The Epic Pass is a multi ski resort season pass program offered by Vail Resorts, which operates 37 ski resorts across the United States, Canada and Australia. In addition to providing access to their own resorts, the Epic Pass program has partnered with other resorts to broaden the ski resort access the Epic Passes provide.
More than 20 different types of Epic Passes are available to purchase for the 2020-21 ski season. Each pass provides a unique combination of ski resort access and benefits, not to mention use restrictions. This season, each pass includes the Epic Coverage – insurance for pass holders who can’t use the pass due to certain personal events, including resort closure due to COVID-19.
The Epic Pass Program includes more than 20 different types of passes. Choosing the right pass for you will depend on your personal circumstances. To help you decide, we have bucketed the passes into three groups based on broad access, regional coverage and specialty passes.
The broad coverage passes (the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass and Epic Day Pass) provide access to the widest range of ski resorts, including international resorts. Travelling might be more challenging than usual this season. But if you prefer flexibility and hope to ski different resorts, these are the passes you’ll want to consider. These passes also provide the most flexibility in terms of restrictions.
The second group are the region-specific passes, which are valid at select Vail Resorts. Typically these passes have blackout date restrictions but they often provide pass holder discounts during those dates, such as half-price tickets and advanced lift ticket pricing.
The Epic Pass provides the broadest access with the least amount of restrictions. You get unrestricted access to all 37 Vail Resorts, no blackout dates, and access to partner resorts in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. This is also the most expensive Epic Pass option, but for avid and well-travelled skiers, the cost is worth the benefits.
The Epic Pass pricing is split into two groups: Adult (ages 13 and up), and Child (ages 5 to 12). If you have teenagers, you might want to explore passes that have a teen price.
For more information, including a full list of participating resorts and a coverage map, see our Epic Pass review.
The Epic Local Pass provides less coverage compared to the Epic Pass. It includes unlimited and unrestricted access to 26 Vail Resorts across the U.S., as well as to partner resorts in Japan (though not Canada, Europe, or Australia). It also features discounts, such as half-price tickets for certain resorts.
The Local Pass is more affordable than the Epic Pass, but this pass also offers the Teen pricing group, which could provide significant savings for families with teenagers.
Epic Day Passes can be purchased for validity periods spanning 1 to 7 days. You have to option and can choose to purchase Day Passes with or without holiday restricted dates. All Day Passes provide access to 34 Vail Resorts in the U.S. The 4, 5, 6 and 7 Day Passes include access to partner resorts in the U.S. and Canada.
The Day Pass is a great option for those who plan to ski periodically during the season at bigger ski resorts; such as Vail and Beaver Creek. However, the Epic Day Pass might be more expensive than the actual resort daily lift ticket price at some smaller resorts, so it is worth researching day rates at your chosen ski resort before investing in a Day Pass.
The Epic Day pass doesn’t offer Teen pricing. If you have someone between the ages of 13 and 18, consider the Epic Local Pass or regional and specialty passes that offer Teen pricing.
Regional passes are great for those who live near a Vail Resort and are planning to ski or ride multiple days during the season. A few regional passes provide additional discounts, such as half-price tickets or advanced lift ticket rates, to other major Epic Pass resorts in North America. If you are planning to also travel beyond your local ski resort, these passes can provide additional savings.
We see roughly three groups of regional passes. The first group, structured to provide a broader regional coverage across the Northeast, Lake Tahoe and parts of the Midwest. These passes are best suited for those who intend to ski or ride the entire season in one of these regions.
The second group offers unlimited,sometimes with holiday blackout dates, to one or a select few ski resorts. Additionally, these passes include half-price and advanced lift ticket rates to a few larger resorts, such as Breckenridge, Heavenly and Keystone. If you are planning a ski trip beyond your local resort, these passes provide flexibility and potential savings.
The last group offers unlimited access to one resort, with most of the resorts being in the Midwest. If your local slopes are included in this group, and you don’t plan to visit any other resorts during the season, definitely consider these passes.
Epic offers a variety of pass options for members of the military and their immediate family.
Some Epic Passes offer a pricing tier for college students. You will need to provide proof that you are a student.
A few of the Epic Regional Passes offer special pricing for skiers over the ages of 62 or 65, depending on the pass.
Benefits are only valid at Vail Resorts, not partner resorts.
For the 2020/21 season, all Epic Passes include Epic Coverage, which ensures refunds in the event of illness, job loss and resort closure due to resort closures, such as due to COVID-19. See details here.
Discounts take effect on October 1, 2020.
See details here.
This allows you to exchange a lift ticket purchased during the 2019/20 season at Vail owned and operated Resorts in North America for up to $150 off the 2020/21 Epic Season Pass. See details here.
Certain Epic Passes include a finite number of SWAF and Buddy Tickets for the 2020/21 season, with up to 40% off. See details here.
Children ages 4 and under are eligible for a free Epic Pass.
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