Over the last couple of years, skiing has become quite a popular wintertime activity. Millions of people all over the world have become aficionados of this thrilling sport and its popularity isn’t showing any signs of slackening any time soon.
For this reason, numerous skiing resorts have come up all over the world to accommodate this ever-rising need to ski.
Come winter, you will find numerous people in various resorts clamoring to get a piece of the skiing action. You’ll find both beginners and expert level skiers. But no matter what, everyone always seems to enjoy themselves.
But while skiing is quite an enjoyable activity, the truth is that it is at times quite expensive. So while we all desire to indulge in this lovely spot, the prices may be a little bit more than our wallets can handle.
But this shouldn’t be a cause for you to worry. There are quite a number of affordable and cheap skiing resorts out there, you just haven’t found them. Well if you’re reading this now, you are in the right place.
The USA is home to some of the world’s most luxurious and high-end ski resorts. These resorts usually require you to pump out quite a lot of cash so you can enjoy your skiing trip.
But what if we told you that there are quite cheaper alternatives that don’t put a huge dent in your wallet?
Admittedly, the USA doesn’t have as many cheap ski resorts as Europe does. But it too can hold its own and provides several cheap ski resort choices for you.
This is exactly what we will be informing you of in this article. We will give you a selection of some of our top picks for the 20 cheapest ski resorts in the USA.
So sit back, buckle up, and prepare for the ride. This will certainly be an insightful read for you.
20 Cheapest Ski Resorts in the USA
As we have undoubtedly already mentioned, there are quite a lot of luxurious ski resorts which you could go to if your finances allow it.
If, however, you are on a tight budget and need to find a ski resort that has a mix of affordability and excellent skiing atmosphere, then we have just the right picks for you in this article.
Each of our choices is quite affordable and budget-friendly. None of them will leave so much of a dent in your wallet. We have a variety so it will be up to you to pick one that best suits your needs.
So read and prepare to get enlightened!
1. Bear Mountain, California.
Don’t let the name of this ski resort scare you away! When you think of cheap skiing holidays, California may not be one of the first places that come to your mind.
The truth, however, is that you can find some reasonable rates at some of the lesser-known resorts in California.
Just near San Bernardino which is about 100 miles from the city of LA, you can find Bear Mountain.
This is part of the bigger Bear Mountain Resort which is found at Big Bear Lake. The ski terrain in this resort is spread out across four mountains.
This presents you with a lot of terrain choices, especially for intermediate skiers. 40% of the trails are suited to intermediate skiers. You can gain access to these terrains through the 12 lifts that this resort has.
The resort also offers night skiing and the trails are lighted on weekends and holidays for this purpose. It also has a terrain park that is simply breathtaking, to say the least.
The prices are pretty affordable too. Weekday lift tickets are about $ 80 and can be discounted by 20% if you buy 3 days in advance.
There are no on-property inns, but you can find some nearby. So try this resort out and experience it for yourself.
2. Sugar Mountain, North Carolina.
The name of this resort just explains the views; sweet! Sugar Mountain is one of the most popular and largest skiing resorts in North Carolina.
It is found in the towering Blue Ridge Mountains and this location makes it a popular destination for quite a lot of people. The elevation is 4,100 feet at the base and the summit elevation is 5,300 feet.
It has an impressive 125 skiable acres, suited for all skiing skill levels. Snow makes up 100% of the terrain and the resort uses grooming to take advantage of this much snow. So in this resort, you are assured of a good time.
Half of the resort’s terrain is intermediate. The remaining half is equally split between beginner and advanced skiing.
Night skiing is also possible since the mountain is lighted for night skiing. Other winter activities like snowshoeing and ice-skating are also on offer in this resort.
The resort is affordable. The weekday lift tickets are on offer at about $ 45. This means that it’s also a good choice for you.
3. Red Lodge, Montana.
Red Lodge is one of the calmest and serene places in the USA. It has stunning views and offers nothing short of the best skiing experience you could ever hope for. It boasts of uncrowded lifts and trails.
