Ski Industry News

US Metro Areas with Best Value Public Transit to Slopes

by Greg Colquitt | March 19, 2016

Heading to the slopes ain’t cheap.

Whenever I talk to folks about skiing the first thing out of their mouths is, “It’s too dang expensive!” And they’re right. When you factor in lift passes, rental gear (if you don’t have your own), transportation, and lodging, you’re looking at thousands of dollars, putting even the humblest ski vacation well out of reach for a lot of us.
Here’s the good news. Our goal at is to show you how to get out on the slopes without having you forfeit your grocery budget for the next six months. Out there in the vast American landscape exists several services that can mitigate the cost and hassle of transportation to and from the slopes. Not only is this great for your wallet, but also for your sanity because a couple of these place have notorious ski-day traffic. Also, if you don’t have a car (like me) you need some way to get to the mountain. If we’re doing our part to get you on the bus, we’re taking cars off the road. Good for the environment, good for traffic. It’s a win win. So without further ado, I bring you a short list of cities you can find lodging in and then hop on reliable, cheap transportation that will get your butt up to the mountain.

Bellingham, WA

Baker Bus – Mt. Baker Ski AreaBaker Bus
Round Trip – $9-$14
Reservation needed? – Yes
Trip Length – 45 min-1.5 hrs
This is the only bus that made the list that isn’t state or city funded. Reason being–it’s cheap, reliable, and cool. Instead of state funding, the Baker Bus is community supported. Their goal is aimed to protect the Nooksack River Watershed by taking cars off the road and to provide skiers the chance to ski without having to drive. Sounds like a plan. The route from Bellingham only runs on the weekends, but a $1 bus ride to Kendall will give you access to the bus every day of the week.
For more information, click here

Los Angeles/San Bernardino, CA

Mountain Transit – Bear Mountain ResortMountain Transit Bernardino
Round Trip – $22-50, depending on start location
Reservation needed? – No
Trip Length – 2.5-5 hrs
Starting in San Bernardino, the Big Bear Off-the-Mountain route provides reliable, comfortable transportation to Big Bear, CA, where Bear Mountain Resort is just another short bus ride away. Coming from Los Angeles, you’ll need to hop on the San Bernardino Line to make it to the rendezvous, but once you’re there, kick back and let Mountain Transit do all the work.
For more information, click here

Denver/Boulder, CO

The RTD "N" bus delivers skiers from downtown Boulder straight to the base of Eldora Mountain Resort.
RTD Route N – Eldora Mountain Resort
Round Trip – $9
Reservation needed? – No
Trip Length – 1 hr
The Colorado Rocky Mountains are just a bus ride away in Boulder, where the Regional Transportation District (RTD) provides daily and frequent transportation to and from Eldora Mountain Resort. Route N, during the winter months, picks skiers and boarders up from various locations in Boulder and along the canyon and drops off just 100 yards from the lifts. To get to Boulder, RTD has a comprehensive bus and train network to get you to the Boulder Transit Center from just about anywhere in the Front Range.
For more information, click here

Salt Lake City, UT

UTA Ski Bus – Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, SolitudeUTA Alta Ski Bus
Round Trip – FREE for Super Pass holders, otherwise $9.00
Reservation needed? – No
Trip Length – 1.5 hrs
Last but not least, the granddaddy of all ski bus operations. The city of Salt Lake has been running bus service to its ski resorts since 1976 and has continued to improve every year. For just $9 you can ride the bus from multiple pick-up locations in Salt Lake to four different world-class resorts in the Wasatch Mountain Range. For those looking for a way to score some of the best powder stashes in the country without the pain of driving, this is your solution.
For more information, click here

Not having transportation is no excuse for not skiing. Sometimes you just have to look for it. Be sure to check back with often for the latest deals on lift tickets. Happy shredding!

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