If you’re anything like me, I want to be flexible without being tied to flights or rentals. Hitting the road in your loaded up SUV or van can optimize your Mountain Collective Pass. Last year, my husband, Andy, and I decided to purchase the Mountain Collective Pass, and we had a blast skiing at new resorts and road tripping across parts of the United States and Canada.
Learn more if the Mountain Collective Pass is right for you with these planning and travel tips here.
We didn’t complete all the road trips listed below, but here are a few to get you started this season.
1. The Powder Highway – Lake Louise (1 day) + Sunshine Village (1 day) + Revelstoke (2 days)
It’s call the Powder Highway for a reason. Many ski resorts line Highway 1 and offer various skiing options. Tip: Add Kicking Horse into the mix.
You won’t find AirBnBs in the Banff area as there are restrictions on rental properties within the national park. Find deals within Banff at the dozen of hotels or stay outside of Banff and do more driving. We stayed in at the Grey Owl Lodge in Golden, B.C. with plans to ski Kicking Horse (not included in the Mountain Collective). A few years ago, we did stay at the Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa, which was decorated for Christmas and was all we needed.
Revelstoke is a developing ski town with affordable options if you book early. Try the Swiss Chalet Motel.
Lake Louise – $99 + Banff National Park entrance fee
Sunshine Village – $95
Kicking Horse – $99.95
Revelstoke – $95
2. The Wild, Wild West – Jackson Hole (2 days) + Snowbird (1 day) + Alta (1 day) + Sun Valley (2 days)
Start at Jackson Hole and enjoy steaks at many of the restaurants in Jackson, WY. We added one day in the Grand Teton backcountry, which had us skiing an extra day outside of using the Mountain Collective Pass. It warmed up our legs and got us ready for 5 days of resort skiing. We stayed at Anglers Inn for 2 nights, which was walking distance to town.
After the second day at Jackson Hole, drive roughly 5 hours to Salt Lake City. You can still get to bed at a decent hour and be refreshed for the next morning. Don’t forget to stretch those legs in the car if possible to avoid stiff legs the next morning.
Once in Utah, drive up the canyon valleys and spend a day at Snowbird, Alta, or one at both. Note: Alta is for skiers-only. If you’re a snowboarder, don’t worry, Snowbird is a ton of fun to spend two whole days. If you’re willing to hike or traverse, you can reach steep skiing options. There are plenty of cheap AirBnB options east of the city.
End a week-long ski trip to the sunny Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum, Idaho. Since we were getting spring conditions, we only skied one day. Sun Valley has the most groomers and makes most of its snow. We slept in the back of our Jeep with warm sleeping bags and sleeping pads at a local trailhead just outside of the quaint mountain town to save money.
Jackson Hole – $130
Snowbird – $96*
Alta – $96
Sun Valley – $113*
3. The Olympian – Whistler + Blackcomb (2 days)
Whistler-Blackcomb can be added to the Powder Highway for a long trip. However, since we live in Seattle, we enjoy renting a large cabin and inviting a handful of friends. Two of our friends, Julie and Thaddée, bring their Raclette devices. We melt cheese, add charcuterie meats, and cook potatoes. Needless to say it helps us refuel after a long day of skiing.
Whistler-Blackcomb – $139*
4. The Rocky – Aspen (1 day) + Snowmass (1 day) + Telluride (2 days)
Driving to these Colorado resorts are if you live a state or two away. It would have been a long road trip from the Pacific Northwest but a short flight with ski gear. We had made a ski trip the year before to Colorado, so we opted to focus on ones within driving distance.
Aspen – $93*
Snowmass – $93*
Telluride – $86
5. The Californian – Mammoth (2 days) + Squaw Valley (2 days)
Mammoth and Squaw are on the southern and northern borders of Yosemite National Park. Add some time to your road trip as snow can slow the driving time. Stop in Sacramento for a night or two and do a ski plus tourist road trip.
Mammoth – $97
Squaw Valley – $78
6. The International Traveler – Coronet Peak (1 day) + The Remarkables (1 day) + Thredbo (2 days)
Did I say 5 road trips? Feeling a little low on stoke because all the snow has melted? Bonus: Consider heading to another hemisphere with connecting flights to the resorts.
Coronet Peak – $99
The Remarkables – $99
Tredbo – $168
Stowe ($124) and Taos ($98) are also included in the Mountain Collective but are a little further drives to be added to the above road trips. However, depending on where you’re starting from, Taos could be added to the Colorado resorts.
Feel like flying?
Not certain if a road trip is for you? Consider flying and renting a car. If you do, make sure to rent or buy snow chains for the car’s tires (and know how to use them). Most mountain passes require chains to at least be in the car. If you’re renting a car, make sure you spend a little extra money for one with high clearance and good tires that can get you in and out of the snow-covered parking lots.
The resorts prices with an asterisk (*) haven’t listed daily passes. I added prices based on internet searches and not the resort’s website. All Canadian and international ski resorts can be assumed to be in the local currency and not in USD.
Now, it’s time to pray for snow and get planning! Optimize your driving with the red-eye road trip.