Best for serious skiers: Epic Pass
Credit: Scott Cramer / Getty Images

The Deal The Epic Pass offers unlimited access to all Vail Resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Canyons, and Eldora in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood in California; Afton Alps in Minnesota; and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. It also includes five days at European heavy hitters Verbier, Arlberg, and Les 3 Vallées.

Pros Access to more resorts than any other pass with no blackout dates, and the benefits kick in after just six days of skiing at any one of them.

Cons Many of Vail's resorts lack the terrain and scale for expert freeskiing.

Best for anyone who lives in Colorado's Front Range or the San Francisco Bay Area (this is a no-brainer) or whose local mountain is one of the above. It can also pay off if you live farther away but plan on taking at least two long ski trips to any of Vail's resorts. If you don't spend a lot of time skiing or you prefer smaller, more casual peaks, this pass is not for you. [$2,350;]