Ikon vs Epic: Which is the Pass for You?

Kat Hall

Winter is just around the corner, meaning Park City residents are eager to strap on their boots and pass the time high up in the mountains surrounded by fresh powder.


With ten ski resorts scattered around the state of Utah, it can be hard to choose the one for you. Luckily, two pass options allow you to ski at multiple resorts: the Epic Mountain Pass and the Ikon Pass.


The Epic Mountain Pass is more common among Park City High School students, with unlimited skiing at Park City Mountain, formally known as Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort. 


The Epic Pass also includes unlimited skiing or riding at other major resorts such as Vail, Whistler, Heavenly, Keystone, and Beaver Creek. Also included with the pass, you can ski limited days at Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and even some resorts located in Canada, Japan, and Europe.


The pass includes six discounted day passes for sharing with friends and family who may not have a season pass.


Costing $989, even Park City locals find it to be expensive. Especially including a pair of skis, poles, boots, and some intense winter clothes to keep you warm in the mountains.


If you find yourself to be sticking to one resort, the Epic Local Pass could be a better fit. Although, including blackout dates during the holidays, the price is $250 cheaper, at $739.


Junior Jillian Perry has skied at Snowmass and Brighton, however, she finds Park City to be her favorite resort.


“The layouts really nice, I like where everything is,” said Perry.


However, not everyone is a big fan of Park City. More specifically, Vail. PCHS English teacher, Mr. Jobe, has had some unpleasant experiences with Vail employees. Since then, he’s made the switch to the Ikon Pass.


“I like the Ikon Pass better than the Epic Pass,” said Jobe. “I’ll take Jackson Hole, Squaw, and Aspen over Vail, Park City, and Sun Valley. They’re more intense ski areas.”


However, the Ikon pass generally has less appeal to most Park City ski junkies. This is because it only allows seven ski days at Deer Valley Resort and zero days at Park City Mountain.


If you’re a skier more likely to spend your weekends’ skiing at Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, or Solitude, the Ikon pass is the better choice. The pass also includes skiing at other major resorts such as Squaw, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, and resorts in Canada, South America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia. 


This pass, however, is more pricey than the Epic Pass, costing $1,099. Included with that, you can enjoy no blackout dates, giving you the freedom to ski during holidays and busier times. Also, you’ll have access to unlimited skiing at 14 resorts and seven days at 26 other resorts.


The cheaper option for skiers who may not be a big fan of vail is the Ikon Base Pass. This pass is $300 less, however, you will have blackout dates. 


Also, the base pass only includes unlimited skiing at 12 resorts instead of 14 and five days at the other 28 participating resorts.


In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect pass for you.


With Epic, you’ll enjoy unlimited days at Park City Mountain, giving you the freedom to ski as often as you want, whether that be a quick few runs after school, an entire weekend, or a holiday. Epic also allows you limited days at nearby resorts for a quick little getaway or weekend. Plus, enjoy sharing six-day passes with friends and family.


With Ikon, you’ll have more resorts to explore nearby, however limited days in the closest participating resort, Deer Valley. At a more expensive price, experience more intense ski areas.