Purchase a Nordic Ski Season Pass and Go Skiing!
This may be the best year to purchase a season pass to cross country ski at a nearby ski area. Such ski areas maintain and improve their trails. Why do ski areas need to charge for skiing? Because they staff an operation, groom the trails, use fuel to groom, and keep buildings warm, maintain the upkeep of their facilities, and so on.
For the cross country skier, if you have a season pass, it is less costly for trail access for each additional time that you go to the area. If the daily trail pass is $20 and you purchase a season pass for $100, then going 10 times for the whole winter gives you access to groomed trails at $10 per outing. Go 20 times and it is $5 per outing.
You can get a season pass online so you do not even need to go to the ski area to get it. With regard to the pandemic, you can drive to the ski area, get out of your vehicle, put on your boots and skis, and go jump on the trails for a ski. No need to even go to the lodge which allows you to avoid crowds of other skiers.
Factors in selecting which ski area to buy a season pass among different ski areas might include where you like to ski or the kind of trails you prefer to ski. For example, some ski areas have easier or more difficult terrain or some have a higher quality of grooming (or they groom more often). Some ski areas have wider trails and some have more protected or open terrain. If you take your kids or a dog when you ski, some ski areas are easier for young people to ski and some allow dogs on their trails.
Your ski area selection may depend upon the price of the season pass or how convenient it is to drive to the ski area. Perhaps there are extra benefits that are included with the season pass such as discounts at the ski shop (retail), clinics, lessons, or programs; guest passes; reciprocal skiing at other ski areas; and so on.
One of the things that is often true is that the earlier you purchase the season pass in the year, the lower the price. Many ski areas offer a season pass near the end of the ski year so a pass purchased in March includes skiing in March and April, and the entire next ski season
Research of season pass prices for 2021 at about two dozen ski areas showed different rates among the regions and individual ski areas. In general, the adult passes ranged between $100 and $300 per year and the family of four price ranges from $150 to $570. Season passes for seniors run from $75 to $200 per year. Again, be aware of end-of-the-season rates in March versus higher pre-season rates in the fall. There are various special offers such as midweek passes at Methow Trails in WA for $199 or 10 visit punch cards in Colorado that are $50 less than the unlimited season pass. Crystal Lake Ski Center in PA offers an individual season pass for $120 with an $80 fee for each additional family member. The lowest-priced season pass found among the researched areas was at the Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, MI where it cost $38 for an individual and $70 for a family.
Go online and look for the season pass offers at a cross country ski area near you. If you get a season pass, perhaps you’ll be motivated to go XC skiing more often and that’s the best benefit to season passes overall!