Five Resorts That Preserve The Soul Of Skiing

Five Resorts That Preserve The Soul Of Skiing


Five Resorts That Preserve The Soul Of Skiing


^Featured & Header Image Courtesy Magic Mountain

Skiing and snowboarding can feel a little too corporate these days.

Other mega-passes are a good deal on paper, but dealing with excessive crowds, long lift lines, and parking fees rub a lot of people the wrong way, and I don’t blame them. It’s simply not an enjoyable experience.

Thankfully, there’s an alternative- The Indy Pass.

The 100+ ski areas that make up The Indy Pass strive to preserve the ‘soul of skiing’. I could explain how every single one works towards that goal, but let’s be honest, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

To save time, let’s take a look at five Indy Pass resorts that value the skier experience above all else.

*NOTE- The Indy Pass is currently $329 for adults. Passholders get two days of access at each of 100+ partner resorts.*

Saddleback Mountain, Maine

Saddleback Mountain is a storied ski area that’s been through a few ups and downs in recent years.

Most recently, the ski area reopened in 2020 after a 4-year hiatus that included a fraudulent investor from Australia, the purchase of a new chairlift, and a large outcry from locals wanting their beloved mountain to reopen.

Thankfully, skiing and riding at Saddleback is alive and well today, and the mountain has regained its status as one of the best in all of New England for its consistent snowfall and fantastic glades.

Saddleback is a microcosm of what New England skiing is all about.

Saddleback Stats:

Vertical: 2,000 ft.

Total Lifts: 6

Total Trails: 68

Average Snowfall: 225 in.

Skiable Acres: 600+ ac.

Terrain Parks: YES

Night Skiing: NO

Sunlight Mountain Resort, CO

Sunlight was the Indy Pass’ first partner in Colorado, and the match couldn’t be more perfect.

Many of Colorado’s resorts closer to Denver are owned and operated by mega-passes, but Indy Pass lovers don’t mind venturing slightly off the beaten path for a more enjoyable experience.

Sunlight is Colorado’s down-to-earth mountain that still serves up great terrain for all ability levels. The resort touts that you’ll never wait in a lift line, never pay for parking, and never have to wait in line.

It doesn’t really get much better than that, right?

Especially in Colorado of all places!

Trail Map - Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort | Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Sunlight Mountain Resort Stats:

Vertical: 2,010 ft.

Total Lifts: 3

Total Trails: 72

Average Snowfall: 250 in.

Skiable Acres: 730 ac.

Terrain Parks: YES

Night Skiing: NO

Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area, WA

Have you ever been to a ski area located within a national park? There aren’t too many left these days, but skiers willing to make the journey out to Olympic National Park will absolutely love Hurricane Ridge.

Is the ski area particularly big? Well, no, but that’s not the point. Hurricane Ridge’s draw is its unique skiing experience.

Skiing in a national park? Check. Only uses surface lifts? Check. Averages more than 400 inches of snow annually? Check. Surrounded by stunning white-capped peaks of Olympic National Park? Check. Family-friendly atmosphere with challenging terrain for those that want it? Check.

You see where I’m going with this, right?

Trail map Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge Stats:

Vertical: 800 ft.

Total Lifts: 3

Total Trails: 10

Average Snowfall: 400+ in.

Skiable Acres: N/A

Terrain Parks: YES

Night Skiing: NO

Magic Mountain Ski Area, VT

^Courtesy: Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain is surrounded by big name ski resorts with big prices and big crowds. What people don’t realize is that Magic has better terrain than its neighbors, and it serves up one of the best ski area vibes on the whole eastern seaboard.

Magic is “proudly independent” and they don’t mind doing things a little bit differently. That’s okay with us.

The ski area doesn’t have any fancy high-speed lifts or accommodations, but that’s what the Indy Pass is all about. We’re skiers and snowboarders at the end of the day, so what should matter the most to us?

The answer is easy- skiing and snowboarding, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to ski or snowboard in southern Vermont than Magic Mountain.

Trail Map | Magic Mountain Ski Area

Magic Mountain Stats:

Vertical: 1,500 ft.

Total Lifts: 6

Total Trails: 50

Average Snowfall: 145 in.

Skiable Acres: N/A

Terrain Parks: YES

Night Skiing: NO

Powder Mountain, UT

Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort by acreage in North America. Take a second to think about that. You’d think that Pow Mow would align itself with a different mega-pass, but they’ve chosen Indy instead. Why is that?

It’s most likely because Powder Mountain is one of the best stewards of the skiing experience in the entire world, in my humble opinion. Even despite it’s absolutely massive size, the mountain limits daily pass sales, and chooses transparency when communicating snow reports rather than fluff their stats.

Powder joined the Indy Pass last season and the marriage has made perfect sense. You need to take your Indy Pass to Powder Mountain next season. No question about it.

Winter Trail Map

Powder Mountain Stats:

Vertical: 2,205  ft.

Total Lifts: 9

Total Trails: 154

Average Snowfall: 500+ in.

Skiable Acres: ~8,500 ac.

Terrain Parks: NO

Night Skiing: YES

All Images Credit: Indy Pass Media Kit

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