These trails cover an impressive 1,635 acres of land. The resort has 70 runs which are divided into beginner (19%), intermediate (25%), advanced (36%), and expert (20%).
In this resort, a daily lift ticket goes for $69 ($79 in peak season and $84 on holidays). With online advanced ticketing, you can cut this price by about half.
The town has a charming combination of the Old West and the 21st Century. Red Lodge is quite a thrilling ski resort so try it out and see the result for yourself.
4. Brighton, Utah.
This is one of several ski resorts that are found in Salt Lake City. This particular resort is located about 35 miles from Salt Lake City’s airport, making it easily accessible.
It is widely known and famous for its amazing snow and also for the high-speed quads that access its whole terrain.
For most skiers that frequent Utah, Brighton is still under the radar and is an undiscovered gem. It is especially great for families that are looking for an affordable skiing vacation.
It has 66 runs that are covered in over 500 inches of snow. It has about 1000 acres of skiable terrain.
Brighton has proper grooming for all its terrains giving it a perfect skiing experience. Access to the ski resort is excellent. Utah Transit Authority ski buses can travel to the mountain.
In terms of prices, Brighton is quite affordable. A ski pass in Brighton is about $75 for adults, making it a great choice for you if you are on a budget. So try it out.
5. Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho.
This ski resort is the largest in both Idaho and Washington. It is popular for its excellent views and flawless skiing terrains.
You might not know this but for the fact that it is so large, most people mistake it for an expensive ski resort and therefore forego the opportunity of enjoying the wintertime here.
It has over 2900 acres of ski terrains. Trees line these terrains making for stunning views when you are skiing.
There are 95 trails in total and behind these are 200 miles of backcountry that stretches across Idaho and into Washington. With this in mind, you can only imagine the breathtaking scenery on offer here.
This resort receives more than 300 inches of annual snow keeping the terrains well covered for skiing as well as other snowing activities like snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
The resort is quite affordable, with a lift ticket averaging $80 for a whole day. So this makes for a cheap and amazing skiing resort, Why not try it out and see for yourself.
6. Bridger Bowl, Montana.
Perhaps one overlooked reality is that Montana is home to quite a lot of cheap skiing options, without sacrificing breathtaking views and perfect skiing snow.
This ski resort is widely known for the perfect snow that covers 2,000 acres which consist of skiable terrain. The ski resort usually sees about 350 inches of snow in a year.
Bridger Bowl is rarely ever crowded and is somewhat of a hidden gem in Montana. In this resort, you never have to worry so much about waiting for lifts.
It has some amazing views, with the terrains being covered in trees that add to the beauty of the resort whenever one is skiing.
In addition to all this, it is quite affordable. The daily lift tickets sell at $63 and this makes it an excellent choice for you. So why don’t you try it out and see for yourself just how much of a stunning resort it is?
7. Cranmore Mountain, New Hampshire.
When we talk about Cranmore Mountain, what comes to mind is that it is the birthplace of sport skiing in the East.
Its slopes overlook the town of North Conway, which has been named as the number 1 ski town in the USA.
This town and mountain give off a calm and laid back vibe that appeals to a lot of skiers who come from all over. It has stunning views and offers an amazing skiing experience for everyone.
One thing worth mentioning is that the mountain doesn’t look formidable for skiers and has excellent beginner and intermediate terrains on its 57 trails.
The truth, however, is that it does have plenty of challenges for expert skiers.
For a skiing holiday here, you need not break the bank. It is quite cheap and this makes it an excellent choice for you.
The lift rates go for $89 with steep discounts for advance online purchases. So try it out and experience the fun at an affordable rate for yourself.
8. Solitude, Utah.
Aptly named, this ski resort is found near the end of the long Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah.
It is loved by quite a lot of skiers, both local and visitors who are bent on avoiding most of Utah’s other overcrowded ski resorts. It has amazing scenery that is both inviting and illuminating, to say the least.
Solitude has 77 runs that are covered in perfect snow. These trails are excellent for skiing.
