Is there anything more American than a road trip?
From Steinbeck to Kerouac, from Kuralt to Canned Heat, setting out on the open road has been an inspiration for generations of poets and writers. There’s nothing more invigorating and alluring than putting the car in gear and heading out to see what’s around the next bend.
Although most people scratch their rambling itch in the summer months, there is a subset of road warriors that prefers to rack up their mileage in the winter, motoring from ski resort to ski resort in search of the perfect turn.
Sounds like a blast, right? But there can be one huge conundrum: How does one plan out a route when there are so many options and permutations? Luckily, there’s an outfit that can help you in that regard.
Enter, the Mountain Collective
The Mountain Collective is an association of 24 premier resorts in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Each year they offer a pass that grants access for two days at each of the 24 resorts, plus 50% off any additional days PRO TIP: If you buy early, you get a third day for free at any resort of your choosing!
Here’s a list of everyone included:
- Eastern U.S.: Sugarloaf, ME
- Western U.S.: Alta & Snowbird, Utah | Snowbasin, UT | Sugar Bowl, CA | Arapahoe Basin, CO | Aspen Snowmass, CO | Sun Valley, ID | Big Sky, MT | Grand Targhee, WY | Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY | Taos, NM |
- Canada: Lake Louise, AB | Banff Sunshine Village, AB | Marmot Basin, AB | Panorama, BC | Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC | Sun Peaks, BC | Le Massif de Charlevoix, QC
- France: Chamonix Mont-Blanc
- New Zealand: Coronet Peaka | The Remarkables
- Australia: Mt. Buller | Thredbo
- Chile: Valle Nevado
- Japan: Niseko United
About that road trip thing…
When you have two days at legendary resorts clustered all around the country, it makes sense to head out for a ski road trip for the ages. Here’s a few possibilities to whet your imagination:
- Want to sample a Rocky Mountain high? Start off with a couple of days in Aspen Snowmass, then drive about 2 hours to Arapahoe Basin for a short spell. Once you’re finished in Colorado, head south to Taos (a 5-hour drive) to cap things off.
- Or maybe the Northern Rockies are your cup of joe. Mountain Collective passes are good at Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee and Big Sky, all of which can be experienced in a little more than 5 hours driving time.
- Perhaps the fabled lake-effect, uber-light snow of the Wasatch Range gets your mojo working. Neighboring resorts Alta and Snowbird — they share a common boundary — are just 75 minutes away from fellow Mountain Collect resort Snowbasin.
- Or you can opt for a really ambitious tour of the western Great White North section of Mountain Collective’s associated resorts. Start off in Sun Peaks in south central British Columbia, then head over to Revelstoke (4.5 hours away) before driving to Panorama (3.5 hours). After that pop over into Alberta for stops in Lake Louise (2 hours from Panorama) and Banff/Sunshine (40 minutes from Lake Louise).
And not only does Mountain Collective offer suggestions on where to ski and snowboard, it also has associations with lodging properties close to their resorts and can offer some pretty good deals on accommodations.
An Economical Option
Of course, these road trips can be a bit pricey, what with the cost of food and fuel. But a Mountain Collective pass won’t break the bank.
For the $570 adult pass, (it’s $460 for kids 13-18 and $155 for those 12 and under), a pass-holder gets 2 days of riding at each of the 25 associated resorts; and if one decides to stay over for an extra day or three, a pass-holder gets a 50-percent reduction in the resort’s rack-rate lift ticket price.
So, grab a Mountain Collective pass and hit the road for that endless winter.