the A51 Terrain park (so drop-in lines are never bad), and 3,000 acres of explorable terrain across three different peaks. You can take a cat ride up to the top in the morning, in the afternoon head over to the mini-pipe, and in the evening snowboard under the stars. Bonus: Kids under 12 snowboard for free.
Resort: Arapahoe Basin
Why We Love It: Arapahoe Basin boasts friendly local vibes, has a super long season from October to June, and has that small mountain resort feel that just feels like home. This season, Arapahoe Basin is expanding its terrain. The Steep Gullies and a portion of The Beavers will open be offered as in-bounds and challenging hike-back terrain. Powder days there are going to be better than ever, so be sure to reward yourself with one of their bloody marys afterward.
Resort: Park City
Why We Love It: Park City and Canyons join together to serve a super fun powder plus park playground. It’s only 35 minutes from Salt Lake Airport, and it boasts being the biggest resort in the whole United States — there are over 7,300 acres available to explore. Not sure what to do? Take it from us: hit up the Jupiter Bowl on the Park City side or Ninety Nine 90 on the Canyon. You’ll lust all the steeps on a powder day. If you’re looking for a world-class level terrain park, feel like royalty and add 3 Kings to your must-do list.
Why We Love It: Going going, back back to Cali. Well, technically Heavenly straddles Nevada and California, so you can snowboard in two states on the same day and enjoy beautiful views of Lake Tahoe while you’re at it. It’s either snowing or sunny at this resort, which is why they don’t call it Heavenly for nothing. You’ll find bliss snowboarding among its tree runs and double black diamond canyons, and be sure to take a stab at Dipper Woods or off of Stagecoach. If you’re looking for the party, Unbuckle is where it’s at. Enjoy live music, dancing, giveaways, and drink specials.
Why We Love It: Kirkwood is best known for its deep, dry snow, and The Wall — a double black cirque featuring steep chutes, cliffs, and gullies. Just don’t forget to set your stance back a little bit before you arrive. Although it’s only 45 minutes from Heavenly, Kirkwood takes pride in having a different vibe than Tahoe. It’s small, traditional, and it feels itself on having that wholesome mountain vibe. If you’re after a resort that features a miraculous amount of snow — on average over 472 inches of snow — versus shopping and nightlife, then Kirkwood is your jam.
Why We Love It: If you’re not quite an expert, but are totally beyond the bunny hill, then Northstar is your kind of resort. Over 60% of its runs are designed for intermediate snowboarders. Monument Glade and Sierra Grande check out boxes as some of the best tree runs, while Northstar’s eight separate park zones dish out perfect jibs, pipe, and jumps. You can also get your fix wanderlust off the mountain just as much as you can on with Northstar. It has some of the best lodging options, and the area is beautiful. You can hot tub under the stars, enjoy luxury dining, and enjoy signature Dirty Snowman cocktails at The Cabana Bar.
Why We Love It: Stowe offers over 300 inches of annual snowfall, 485 acres of terrain, and a vertical drop of 2,360 feet. Perched on top of Vermont’s highest peak, Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Stowe is a sought after place for those in Burlington and all over the east coast. Locals enjoy hitting up the Front Four (Goat, Starr, Liftline, and National) for its variety of terrain as well as the tree runs on Lookout, Tres Amigos, and Nosedive. After a long day of riding, feed your hunger with a brat from the Bierhall at the Trapp Family Lodge.
Why We Love It: Situated right on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois is Wilmot Mountain, the first resort to master snowmaking. This old-school gone new-school resort may only have 120 acres, but it’s been pleasing locals since 1930 thanks to its night skiing, snow blowers, and a “drive to make it happen”. Since it’s been added to the Epic Pass, it has gotten some serious upgrades, $13.2 million in upgrades to be exact. Enjoy new lifts, better pare features, expansion, and upgraded snowmaking systems. While you’re in the area, grab some cheese curds and Miller.
Resort: Mt. Brighton
Why We Love It: Michiganders, especially those around Detroit, love Mt. Brighton. It boasts 25 trails and five lifts across 130 acres. Of which, 30% are for beginners, 40% for intermediate snowboarders, and 30% are for advanced and expert riders. There’s truly something for everyone. This season, don’t miss out on the Tree Lighting Celebration on December 16th, the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza on December 31st, and the 36th Annual Slush Cup on March 10th.
Resort: Afton Alps
Why We Love It: Located along the St. Croix River, right outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota is Afton Alps. It has 300 skiable acres, 48 trails, 18 lifts, and four terrain parks. Take your pick, or go after it all. What we really love about Afton Alps is its small-town feel and super fast rope tows in the Landing Zone terrain park — there so you can get as many practice laps as possible for that one trick you won’t leave until you nail.
Resort: Whistler Blackcomb
Why We Love It: New this year, Whistler Blackcomb has been added to the Epic Pass! Whistler has it all. With 450 inches of average snowfall across 8,000 acres of terrain, there’s bowls, chutes, pipes, parks. You’ll be so excited, you won’t know what to go after first. Bonus: Since Whistler is so close to the Pacific and Vancouver, there’s an abundance of fresh sushi. When you visit, make sure to add a reservation to Sushi Village to your things-to-do-after-snowboarding list.
Why We Love It: Perisher, all the way in the land down undah, is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest ski area, with over 3,000 acres to snowboard upon, a vertical drop of 1,165 feet, and a PlayStation Slopestyle Terrain Park that will have you remembering the tricks you pulled in Cool Boarders from back in the day. Perisher’s season runs from June to October, which makes it a perfect destination to visit during the offseason so your rust doesn’t build up too much. Jamie Anderson, Sage Kotsenburg, Stale Sandbech, and Torstein Horgmo all take advantage of it, and you should too. Check out some kangas while you’re out there, mate.
There you have it. All the resorts on this year’s Epic Pass and why each one shines a little differently. Choose a few to explore during a week-long vacation to Colorado, make a new group of friends at the resort that’s closest to you, or knock it out of the park this year, and take a gap year and visit all of the resorts for the best season you’ve ever had.
However you plan to map out your season, first, you need to purchase the Epic Pass. Better not snooze though, it’s only available for purchase for six more days — until November 19th, 2018.