Nick, August 2015

The incredible EPIC Season Pass is perhaps the best ever season pass money can buy – at just £461 for unlimited skiing in 11 resorts spread over 3 countries, it’s simply unbeatable. I wanted to see if we could plan a viable road trip to take in the best of Colorado, Utah and California in an Epic USA Road Trip. Remember to sign up for Epic Mix to view your ski stats and pics throughout your trip…

Day 1 – Fly British Airways

Fly Economy from London Heathrow to Denver 1220-1510. Pick up your hire car and drive to Breckenridge (2 hours). Overnight in Breckenridge in 1 x Standard Queen Hotel Room @ the DoubleTree by Hilton (B&B), Breckenridge

Day 2 – Ski Breckenridge

Ski day 1 on a road trip is always the best. Activate your Epic Season Pass and head up Peak 9 to start the day. I LOVE Breckenridge. It’s unfussy, laid back and genuine, and always has great snow. The addition of Peak 6 two winters ago added another 550 acres of prime Colorado ski terrain bringing Breckenridge up to five skiable peaks, each over 12000ft, and each with a different character. You will love the long, wide cruising trails on Peak 7, 8 and 9, plus the more tricky high-alpine feel of Imperial Bowl and Peak 6. Peak 10 offers something different yet again. This is big mountain country offering some of the USA’s best terrain. Overnight in Breckenridge @ the DoubleTree by Hilton, Breckenridge.

Jeff Andrews


Day 3 – Ski Keystone

Probably my favourite mountain for rocket-fast cruising – on MonsterSki2 a few years ago, two of the charity participants managed to ski over 70,000 vertical feet in one day here. Keystone is a short 30 minutes drive from Breckenridge. I suggest you start the day at River Run Village where you can grab a quick Starbucks and drink it on the gondola. The three mountains are set behind each other and the ski experience increases in intensity the further out you get from the base area. At the end of the day, drive back to Breckenridge via the outlet mall at nearby Silverthorne. Overnight in Breckenridge @ the DoubleTree by Hilton, Breckenridge.



Day 4 – Ski Arapahoe Basin

After a 40 minutes drive over from Breckenridge, ski day 3 can be described in three short words: big, steep, bumps. Bring your A-Game knees and bendy legs and you’ll be fine, anything else and you’ll be crying like a baby. Arapahoe is not for novices, but if bumps and steeps are your thing, it’s legendary! At the end of the day drive to Vail (about 45 mins) & overnight in Vail in 1 x Lodge Room (B&B) @ the Lodge at Vail, Vail 

Lodge at Vail

Lodge at Vail

Day 5 – Ski Vail

After an amazing buffet breakfast at the Lodge at Vail, it’s only a short walk across to Vail’s new Gondola One for easy access onto the mountain. Vail is simply awesome – it’s the USA’s 2nd biggest resort with over 5000 acres of awesome terrain including seven enormous powder bowls stretching six miles across. This is a very special place, and one you’ll want to return to! I love the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin with its amazing powder stashes, but I also love the front face – especially the super-fast trails that swoop down to the Lionshead base. Overnight in Vail @ the Lodge at Vail

Day 6 – Ski Beaver Creek

Ski day 5 and your legs will be ready for the Birds of Prey World Cup Downhill course at Beaver Creek! It’s only about 15 minute’s drive (there’s also a bus option too) down the valley to Beaver Creek, but it’s a whole different world – a very upmarket feeling resort, with a quality touch to everything. The slopes are groomed perfectly and the terrain is incredible – I especially like the tree runs here in the Royal Elk Glades. Ski to the bar at the end of the day! That’s the end of stage 1 and you now get a wee break to let the legs recover. Overnight in Vail @ the Lodge at Vail.

Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek

Day 7 – Drive from Vail to Park City

This is a day off skis, so relax and take your time to admire the Colorado scenery as you drive westwards and then north into Utah. This is a full day in the car – about 380 miles – and I suggest you treat it as part of the holiday. Stop for coffee, take a lunch break, swap drivers, and drink lots of water. You’ll probably need several good music CD’s too, as American radio is …. well, it is what it is. When you get to Park City, park the car (you’ll not need it for a couple of days). Overnight in Park City in 1 x Standard King Hotel Room (B&B) @ the DoubleTree by Hilton Park City

Day 8 – Ski Park City

Park City and Canyons have now linked to form the largest single ski & snowboard resort in the USA – now called Park City - offering a staggering 7300+ acres of prime Utah powder! The quality of snow in Utah always amazes me – it’s so dry and light, it makes the skiing effortless. There’s some super-hero tree skiing here with nicely spaced trees on a flattering pitch – after an overnight snowfall of Utah powder, this is the place to shred for ski day 6. Overnight in Park City @ the DoubleTree by Hilton Park City

DoubleTree by Hilton Park City

DoubleTree by Hilton Park City

Day 9 – Ski Park City – Repeat!

With an investment of over $50M during 2015, the new linked ski area which forms Park City now offers 300+ trails, 38 lifts, seven terrain parks, six half-pipes and one super pipe. New lifts include a new 8 passenger gondola connection plus two new express chairlifts. If you've never skied Utah before then Park City should be on your list. Overnight in Park City @ the DoubleTree by Hilton Park City.

Day 10 – Drive from Park City to Lake Tahoe

This is Top Gear country. I suggest you stay on Interstate 80 through Utah and on into Nevada (but there are other choices). It’s a long, long day in the car and at over 600 miles, it’s going to be an early start and a late finish, but there are places to overnight along the way such as Elko if required. Think iconic desert scenery and straight roads. Crank up the volume… Overnight in Heavenly in 1 x Premium Room (RO) @ the Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa.

Heavenly Groomer

Heavenly Groomer

Day 11 – Ski Heavenly

After breakfast, jump on the hotel shuttle to the gondola (only 3 blocks), and you’re soon admiring the simply stunning view of Lake Tahoe as you ascend. It’s a view you’ll never forget. You will love the terrain at Heavenly – it’s like no other ski resort, with plenty for all levels. At over 4000 acres, this is Tahoe’s biggest resort. Overnight in Heavenly @ the Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa

Day 12 – Ski Kirkwood

Ski day 9 takes you on the short drive over to Kirkwood on Tahoe’s south shore. Kirkwood is a small resort which punches well above its weight with some of the trickiest terrain in North America, but also some stellar cruising and tree skiing. Expect a fun day on uncrowded slopes in the California sunshine. I love the sense of space at Kirkwood – you can really get the afterburners lit here. Overnight in Heavenly @ the Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa.

Landing Resort & Spa

Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa

Day 13 – Ski Northstar

Your final Epic day! Drive round the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe to Northstar – about 45 mins to an hour. Northstar is California’s version of Colorado’s Beaver Creek – a similar style and vibe, with a lovely ambience. You will ski through trees all day and Northstar has some of the very best gladed terrain, and wide open thrashers – make sure to smile when you pass the Epic photographers, and check your final stats and pics. Finish the trip with a flourish, with a top to bottom cruise. Drive back to South Lake Tahoe for some spectacular sunset après. Overnight in Heavenly @ the Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa.

Day 14 – Drive to San Francisco airport (4 hours)

Fly British Airways economy San Francisco-Heathrow (arrives +1day) LOW season prices start @ £2595pp (based on 2 sharing) which includes flights, self-drive compact car rental at gold option (one-way drop charge on car is a total of $150pp – paid locally in San Francisco), all accommodation, plus an Epic Season Pass.

Call us on 0131 243 8097 for a tailor-made quotation and to find out more about this winter's Epic Pass options.


Epic USA Road Trip

Epic USA Road Trip

*Prices correct at the time of publishing.