The flurries are flying, and it’s time to hit the slopes.
Many people think skiing is expensive, but savvy slope riders can find plenty of ways to save on their favorite winter sport.
If you’re a senior, it’s even easier: Just show your ID.
Seniors ski for free at 98 different ski resorts, according to the Huffington Post. Many other resorts also offer deep discounts to skiers over 65.
Plenty of seniors hit the slopes each year. Japanese skiing pioneer Keizo Mura was even skiing at the age of 100!
Before you hit the slopes, check whether you could ski for free this year.
When Can You Ski for Free?
Every resort has different rules, but many allow free skiing starting at the age of 70.
Some resorts — such as Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire and Cataloochee Ski Area in North Carolina — offer a jump start, letting you ski for free once you turn 65.
However, a handful of other resorts make you wait until you’re 90 years old to ski for free, though they’ll offer discounts before that birthday. Resorts with this higher age requirement include Alta Sierra Ski Resort in California and Welch Village Ski Area in Minnesota, according to the Huffington Post.
Where to Enjoy Free Skiing
These resorts offer some of the best prices for senior lift tickets (free!), as well as other deals.
Be sure to check with resorts to make sure the offer is still valid, as well as whether there are any special requirements to get your free ticket.
- At Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire, local seniors 65 or older ski free Monday through Friday. Seniors also save big on multi-day lift tickets on the weekends. A two-day lift ticket for seniors costs $91, compared to $135.
- North Carolina’s Cataloochee Ski Area lets seniors 65 and older ski for free any time. The resort offers 50 acres of slopes and has a 740-foot vertical drop.
- Arizona Snow Bowl lets seniors over 70 ski for free any time. Seniors 65-69 pay only $39 for a one-day lift ticket — almost half off an adult pass ($69). This Flagstaff-area resort boasts 260 inches of the fluffy white stuff each year.
- At California’s June Mountain, seniors over 80 ski for free. Seniors 65-79 also save big on lift tickets, paying only $52 for an all-day lift ticket. The 1,500 acre resort receives an average of 250 inches of snow a year and 70% of its days are sunny, according to the resort.
- “Ski the Cold Smoke” at Montana’s Bridger Bowl just outside of Bozeman, Montana. This resort lets “super seniors” 80 and older ski for free. Seniors 70-79 get half price lift tickets — only $27. To get a “super senior” season pass, there’s a $10 processing fee. But, you’ll get a season of access to 2,000 skiable acres. The longest of the resort’s more than 75 runs is three miles long, so you won’t get bored.
- Saddleback Mountain in western Maine lets skiers 80 and over ski for free. The 220-acre resort has 66 trails and glades ranging from easy to double black diamond runs, as well as a variety of terrain parks.
- Michigan’s Boyne Mountain lets skiers over 80 ski for free any time during the season. Tickets can be used at Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands, so you’ll have two mountains and 115 runs to enjoy.
Where Else Can You Ski for Free?
For the complete list of 98 resorts where seniors ski for free, register for free at SeniorsSkiing.com and you’ll get a PDF via email.
You can also check out last year’s list of free skiing options.
Before you book your trip, though, be sure to check with each resort to make sure the free skiing deal is still running and confirm the details.
Other Senior Discounts
Even if your favorite resort doesn’t offer free lift tickets or season passes, many still offer deep discounts to seniors — and different definitions of when the term “senior” applies.
Be sure to ask your local resort if they have any special deals for those past a certain birthday, whether that’s 55 or 65 or older, as well as any other locals-only specials.
Your Turn: Have you ever taken advantage of a senior discount to ski for free?
Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.