Arapahoe Basin In Colorado Will Be Charging For Uphill Access This Season

More and more skiers and riders are opting to skip the lifts and head uphill via their own power. With the increase in popularity of uphill access, mountains now have to consider how that will affect the day to day operations.

The operators of Arapahoe Basin in Colorado have put more than a little thought into this and have decided it is in the best interest of all those involved to start charging for a yearly pass for uphill access to the mountain. This would mark a change from the free uphill access that was allowed until this newly started season.

"Uphill Access has long been a fun and exciting component of skiing and riding at The Basin. A few years ago, the popularity of skinning and hiking uphill was growing dramatically. We realized it was time to review and analyze the program. Ultimately, we introduced a more formalized program that required users to obtain a free uphill access pass. 

We expected we'd give out a couple hundred passes. We were wrong. So far we have issued nearly 10,000 Uphill Access Passes. I think this is really cool. People love it. It is another good way to enjoy the mountain. I am one of the regular users. Over time, usage has continued to evolve. Managing uphill access has turned into a fair bit of work. We don't mind the work, but there is a lot of real work involved. " - Al Henceroth via Al's Blog, October 25, 2019

As much of the uphill access policies are the same, there were four key differences that have been announced.
  • Each user is required to get a new Uphill Access Pass annually
  • Uphill Acess Passes are $30/season except passes are free for Arapahoe Basin Season Pass holders
  • Passes can be purchased online at
  • Uphill Pass users are required to wear a reflective armband issued with the pass
Will uphill skiers be okay with having to pay for access not involving the lifts? We'll all have to wait for the answer to that question after we get a little deeper into the season.


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