The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
The Epic and Ikon passes constantly add mountains to their portfolios—many seemingly too far away to actually visit. (The Matterhorn, Ikon? Really?) With overcrowding on I-70 already forcing you to spend an obscene amount of time in the car, though, why not queue up extra podcasts and head to already-paid-for destinations? (Be sure to check blackout dates.) To help, we made itineraries for some farther afield mountains on the country’s two most popular passes.
The Ikon Iditarod
33.5 hours, 1,960 miles round trip
- The Thanksgiving Play Takes Aim at This Month’s Foodie Holiday
- The Holiday Season Is When Local Artist Lonnie Hanzon Really Shines
- The Best Colorado Events: November 2019
- Uncle 2.0 Has a Must-Try Thai Curry Lineup
- Where Our Food Editors Are Eating Right Now, November 2019
- Colorado Sake Company Has a Sweet New RiNo Taproom
- Cattivella Chef Shows off Her Hunting Skills in New PBS Show
5 hours (293 miles) from Denver
Even in the midst of a $300 million face-lift, which includes a new high-speed chairlift, you can still experience Taos’ original if-you-can-see-it-you-can-ski-it ethos. To wit: Access steep, open terrain by hiking nearly one mile from the top of Lift Two to Highline Ridge.
11 hours (600 miles) from Taos
This Utah resort regularly gets more than 500 inches of snow a year—almost double the average of any Colorado mountain. Carve up that powder on a free hourlong tour with an experienced naturalist, who’ll impart interesting tidbits, such as how the surrounding crags of Little Cottonwood Canyon were formed by hundreds of feet of glacial ice.
6 hours (397 miles) from Snowbird
The sky isn’t the only expanse here in Montana. This 5,850-acre playground is the second-largest ski resort in the United States, boasting 4,350 feet of vertical rise, 300 named runs, and seven terrain parks.
3.5 hours (167 miles) from Big Sky
Jackson Hole has long been known for daunting runs with rocky cliffs, such as legendary Corbet’s Couloir. Less seasoned skiers, however, can still find plenty to schuss, including new intermediate runs off the Casper and Teton lifts.
The Tour de Epic
25 hours, 1,602 miles round trip
7.5 hours (497 miles) from Denver
In 2015, the Canyons and Park City Mountain merged, forming the largest ski area in the country. Along with the vast terrain, the classic ski-town feel—read: cozy A-frame ski lodges—makes the long haul to the Wasatch Mountains well worth it.
5 hours (324 miles) from Park City
Sun Valley’s lifts are capable of transporting 28,096 skiers per hour, one of the largest capacities in the country. Not having to suffer endless lines, you’ll feel like one of the many celebrities, including Justin Timberlake and Clint Eastwood, who frequent the Idaho haven.
4.5 hours (273 miles) from Sun Valley
Utah’s Snowbasin is equipped with more lift services—three—that run directly from the base to the top of the mountain than most locales. That means visitors are treated to a glut of never-ending runs like Elk Ridge, a blue groomer that drops 2,900 feet over three miles.