California is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, especially in the winter months when it’s various mountain ranges are covered in immaculate powder. Skiers and snowboarders relish the chance to carve down these trails each year. And if you hope to be one of them, you probably want to know the easiest and most cost-effective way to experience skiing and riding in this part of the country. Consider getting a ski season pass.

The Ikon Pass gives you access to some of the best ski resorts in California, with several options to fit every adventure level and budget. Plus, it’s a convenient way to experience iconic destinations around North America and the world. Still not sure the Ikon Pass is the best ski pass for skiing and riding in California? Let’s dive in.

Is there a California ski pass?

Ikon Pass does not have a California ski pass, technically. But it does let you ski and ride at four amazing California resorts: Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, June Mountain, and Palisades Tahoe. It’s important to note, though, that each pass product offers a slightly different level of access at each destination.

The Ikon Pass gets you the most days at all destinations, including the California ski resorts. If you buy this season pass, you can hit the slopes at Mammoth, Big Bear Mountain Resort (both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit), June Mountain, and Palisades Tahoe as many days as you want all season long, with no blackout dates. This means you can ski any weekday or weekend at all four destinations as often as you want while the resorts are open for the winter season.

The Ikon Base Pass gets you the same access at all the California ski resorts, offering unlimited skiing and riding all season long. However, blackout dates do apply at Mammoth Mountain, Palisades Tahoe, and June Mountain, which means there are certain days you cannot ski or ride at these mountains. Big Bear Mountain Resort has no blackout dates on the Ikon Base Pass, so you can hit the snow here with no restrictions. The Ikon Base Plus Pass is another pass option you can purchase, but the access for the California locations is exactly the same on this pass as it is on the Ikon Base Pass.

The Ikon Session Pass gives you two-, three-, or four-days total at a select number of Ikon Pass destinations, including all four California ski resorts. So, you can ski two, three or four days at one destination or spread those days out across all destinations during the season. For example, if you purchase the 4-day pass, you can use all four days at Mammoth or you can use one day each at Mammoth, Big Bear, June and Palisades. Once all those days are used, though, you don’t have any more for the season. In addition, blackout dates apply at all California destinations.

If California is your home ski region, and you want to enjoy all the snowy peaks have to offer, the Ikon Pass or the Ikon Base Pass are the way to go. With unlimited days and very few restrictions at California locations, both passes provide some of the best access around.

Skiing through loads of powder during the 18/19 winter season at Mammoth Mountain. What's New on the Ikon Pass.

How much is the Ikon Pass?

The cost of a season pass depends on which product you choose to buy, and which age group you qualify for. There are 6 types of Ikon Pass products you can buy: Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass, Ikon Base Plus Pass, Ikon Session Pass 4-Day, Ikon Session Pass 3-Day, and Ikon Session Pass 2-Day. Within each pass product, there are different age levels you can purchase based on how old you are: Adult (ages 23+), Young Adult (ages 13-22), Child (ages 5-12); and 4 & Under (ages 0-4).

Not sure which age level to get? It’s based on how old you are at the time you buy. For example, if you’re 22 when you purchase a pass, but will turn 23 during the winter season, you would purchase the Young Adult pass (ages 13-22) since you currently fall into that age category. If you have a child that is four but will be turning five later in the year or during the ski season, you will buy the 4 & Under pass since your kid still falls in that age level at time of purchase.

Ikon Pass also offers discounted rates for eligible recipients including enrolled college students, active licensed nurses, and active duty or retired military and their adult dependents. Discounted rates offer savings of up to 29% off a regularly priced adult pass.

A family skiing and snowboarding with a mountain scene in the background

Is it worth the cost to buy a ski season pass?

It depends on how much you plan to ski or ride during the winter season.

If you’re just starting out or only plan to go to the mountains a few times, the Ikon Session Pass is a great introductory product to get you out on the snow. The pass has fewer days at fewer destinations, but it’s a budget-friendly option and a good fit for the casual skier or rider. For example, if you purchase the Ikon Session Pass 4-Day and use all 4 days, your cost to ski is $105 per day (based on the adult price).

For those looking to hit multiple mountains throughout the season, the Ikon Pass is worth the price. It gives you access to all 50 Ikon Pass destinations, including all four of the California ski resorts, and there are no blackout dates. Which means you never have to worry about showing up on a day you can’t ski or ride. Plus, if you hit the slopes at least eight days, your cost to ski is less than $150 per day (based on the adult price).

Are there other California ski pass options?

Every California ski resort that’s accessible on the Ikon Pass may also offer a local ski pass. This means it only works at that location and is not a multi-mountain ski pass. If Big Bear Mountain Resort is your mountain of choice, and you have no plans to go anywhere else, you can purchase one of the Big Bear Mountain Resort local passes, such as the Bear + Summit Anytime Pass or Bear + Summit Midweek Pass (if your schedule allows you to ski during the week). June Mountain also offers a season pass, and you can check out the various season pass offerings from Palisades Tahoe and Mammoth.

The Ikon Pass is your California ski pass, letting you ski and ride at top resorts across the state throughout the 22/23 winter season. Visit for all the details and choose which pass it right for you.

Four people carrying snowboards, walking through knee deep snow with a vast mountain range and Lake Tahoe behind them.