Western Ski Resort Uphill Policies: A Comprehensive List

Clay Malott |
The Salomon Shift is one of the most popular hybrid touring bindings in the industry. Photo credit: REI

This summer has already seen a huge explosion in backcountry ski sales. Skiers are flocking by the thousands into the ski touring world due to restricted access in resorts this season.

Many ski tourers will simply be skinning up the resort, whether it is to get exercise or to be the first one at the mid-mountain chairlift in the morning. Resorts have anticipated this, and many are updating their uphill policy accordingly. Here is a list of uphill policies ahead of the 2020-2021 season by state. Did we miss your home resort? Leave a comment and we will add it as soon as possible!


Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Uphill travel is prohibited.

Mammoth Mountain

Uphill travel permitted via 3 routes only (shown below). Only skinning/split boarding allowed; boot packing, snowshoeing, and hiking is prohibited. Skis and split boards must be fitted with brakes or another retention device (ski leash, etc). Uphill day ticket: $29. Uphill season pass: $149. Show a valid 20/21 Ikon Pass at any ticket window to sign a Release of Liability Waiver and pick up a free uphill access armband. https://www.mammothmountain.com/mountain/uphill-access

Uphill Skiing Trail Map
Mammoth Mountain uphill routes. Photo credit: Mammoth Mountain


Uphill travel is prohibited during daytime operations. Before uphilling, call the uphill trail hotline at 209.258.7444. Dogs are prohibited. “When uphilling, stay towards the side of the trail, position yourself so that you are visible from above, wear brightly colored and reflective clothing, obey all pertinent signage, avoid all areas where machinery is operating, be aware that ski area emergency services are not available, no motorized vehicles.” https://www.kirkwood.com/the-mountain/more-options/mountain-safety.aspx?tc_1=7

Sugar Bowl

Uphill Travel hours are from 6 am-7 pm when open. Use designated routes only (shown below). Skiers and riders must review and accept the terms of the Uphill Use Policy by downloading and completing this form. You may use a season pass to get an uphill pass. Without season pass, 1 day uphill ticket (no lift access): $30. Uphill travel season pass (no lift access): $159. Call (530) 426-6775 for uphill info. https://www.sugarbowl.com/uphill / https://www.sugarbowl.com/backcountry

Pacific Northwest

Mt. Bachelor

During the winter ski and snowboard season uphill travel is restricted to the following routes (no map provided, see website for details): Cinder Cone Route, Pine Marten Route, Summit Route. “Check uphill travel information and status online on the snow conditions page, before leaving for the mountain. Double-check uphill travel status by reviewing base area informational kiosk and on-mountain signage before and during ascent. Dogs on leash are permitted only in parking areas at Mt. Bachelor.” https://www.mtbachelor.com/the-mountain/on-the-mountain/uphill-travel

Mt. Hood Meadows

Uphill travel is prohibited.

Crystal Mountain

Check current uphill travel route status on the  Uphill Travel Mountain Report. “If the “No Uphill Travel” lights are flashing, NO uphill travel is allowed anywhere within the ski area boundary. All uphill travelers must carry an uphill travel card. These are provided free of cost at ski patrol dispatch and must be carried at all times while traveling uphill within the ski area boundary. All uphill travel routes are approved before and after the winter ski season.” 
Uphill Travel Map
Crystal Mountain uphill route map. Photo credit: Crystal Mountain

Snoqualmie Summit

“Uphill users must travel on the sides of trails, avoid the primary downhill path, and maintain visibility so downhill users can avoid them. If uphill users are a contributory cause to a collision or incident, they may be held liable.” https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/uphill-travel

Mt. Baker

No official uphill policy.

