Paid partnership with
There’s a wide world of fluffy white stuff out there just waiting for you. To plot your next mountain adventure, all you need is an Ikon Pass, a bag of enthusiasm and this guide to the ski resort scenes you can’t miss this year.
To help you plan your best winter yet, we’ve whittled down 50 Ikon Pass destinations to just five (but because you’re not limited to just one place with an Ikon Pass, we’ve included bonus alternative choices, too). Foodies, families, fanatics and everyone in between – find your perfect ski scene below.
Best for foodies: Steamboat, Colorado
Steamboat, a ski resort where the Wild West meets modern Colorado, is worth the long journey from Denver. You’ll see Stetson-clad cowboys on Main Street drinking the latest craft beer, and adventure hounds settling in for healthy five-course tasting menus. Mountain Tap Brewery was one of the first on the scene here in 2016, while Yampa Valley Kitchen and Sauvage are two notable additions. But no foodie destination would be complete without fermented tea, so swing by Drink Kombucha for eight rotating flavors on tap and plenty of pickled snacks. Back at the resort is Timber & Torch, a top après spot with a permanent stage out front for music. Bag yourself a table outside after a day on the slopes to enjoy excellent people watching and to catch a live show.
If you’re planning to fit the trip into five days, buy the less expensive Ikon Base Pass. Otherwise, enjoy unlimited access and no blackout dates at Steamboat with the full Ikon Pass.
Bonus choice: Visit Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, for French-influenced dishes and microbreweries.
Best for lots of terrain: Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is big, bold and beautiful – on every level. With ski slopes across four mountains (Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass) and a glitzy town at its base, this destination caters for everyone, from first timers to old hands. Clock up the miles in Highlands Bowl on Aspen Highlands, and chase epic fresh powder in Hanging Valley and Powerline Glades on Snowmass, before heading to the top of the Cirque, also on Snowmass. At 12,510ft (3,813m), it’s as high as you can go in any Ikon Pass destination, and the run back down Cirque Headwall is perfection.
With 5,517 acres (2,233ha) of terrain you’ll want as much time in Aspen as possible, so choose the Ikon Pass.
Bonus choice: Visit Big Sky, Montana, to tackle up to 323 trails over 5,850 acres (2,370ha).
Best for families: Stratton, Vermont
A slice of New England charm, Stratton is the best Ikon Pass option for families of all ages. Why? Its East Coast location is at a lower altitude than many other North American resorts, so you’ll avoid any altitude-related nausea. The little ones are well catered for at the Stratton Mountain Sports School, while older kids (and adults) can nail their skills at the specialty workshops and camps. Off the slopes, there’s the Coca-Cola Tube Park, an ice rink and regular nights out for kids, with marshmallow toasting over campfires, cookie decorating and holiday bingo.
Pick the Ikon Base Pass for unlimited Stratton access and only 10 blackout dates. The Ikon Pass has a Buy Now, Ride Now benefit for immediate spring ski access to Stratton.
Bonus choice: Winter Park, Colorado, is another firm family favorite, thanks to a great ski school and easy access from Denver.
Best for wellness: Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Refined, luxurious and serene, Deer Valley is the obvious choice for a spot of wellbeing in the mountains. Nothing is too much trouble at this uncrowded resort, where the pistes are immaculately groomed and access to the slopes is limited to a small number of skiers (snowboarders, sadly, aren’t allowed). The mainly lodge-style accommodation is of an equally high standard, and the resort offers extra escapism with old-fashioned sleigh rides and hot-air ballooning plus several spas, which all together make for a thoroughly relaxing experience.
For the price difference of just over $100, upgrade from the Ikon Base Plus Pass to the Ikon Pass for seven full days at Deer Valley and unlimited skiing at 14 destinations.
Bonus choice: Visit SkiBig3, Canada, on the edge of the unspoiled wilderness in Banff National Park, a sublime spot to recharge.
Best for intrepid skiers and snowboarders: Chamonix, France
If there was ever a resort deserving of the Ikon name, it’s Chamonix in France. The newest international addition to the Ikon Pass school of resorts, this spot on Mont Blanc is legendary, world-class and much feted. Why? Because it has some of the greatest off-piste terrains in the world among the glaciers, couloirs and cliffs. Many of the greatest skiers and snowboarders on the planet call it home.
Choose between an Ikon Base Pass for five days of access or an Ikon Pass for seven days, and explore all the valley, from Le Tour and Grands Montets to Les Houches.
Bonus choice: Try Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is top notch for skiers and snowboarders hankering for adventure.
The 22/23 Ikon Pass is on sale now, with new pass options from $249 USD. To purchase your pass this spring and make the most of prices and promotions, such as the child pass savings and pass holder renewal discounts, visit ikonpass.com
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.