12 Essential Rules To A Ski Bum Road Trip

12 Essential Rules To A Ski Bum Road Trip


12 Essential Rules To A Ski Bum Road Trip


You ever just want to become a ski bum, road tripping across the west going wherever the powder blows and the wind takes you? Sleeping at roadside rest stops and Walmart parking lots in a search for freedom. How about a weeklong trip to satisfy that urge? Well, get to planning using these tips!

1: Pick up an Indy Pass

With 63 different independent ski resorts this year and more being added today, the Indy Pass is the perfect pass for a ski road trip. Whether you’re in New England or Idaho, you’ve got plenty of fantastic areas to explore and enjoy. EXPLORE OPTIONS HERE.

2: Make a Plan

It should go without saying that week+ trips should be planned, but hey, a rule’s a rule. Plan out where you’ll go, where you’ll sleep, where you’ll eat, etc. It will make your trip so much easier.  

If you plan your campsites ahead of time, you can spend a few extra minutes sleeping in to watch the sunrise.

3: Don’t Stick to the plan

It’s your trip, so if you see something that looks fun, stop and see! Those unplanned stops can end up being a highlight of your trip.

Unplanned drive up Independence Pass

4: Stock up on (healthy) Snacks

We would all love to eat only Oreo’s and Twizzlers all week (or at least I would) but your bowels may not be the happiest with you. My go to is usually some breakfast cereal (Malt o meal Golden Puffs) and some sort of nuts or seeds which usually keeps my stomach and colon happy. 

A healthy meal of pretzels and beer

5: Explore the towns you visit

While the focus of your trip may be skiing, it’s also fun to walk around the mountain towns and seeing all the local businesses. I love to visit small coffee shops, thrift stores, and breweries and getting to know the places I visit more intimately.

A small coffee shop in a mountain town. They had a fantastic Cafe Florentine

6: Safety

This should go without saying, but be safe while driving and skiing. Don’t Apres too hard before driving through the night to your next destination.

Sometimes the weather can get… interesting while driving


7: Avoid Kansas

Out of all the states to drive across, Kansas is by far the worst. You would think it would be about as bad as Nebraska, but trust me, it’s worse. It takes hours to drive through this pancake-flat state and your reward is driving through another 3 hours of boring eastern Colorado.

See how boring Kansas is? And this is the view from their highest point!

8: Don’t exhaust yourself

You may want to ski from open to close, but doing that for days on end will really take it out of you. Take some slow mornings, maybe leave early some days. Just don’t put it all on the slopes so you can’t enjoy anything else.

Make sure to rest sometimes, and what better bench than your tailgate!


9: Okay, maybe exhaust yourself some days

If there’s a powder day, sleep in the lot there and get first chair. You’ll have a great story to tell for years on end after that.

Insane amounts of powder in Montana

10: Don’t smell yourself

You WILL smell bad. Going multiple days of skiing and driving non-stop without a shower will do that. Accept your BO and own it.

If you pack your truck tight enough, the smell can’t get out. That’s a fact.

11: Take a lot of pictures

You’ll want to show off your adventures to others, especially on the gram. Snap the mountaintop views, crazy jerry’s, and steep moguls that you just bombed. You’ll regret not taking pictures more than you’d regret taking too many.

Mountaintop view in Montana

12: When you finish, get some sleep.

There’s nothing better after a long trip than taking a shower and sleeping for 12 hours. You can tell stories the next day, but for now, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

The tallest peak in CO from my campsite

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