They are also lined with alpine trees that serve to bring out the beauty of the resorts’ environs. The runs cover over 1200 acres of land and are served by 8 chairlifts.
The resort receives about 500 inches of snow annually which guarantees legendary feather-light snow, perfect for skiing. There are lodging areas on this resort making it perfect for families on holidays.
The terrain is heavy in beginner and intermediate runs. Experts aren’t left out. They can get plenty of challenge in the Honeycomb Canyon powder.
The ski resort is affordable too. At $77 for a day, it is a great choice for you if you are on a budget.
9. Whitefish Mountain, Montana.
This ski resort is located in The Big Mountain in northwestern Montana. It is found to the west of Glacier National Park in the Flathead National Forest.
With these beautiful sceneries surrounding the resort, one cannot help but wonder at how breathtaking skiing in this area would be. Surprisingly though, it is under the radar of most skiers.
The ski resort offers you access to over 3000 acres of snow-covered terrain that is perfect for skiing and which rivals most other resorts.
It has 94 runs that are lined with snow-topped alpine trees that create beautiful scenery when skiing.
Half of these runs are graded for advanced skiers and boarders, a third for intermediate skiers, and the rest for beginners.
There is plenty of on-mountain lodging and the resort is easily accessible. The prices are quite affordable making it an excellent choice for people on a budget.
The daily lift tickets cost $83 for a day. So why don’t you try it out and experience the beautiful scenery when you are skiing.
10. Ski Cooper, Colorado.
This is one of the oldest ski mountains in the USA. Some of its first trails were cut in the 1940s and up to now, they have been maintained and even more, trails added.
This ski resort offers amazing sceneries and breathtaking views that are appropriate for skiing.
The trails are cut all over the mountain making this resort perfect for advanced skiers. There are also trail options for intermediate and beginner skiers.
The area experiences an annual snowfall of about 260 inches which is perfect for skiing as well as other snowing activities.
It has a base elevation of 10,500 feet and also has soft and all-natural snow across its 400 lift-served acres.
In this ski resort, you experience skiing the way it used to be. There are few crowds and the prices are mind-bogglingly cheap. At $62 for a daily lift ticket, it is a good choice if you are on a budget.
11. Magic Mountain, Idaho.
This may not be the biggest mountain to ski in the west, but it sure as hell has some of the most amazing sceneries you could ever hope for.
It has a base elevation of 6,500 feet which overlooks sweeping ranges of snow-covered trees that are just breathtaking, to say the least.
It has 11 trails that begin at the base of the mountain. The annual snowfall in the area is about 230 inches which are just perfect for skiing as well as for other winter activities.
This ski resort is particularly good for expert skiers with 4 of the trails being designated for them. These expert trails are punctuated with steep pitches and tight turns.
What’s even better is that it is quite cheap. At $36 for an adult a day, it is affordable and therefore an awesome choice if you are low on cash.
12. Silverton Mountain, Colorado.
We should mention right off the bat that Silverton isn’t for everyone, not even for all skiers. It is especially recommended only for expert skiers and is well known as a training ground for the Olympics.
Experts that are looking for an affordable but perfect skiing experience should consider this ski resort.
It receives about 400 inches of snow each year, which is quite a lot. This makes it perfect for expert skiers to practice.
It boasts of a double chairlift that carries skiers to the top of the mountain from where they can hike and find pristine back-country terrain that is perfect for skiing.
There are lodges within the resort as well as transport services to and from the base of the runs.
The lift price is at $84 which comes with full avalanche gear (we told you this wasn’t for just anybody). This is quite affordable.
13. Camelback Mountain, Pennsylvania.
This is a good ski resort for families. It is located in the Poconos, which is easy to reach from New York and Philadelphia. Camelback Mountain Resort has over 30 trails for beginners and intermediate skiers.
It has perfect trails for children and other inexperienced skiers to train in. It has stunning views and a lot of open space that allows you to take in all the scenery.
There is a play center for children, and also a full range of learning options to train new skiers. There are also a wide variety of other family activities like zip-lining, snow tubing, snowboarding, among others.
