When it comes to saving money on flights, booking early is key—especially since many ski areas are accessible via mountain airports that accept only a small number of flights each day. Other smart times to look for tickets: right before Thanksgiving and just after the New Year. Kayak crunched the numbers for us, and found that the average domestic airfare to Salt Lake City was at its lowest during those periods last year.
Another helpful rule of thumb: look for mountains connected to larger hubs. To get a sense of how the prices vary, we asked Kayak to calculate the average airfare to some major North American resorts last winter. The site found that bigger ski-destination airports had some of the best fares. Among them: Salt Lake City, which is within an hour’s drive of 11 resorts, including Park City, Deer Valley, Alta, and Snowbird. (Many even let you ski free on the day you arrive.) From the Denver airport, Arapahoe, Copper, Keystone, and Winter Park resorts are roughly an hour and a half away. Taos Ski Valley is just over two hours from Santa Fe. On the East Coast, the Burlington, Vermont, airport puts you within easy range of several great resorts—Stowe and Sugarbush among them. Kayak found good airfares into smaller resorts, too. For example, tickets to the Hayden, Colorado, airport near Steamboat Springs were, on average, about $200 less than flights into Aspen-Pitkin County airport.