Stunning views at Pebble Creek. (Pebble Creek/Facebook)
Savvy skiers and riders know there are great deals to be found out there to get you on the snow. Buying online ahead of time is often the easiest way to cut costs, but even if you wait until you arrive at the mountain to get your tickets, there are still affordable options at resorts across the country.
Idaho’s Pebble Creek ($45) is a vertical playground that attracts expert skiers and riders, while still offering plenty of terrain variety for all skill levels. Pebble Creek boasts, “if you can ski Pebble Creek, you can ski anywhere” along with virtually non-existent lift lines. Pebble Creek plays host to 1,100 skiable acres, 54 runs and an abundance of annual snowfall, and 53 percent of their terrain is black diamond or double-black.
Maine’s Camden Snow Bowl (Wed.-Fri $33; Sat.-Sun, holidays $43) has that friendly small-town feel, and still rivals the best mountains in Maine, with nearly 1,000 feet of vertical and more than 20 recently expanded runs. Nestled among picturesque harbors, charming inns, and award-winning restaurants, it is also the only ski area on the East Coast with ocean views.
Since 2012 Minnesota’s Afton Alps (Mon-Thurs $53; Fri.-Sun, holidays $58) has been part of the Vail Epic family, and with that came a lengthy list of improvements, including upgrading to the best snowmaking technology and terrain enhancements. Its 50 runs, 18 lifts, five chalets and acclaimed ski and ride school offers the best of amenities at an affordable price.
New Hampshire’s Pats Peak ($55 weekday; $68 weekend, holidays) has 28 well-groomed trails for all abilities, 100 percent snowmaking and some of the most challenging skiing in Southern New Hampshire. For an affordable Saturday night, check out the Pay-One-Price (POP) program. $49 per person gets guests access to skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, lesson tips, rentals, bonfires and entertainment Saturday nights 3-10p.m.
California’s Tahoe Donner ($59), a ski resort committed to being “the best place to begin,” caters to beginner skiers and snowboarders, families and small children. Tahoe Donner is known for its successful learn to ski program—one of the only in the area that starts teaching kids as young as 3 years old.