And what’s better is that it is quite affordable. The adult lift tickets are $72 a day. This means that it is a perfect choice for anyone on a budget.
14. Mount Bachelor, Oregon.
This is one of the most popular ski resorts in Oregon and rightly so. It has some of the most stunning views and amazing sceneries that are enticing to quite a lot of skiers.
Mount Bachelor has close to 3700 acres of terrain that can be accessed by lift. From the top of this mountain, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Cascades.
On a clear day, you can see multiple sceneries like Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount Thielsen all in Washington State.
The average annual snowfall in Mount Bachelor is about 400 inches with a vertical drop of 3365 feet. This is perfect for skiing.
It is the largest ski area in the Pacific Northwest and also the 2nd largest single-mountain ski resort in America.
It has great ski and lodging deals. It is quite affordable. The lift tickets are $96 a day which makes it a good choice for you if you are low on cash.
15. Sipapu, New Mexico.
This ski resort is located only 20 miles from Taos. It is one of the most popular family ski resorts in the USA.
The resort has been family-owned since the 1950s making it all about family. It has catered for generations of kids and their parents and has produced a lot of skilled skiers.
It has amazing sceneries, with the regular sunlight freeing itself up to illuminate the scene before dipping back out of sight.
It has a wide assortment of trees that cover the whole grounds, adding to the beauty and the mystique of the place.
The natural terrain of the mountain has a lot to offer for all skill levels. It has 41 trails. One-fifth of these trails are for beginners, two-fifths for intermediaries, one-fourth for advanced skiers, and the rest for experts. In addition to this, it has three terrain parks.
It is quite affordable. The adult ticket price is $55 for the whole day. It is therefore a good choice.
16. Bridger Bowl, Montana.
This is a condo free and nonprofit skiing area that is also another great option in Montana. It has one of the most serene environments with absolutely stunning sceneries that are perfect for skiing.
It offers an amazing blend between beauty and a whole lot of space that is ideal for several other activities, apart from skiing.
It receives an average of about 350 inches of snow annually which is pretty good for skiing. It boasts of over 2000 acres of skiable terrain.
Backcountry-style terrain is also available for hardcore expert skiers. It is 80 miles north of Yellowstone National Park which is particularly breathtaking during the winter.
It is affordable. At $63 a day for adults, it’s cheap and ideal for anyone on a budget. So why not try it out and see for yourself.
17. Snowbird, Utah.
This ski resort has often been ranked as one of the very best resorts in the USA for families. It is located 30 minutes away from Salt Lake City. It has amazing terrains for all skill levels.
The snow in this resort is abundant and frequent and is amazing for skiing. The resort receives an average of 40 feet annually. It has some of the best expert terrains that are serviced by tram.
Families too can enjoy skiing on some of the resort’s tamer terrains found on the base. It is quite affordable. At $40 a day for adults, it is a good pick if you are low on cash.
18. Wilmot Valley, Wisconsin.
This ski resort is close to Chicago and Milwaukee. It has an impressive 120 skiable acres with over 23 trails that are perfect for skiers.
It also has a progression terrain park and a beginner area for new skiers. It has been acquired by Vail Resorts and a lot of improvements are underway to make it one of the best ski resorts in the USA.
It’s affordable, with tickets at $60, meaning it’s an amazing choice for you.
19. Mad River Glen, Vermont.
It is located in Fayston, Vermont. It is good for skiers on the east coast who would like to avoid snowboarders.
It has challenging trails with a vertical drop of 2000 feet. It receives about 250 inches of snow yearly. It has few crowds and a serene-vibe.
It is affordable with ticket prices at $80, making it a nice choice for you.
20. Eldora Mountain, Colorado.
This is an amazing ski resort. It has 680 acres of skiable terrain. A majority of the terrains are for intermediate and expert skiers.
It also offers cross-country skiing. It, too, is affordable. Ticket prices are $82 making it a good choice.
All in all, these are excellent ski resort choices that are both cheap and offer an amazing skiing experience. So try any one of them out and experience the thrill for yourself firsthand!