Steven’s Pass

“Check uphill hotline (206-812-7847) for the most up to date information and remember if the yellow light on the clock-tower if flashing, we are closed to uphill traffic. The alpine resort is closed to uphill traffic during periods of avalanche control, which typically occurs early morning, but may occur any time throughout the day. The alpine resort is closed to uphill traffic any time there is an active winch cat operating anywhere in the resort. No emergency services outside of “normal” operating hours.” https://www.stevenspass.com/the-mountain/more-options/mountain-safety.aspx



No uphill traffic allowed during operating dates. No pre-season access to Snowbird from Alta Ski Area. Allowed pre and post season except when marked by sign at the base. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/resort-uphill-travel-policies

Deer Valley

Uphill travel is prohibited. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/resort-uphill-travel-policies

Park City

During the regular season, uphill travel is permitted on the Park City base side from 6:00pm to 8:30am on the designated route only from December 15th until closing day (see link below for route). There is NO uphill travel beyond the Angle Station. Call the Trails Hotline (435) 615-1911. https://www.parkcitymountain.com/the-mountain/more-options/mountain-safety.aspx?tc_1=7


No uphill access during ski season operations from winter through spring. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/resort-uphill-travel-policies




“Call the trails hotline to understand the approved route, 970-754-1023. Stay towards the side of the trail. Position yourself so that you are visible from above. Wear brightly colored clothing. Dogs are not allowed. Obey all pertinent signage. Avoid all areas where machinery is operating. Wear a light at night.” https://www.vail.com/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/safety-at-vail.aspx?tc_1=6


Uphilling allowed at all four mountains. To see specific uphill policies for each mountain, visit https://www.aspensnowmass.com/policies/uphill-policy

Winter Park

Uphill allowed, with complicated restrictions. https://www.winterparkresort.com/-/media/winter-park/downloads-pdfs/access-policy-2019-2020.ashx


Uphill Access Hotline: 970-547-5627. Specific route restrictions, see website for details. Permit required ahead of time. https://www.breckpark.com/uphill-access-permit

Copper Mountain

Parking for morning uphill access users will be free from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. Parking in all lots at the resort is free between the hours of 3 p.m. – 12 midnight. Use designated routes only. See website for further restrictions and designated routes: https://www.coppercolorado.com/the-mountain/mountain-safety/uphill-access


Uphill access is not permitted during operating hours (8:00am – 4:30pm). Uphill users are prohibited from entering closed terrain at any time. It is the user’s responsibility to know what terrain is closed. Use designated routes only (see website for details). https://skiloveland.com/the-mountain/uphill-access/

Did we miss your home resort? Leave a comment and we will add it as soon as possible!

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4 thoughts on “Western Ski Resort Uphill Policies: A Comprehensive List

  1. Thanks for compiling the info. However in the case of Vail and Winter Park, which are the resorts I’m most familiar with for uphill access, you are referencing their 2019-2020 winter season rules. I kind of doubt they will remain the same for the upcoming COVID winter season. In fact Vail posted this notice on another part of their site:

    “Will uphill access still be allowed at the resort? We are still determining the safest option and approach for uphill access and will discuss with the U.S. Forest Service, as applicable.”

    In other words, stay tuned….

  2. One thing to think about when upholding at resorts…The resorts groom from closing time through just before opening. The groomers are typically focused on the slopes (as they should be) and may not react to an uphiller coming out of the woods into their path. More importantly, many resorts utilize winches when grooming steeper grades. The winch cable attachment point can be located quite distance from the steep slope which means that at least a portion of the cable is out of view of the cat operator. The cable can cut deep in the snow so it is out of view as well. Now consider what happens when a cable under tension suddenly moves up in response to the groomer motion. Picture a giant cheese cutter only replace the cheese with a person.

    Resorts have the policies in place to direct traffic to certain pathways to reduce/eliminate interaction with maintenance operations that could harm guests.

  3. Bachelor is limiting access to the cone this year starting Nov. 30th. This season you’ll need a parking reservation to park, so when winter operations go into effect, you’ll probably need a parking reservation just to get a few laps on the cone. My guess is that Bachelor’s management will not be sympathetic to the dawn patrollers who leave before opening chair.

  4. A precedent should be set in court
    Ski areas that operate on public land should have a unified uphill policy as they lease from the US taxpayers. All ski areas were originally uphill under your own power first and foremost. CEOs have forgotten this and focus on $ , claiming they care about your “experience” . #Skin up a hill and ski for real

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