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Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Find Cheap Lift Tickets This Winter | Ski and Snowboard Tips

Hitting the mountain on your skis or snowboard doesn’t have to break the bank.
At least it doesn’t have to be as expensive as many of us make it. With a little luck and know how you can greatly reduce the price of skiing and snowboarding this winter. All by simply looking for cheap lift tickets before you pull your snowboard off its snowboard rack, load it up into the back of your rig, and head out for a day of (hopefully) freshly powdered adventure.

photo: Nicole McCabe,

Below are 5 ways to score cheap lift tickets without a whole lot of huffing and puffing:

1. Start Early - The absolute best way to score cheap lift tickets is to stop by your local shop before the season actually opens up. Stores like REI and Costco also routinely offer discounted lift tickets before the chairlifts start moving.

2. Look Online - Fortunately for those that didn’t start their search early, there are a number of different websites on the Internet that offer outstanding deals on lift tickets. A few of my favorites include and Start with these and see what pops up. Much of the time you can find deals that are up to 50% off. You can search by local area/ski resort but some of the best deals require a bit of travel. If you were already thinking about a family vacation anyways, then you’re all set to go!

3. Use Shell Fuel - If you live in California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, or Washington, then you might just live in the vicinity of one of several participating Shell Service Stations that offer free lift tickets. Fill your rig up with 10 gallons or more of Shell fuel for a free BOGO voucher, redeemable for one free day of skiing or snowboarding at your local ski area.

4. Shred the Backcountry - Tired of dishing out wads of cash for lift tickets (even if they are discounted)? Tired of standing in long lines for chairlifts? Then why not try backcountry skiing or snowboarding? Though you will need to take an avalanche safety course, carry the proper safety gear (avalanche beacon, avalanche probe, avalanche shovel), and check the current conditions and advisories, backcountry skiing and snowboarding is one of the best ways to save money while shredding as much as possible. In fact, backcountry riding is more popular than ever before. If you’re new to it, you’re sure to find an experienced and intelligent group to try it out with and learn the ropes from.

5. Save on Other Expenses - Let’s face it: sometimes you just can’t find discounted lift tickets. This is especially true if you’re looking at the last minute. Fortunately, it is easy to save a little bit of cash with some smart pre-trip planning. Pack your own lunch (food prices at most lodges are outrageous!), use an app like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas in your area, and hit the closest resort within driving distance. These little things might not sound like huge savings, but when they are all added together, they can definitely make a dent.


A trip to the mountain doesn’t have to be expensive. With the 5 tips discussed above you can cut down on the price of a lift ticket and make your next winter outing much more manageable.

How do you save money on skiing and snowboarding during the winter? Any awesome tips for finding cheap lift tickets that we left off this list? Let us know - we’d love to hear from you.