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In response to an influx of traffic on its lone two-lane access road, Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont announced recently that a season parking pass will cost $450 and they’re not the only ones. Will the future of resort skiing rely on expensive parking passes? Gosh, we hope not. Here’s a list of 10 resorts that won’t charge you to park your car, east to west.
1. Saddleback Mountain, ME
Like most of the resorts and ski areas on this list, Saddleback has that mom & pop feel that can be hard to come by nowadays. With the highest base lodge elevation in the east, most snowfall in Maine, and stellar glade skiing, if you haven’t skied Saddleback, what are you waiting for?
2. Wildcat Mountain, NH
The only thing that might beat free parking is the view of Mt. Washington from across the valley at Wildcat Mountain on a bluebird day.
3. Jay Peak, VT
With the most snowfall in eastern North America (359” average), and a liberal in-bounds policy, Jay Peak is one of the most dynamic ski resorts on the east coast. With ample glade skiing, adjacent backcountry opportunities, and lots of playful terrain, Jay Peak is worth the long drive up into the Northeast Kingdom of the Green Mountain State.
4. Whiteface Mountain, NY
Skiing in New York? Yeah, yeah—we know. Whiteface Mountain is located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains and offers the greatest vertical—3,430’—east of the Rockies.
5. Mount Bohemia, MI
If you thought New York didn’t have skiing, what about Michigan? Mount Bohemia is a hidden secret of the midwest. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Bohemia has the longest runs, highest vertical, and deepest powder—273” annually—in the midwest. They also offer cat skiing on Voodoo Mountain. Who knew?
6. Monarch Mountain, CO
Away from the buzz of the I-70 corridor, Monarch Mountain is yet another hidden gem on this list. Enjoy powder skiing, diverse terrain, and lots of friendly folks out on the mountain.
7. Lost Trail Ski Area, MT
Lost Trail is as mom & pop as it gets. With only double chairs and rope tows, Lost Trail provides a little something for everyone and plenty of fresh turns to go around.
8. Mt. Bachelor, OR
Mt. Bachelor is the 6th largest ski resort in North America and they still prioritize free parking!! (Although there is a premium pass available for the most convenient spots, if you’re so inclined.) Go see what volcano skiing is all about! I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
9. Mt. Baker, WA
Mt. Baker has a parking lot culture of its own, and you guessed it, day parking is free. Enjoy some of the deepest snow in America, and make some turns for me, please.
10. June Mountain, CA
Last but certainly not least, June Mountain is considered California’s Family Mountain. Located in the Eastern Sierra, enjoy a variety of family-friendly terrain and more advanced options, including backcountry opportunities.