It’s wintertime and the skiing is easy, except for on your wallet. Lift tickets, gear rental, dining, and post-skiing imbibing (perhaps the best part) don’t come cheap. Fortunately there are plenty of affordable places to get your ski on without breaking the bank.
[Lead Photo: Deanna Kersey]
Blue Hills Ski Area
With 16 trails and four lifts, Blue Hills Ski Area, a popular spot located 30 minutes south of Boston in Canton, Mass. runs on the smaller side, but then again, so do the prices. All-day snow-pass rates start at $40 for midweek and $45 for weekends and holidays. Unlimited season passes start at $349, senior passes $169, college students $189 and evening passes for $169. Season “Puppy Passes” are available for kids ages 4 through 6 and start at $219. bluehillsboston.com
Newly acquired by Ski Butternut, Ski Blandford (formerly Blandford Ski Area) in Massachusetts is offering great deals on both lift tickets and season passes. Currently, unlimited adult season passes can be purchased for $199 (while supplies last); juniors (7 to 13 and college students) $169; kids and seniors for $79. Nifty night-skiing season passes (while supplies last) are $129 for adults; $69 for kids and seniors). Daily lift tickets are $20 for weekdays and $45 for weekends. Ski Blandford offers 29 trails and four lifts. skiblandford.com
Mohawk Mountain, located right here at home (no commute required) in Cornwall, offers eight lifts, 25 trails and more than 112 ski-able acres. Great deals can be had on midweek skiing with lift tickets going for only $30 for adults and $10 for seniors 70 and older. Mohawk also offers night skiing (Monday through Saturday) with lift tickets priced at $27 after 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday nights are “College Nights,” when students (with valid college ID) can ski or snowboard from 4 p.m.
Black Mountain of Maine
Fill up the gas tank and settle in for a long road trip. Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford is a haul, but the payoff is worth it. Boasting the third highest ski and snowboarding terrain in Maine, Black Mountain offers more than 50 trails and glades along with other amenities like night skiing and a tubing park. Open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, day passes go for a cool $45 on weekends and are $25 every Friday (excluding vacation and holiday weeks). Season passes are free for seniors 75 and over, as well as for kids 5 and under. skiblackmountain.org
Located in northern Vermont between Burlington and Montpelier, Bolton Valley is known for being family-friendly and one of the state’s best values when it comes to skiing. Depending on the month and day, lift tickets start at just $22 and lift ticket plus rental starting at $57.99. Lift tickets for night skiing (4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday) tickets run $25. On select Mondays, All Access Lift Tickets, which include seven hours of skiing along with access to Nordic and backcountry skiing, are only $25, and college students ski for $25 starting at noon on Wednesdays. boltonvalley.com
Established in 1955, Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, N.H., has opened and closed more than once. In 2013, however, supporters founded the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the vintage ski area. A straight shot up I-91 N from Connecticut, Whaleback offers affordable lift tickets at only $45 for a full weekend or holiday day, and $30 for midweek. If you’re only looking to get in a couple hours’ worth, lift tickets are $20 for the last two hours of the day (any day) and on Sunday mornings until 10:30 a.m. Whaleback also offers partner mountain prices with discounts for Killington and Ragged Mountain pass holders. whaleback.com.