With 41 destinations on the Ikon Pass, the desire to travel hits hard. With 33 destinations within driving distance in North America, your ski season is guaranteed to be full of adventures.

Vanlife Ski Trip Adventures

Welcome to vanlife, the lifestyle that takes you out on the road in a van, an RV, a truck with a camper, or an adventure mobile. Whatever it is, it’s something you can catch zzz’s in in-between getting from state to state and destination to destination. To help bridge that gap, here are some tips and resources for the open road, as discovered and shared by the robust community of Ikon Pass adventure pros.

To build or to buy is a common consideration when toying with the idea of living out of a vehicle. For those that love adventures, purchasing a built-out van can make a lot of sense. It’s simple, straightforward, and often includes many creature comforts.

Some of you may spend the time and effort to build your own. Unique features, personalization, and gaining knowledge of the on-board systems take a point. This can come in quite handy if caught on the side of the road in the middle of the night, miles from town.

Prefabbed or built by hand, all campers can agree on four critical elements when adventuring in the cold:

  • Ensure that you’re equipped with a comfy, warm bed.
  • Have a system and a space for drying out wet gear.
  • Crank up that heater (you’ll want one) and insulate the windows in addition to the walls.
  • Get your WiFi working. Whether it’s boosting off of a cell phone or investing in a satellite set up, an internet connection opens up the possibility to work from almost anywhere. If you do find a spot where there’s no signal, that’s likely a good sign you shouldn’t be working anyway.

Vanlife-Friendly Destinations

Once your rig is ready for the open road – insulation and WiFi included – it’s time to find out where to recharge your adventure batteries. Time spent roaming Google Earth does wonders for this process, as many ski mountains don’t allow sleeping in the parking lots.

Be on the lookout for forest service roads and nearby winterized campgrounds. Even Walmart parking lots and good old-fashioned neighborhood streets work! If parking and sleeping in town, always remember to be considerate of the community. Most importantly, your safety comes first. Protect yourself and your belongings by locking things up and making sure you are safe at night.

There are several destinations on the Ikon Pass that do welcome campers and vans to stay the night.  At Crystal Mountain, Lot B is known as a top destination for vanlife adventurers, with a well-established camping community that convenes every winter. For $40/night, Crystal is unique in the offering of full RV hookups.

Other options include Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Taos Ski Valley, both of which are designated self-contained environments. When planning, however, always make sure to check with the desired resorts to confirm specifics and local restrictions.

Is Vanlife Right for Me?

It’s a dream for many to drive to and from the best skiing and biggest destinations on the Ikon Pass. And while vanlife appeals, in reality, it simply may not be for everyone. So, if you’re curious, how do you indulge your adventurous desires and determine if living out of a rambling, 19’ x 6‘ metal box is a lifestyle you’ll actually love? Well, you take a ski trip.

With the increase of the “digital nomad” lifestyle, there are many companies who will rent you an adventure rig for your 19/20 Ikon Pass ski trip (and beyond). If you go this route, just remember to review vans for comfort and warmth in cold climates. It’s always important to do the upfront research about where you can park your beastly rig if staying overnight near a destination.

Some good places to start are:

Outdoorsy: Think Airbnb but for things that move, opening up the road to Ikon Pass Destinations coast to coast.

Adventure Travel Sports Rentals: For visiting Ikon Pass Destinations based in Colorado.

Native Campervans: For visiting Ikon Pass Destinations throughout Denver, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah & Las Vegas, Nevada.

Basecamper Vans: For visiting Ikon Pass Destinations near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Of course, your own car will do just fine in getting you to the mountain. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you make it there. Whether a family minivan, a hand-me-down sedan, or your real home on wheels, keep the fire for adventures burning.