For skiers and riders who don’t own a season pass, making sure you have a lift ticket before you head to the slopes is key to a stoke-filled day on the mountain. Check out the tips below for getting lift tickets to iconic destinations.

THE BREAKDOWN

A lift ticket allows you access on the mountain to go skiing or snowboarding. The mountain crew scans your lift ticket before you ride the chairlift or gondola.

Depending on the type of lift ticket you purchase, your ticket can be valid for a half day, a full day, or several days. Destinations like Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows or Big Bear Mountain Resort offer a one day ticket to a multiple day ticket.

THE COST

Lift tickets for skiing and riding vary in price based on the destination you visit and the time of year. Typically, you can ski or snowboard for less during the first weeks of the ski season and the last. Prices increase during peak winter season and holidays.

If you’re on a tighter budget and are happy to hit the mountain only in the afternoon, half day tickets help you spend less. These discounted tickets are valid in the afternoon, so you can start your day by sleeping in. With a half day ticket, you’ll still get a few solid hours on the slopes.

Lift ticket discounts are also offered at most destinations for kids and seniors. At Solitude Mountain Resort, kids under the age of 12 and adults over the age of 65 are offered discounts on winter lift tickets. For the littlest kids ages 4 and under, Blue Mountain Resort offers a Tiny Tykes deal with tickets priced at a little over $10 USD a day. Tremblant’s family-friendly lift ticket package offers school break discounts during winter and spring break.

WHERE TO BUY

Buying a lift ticket is easy, and you have several options to purchase. You can buy either before you visit the destination or while you are there at a ticket window. Most destinations offer the ability to pick a date and purchase online, offering enticing discounts by purchasing in advance.

Steamboat lift tickets are available online at 30% off the window rate if you purchase at least 7 days in advance. June Mountain and Mammoth Mountain lift tickets and are sold at a bigger discount the more days you purchase.

When you buy a lift ticket online, there’s a few things you must bring to redeem at the destination. To pick up your ticket, visit the ticket counter and present a valid photo ID as well as the card used for purchase. Requirements by destinations vary, so it is important that you check what is needed to redeem your lift ticket purchased online beforehand.

For the savvy online shopper, skiers and riders can purchase a 5-pack of lift tickets for Crystal Mountain on Amazon, valid anytime – and fully transferrable to anyone else other than the buyer.

If you wait to purchase, you can easily buy at the ticket window of your visited destination. Note: Deer Valley limits the number of lift tickets sold in a day, so it is imperative that you plan ahead and pre-purchase your lift ticket for this destination.

OTHER DEALS OUT THERE

Be sure to research your destination to make sure you are getting the best deal on your lift ticket. Stratton lift tickets are offered at a discount for Vermont and New Hampshire residents on Thursdays. Snowshoe Mountain offers night skiing lift tickets for less than $50.

Certain destinations also offer discounts for military service members and their dependents. Discounted military Copper Mountain lift tickets are available online or at most Colorado military bases. Discounted military Winter Park Resort lift tickets are available for purchase at the ticket window.

HOW TO USE YOUR LIFT TICKET

Now that you have your lift ticket, you get on the mountain and get after it. By planning ahead and scoping out the best deals on ski and snowboard lift tickets, you are setting yourself up for an adventure-filled day on the slopes.