The Travel Whisperer is a proud partner of both the Epic and Ikon passes, the two major resort pass providers across US ski resorts. Each pass is valid for their own exclusive list of resorts, and offer a range of ticketing options when it comes to booking. We’re here to give you the full rundown of which pass works where and what you get with your purchase.

Epic Pass

The Epic Pass provides near-unfettered access to an enormous number of resort options across North America and beyond. The pass covers some of the most famous destinations across the Rocky Mountains, including Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado, as well as Park City in Utah. With up to 33’ of snowfall each year, the Rockies offer breathtaking ski terrain for both novice and experienced visitors.

Ikon vs Epic Pass - Which is the pass for you?

Those seeking the delights of the Western United States will be pleased to discover that the Epic Pass is also available for the likes of Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar in California, as well as Stevens Pass in Washington. In the Midwest, the Epic Pass covers resorts across 6 States, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio, covering 15 resorts in total.

The Epic Pass also has the distinction of covering a number of international destinations. Whistler Blackcomb, the world-renowned Canadian resort is an exclusive Epic Pass member, while there are a number of partner resorts across the country that can be accessed depending on the type of Epic Pass you purchase. Further afield, Epic Pass holders are able to ski and ride across a further 3 continents. Exclusive and partner resorts can be found in Europe (France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria), Australasia (Australia) and Asia (Japan).

What do you get?

To complement its range of Epic Pass destinations, there are a multitude of pass options for guests to purchase. The signature Epic Pass season pass covers you for the entire ski season, and provides unlimited access to all of the Epic ski resorts in North America and beyond. Purchasing an Epic Pass not only allows you to ski or board at an array of destinations, it also ensures that you can enjoy the slopes free of blackout days and during the peak holiday dates. As the most versatile pass available in the Epic range, we always recommend them to our guests.

Other options include the more affordable Epic Local Pass, providing the same level of destination access as the Epic Pass. The Epic Local Pass, however, does not cover holiday dates, making it better suited for those visiting out of peak season. Epic also subdivides their passes across regions and resorts. For example, should you solely wish to visit the resorts around Lake Tahoe, you could plump for the Tahoe Local or Tahoe Value Pass. Service personnel, either active or retired, and their dependents are also covered by an exclusive Military Pass.

Ikon vs Epic Pass - Which is the pass for you?

Ikon Pass – Where can you go?

Much like the Epic Pass, the Ikon Pass provides access to a truly astonishing number of ski resorts across the US and internationally. In the Rockies, Ikon Pass destinations include the likes of Aspen Snowmass, Deer Valley, Winter Park and Steamboat. In the West and Pacific Northwest, Ikon Pass covers Big Bear Mountain Resort, Palisades in Tahoe and Mammoth Mountain in California, Sun Valley in Idaho and Crystal Mountain, Washington. To the East, the Pass is eligible at Stratton, Killington and Sugarbush in Vermont, as well as Loon Mountain, New Hampshire and Windham Mountain, New York.

Ikon vs Epic Pass

Further afield, the Ikon Pass covers the eastern and western Canadian resorts of Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Revelstoke and Cypress Mountain. In South America, the pass also covers Valle Nevado in Chile. For those seeking further adventure, the Ikon Pass is also valid at resorts in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland in Europe, in addition to others in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

What do you get?

While they don’t provide quite the same array of ticketing options as the Epic Pass, the Ikon Pass simplifies the process. Their signature Ikon Pass provides unlimited ski days at their 14 major resorts, plus an additional 7 days at select resorts, including Aspen Snowmass. Guests who purchase the Ikon Pass also avoid any blackout dates in the calendar.

Other pass options include the Ikon Base Pass, providing unlimited access to 13 major resorts plus 5 days at the same selected resorts as the original Ikon Pass. The Ikon Base Pass is, however, subject to blackout dates in December, January and February. The final pass is the Ikon Session Pass. These provide the option for either 2, 3 or 4 days at the same selected destinations as the Ikon Pass. It does not provide unlimited access to the others. Ikon also provides discounts for military personnel, registered nurses and students.

Skiing powder on the front side of Vail, CO