3 New Names For Your Bucket List
For the 22/23 season, Ikon Pass has added more ways to play with the addition of 3 new legendary destinations to its growing family of mountains. Get ready to explore the storied slopes of Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley in France, the sun-drenched scenes of Sun Valley in Idaho, and the powder-pillow deep history of Snowbasin in Utah. Now, with a total of 50 destinations worldwide, there are more ways to DO YEWWW across a diverse landscape of mountains, each steeped in history, unique character, and endless fun.
BUCKET LIST: CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC VALLEY, FRANCE
Claiming its spot under the highest mountain in western Europe, Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley is a beloved bucket list destination that has always written its own introduction. Big mountain features – the stunning backdrop of Mont Blanc stands at a staggering 15,777′ high – blend seamlessly with charming valley villages stuffed with French charm, food, and fun.
Due to its convenience and easy airline access, the valley is remarkably accessible to explore. By bordering Italy and Switzerland, direct flights can be found through Geneva (GVA) and Lyon St Exupéry (LYS). Upon arrival, there are a host of well-timed shuttles, buses, and trains to help bring travelers into and around the valley.
When it’s time to take it to the trails, a vast expanse of territory awaits beginners and advanced riders alike. Spread along the northern side of the valley, Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley has several different areas that cater to the specific abilities and styles of all skiers and snowboarders. Almost all of it is sunny, south-facing, and above tree line. For the 22/23 season, Ikon Pass holders will receive combined access to these five areas within Chamonix Mont-Blanc – Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere, and Le Brevent.
The newest addition to 4 European Ikon Pass destinations – and now providing up to 28 days of combined mountain adventure – Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley is packed to the peaks with remarkable terrain for all, stunning views, and a vibrant mountain culture. There’s a reason that this valley has been pleasing adventure seekers for over 100 years.
FUN FACTS & HACKS FOR CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC VALLEY
RIDE THE RAILS
A classic entry point to the Chamonix Mont-Blanc, the Mont Blanc Express runs through the valley before venturing on into Switzerland. As practical as it is stunning in its views, this rail line is free to those staying in the valley, providing access to the entire public transport network between Servoz and Vallorcine.
For those that want to go big, and know how to go big safely, drop into the legendary La Vallée Blanche. Accessed from the top of Aiguille Du Midi, this jaw-dropping off-piste run is the longest in the world, at 12 miles long and with a descent of 8858 feet.
WHERE BIGGER IS BETTER
Soak in the views from the top of Aiguille Du Midi, the cable car that takes you into the heart of Mont Blanc. After contemplating the “Roof of Europe,” tap into Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley’s extensive mountaineer history with some time spent in “the world’s highest museum.”
WHEN IN FRANCE
It goes without saying – when in France, eat as the French do. Get ready to tuck into the freshest bread, endless gourmet cheeses, and bottle upon bottle of the best wine. From mid-mountain to valley floor, there are endless options to explore.
BUCKET LIST: SUN VALLEY, IDAHO
An Idaho icon steeped in sunshine, ski lore, and legend, Sun Valley was initially made famous by Hollywood’s elite. Today, this premier year-round destination draws visitors from around the world. Nestled 6,000 feet high among the mountains and ranchlands of south-central Idaho, Sun Valley surrounds itself with nearly a million acres of alpine beauty. Not to mention 4 other Ikon Pass destinations that call the Pacific Northwest home: Mt. Bachelor, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Crystal Mountain, and Schweitzer.
Throughout its 85 years of elevated service and stoke, Sun Valley has earned a reputation as a truly quintessential mountain destination — embracing its historic roots while championing its authentic character. In this landscape, the meaning of above and beyond speaks to more than just the landscape, and extraordinary experiences are just a step in any direction.
FUN FACTS & HACKS FOR SUN VALLEY
After a free shuttle ride from the airport, guests can connect the mountain, the village, and the surrounding towns of Ketchum and Hailey, all with easy, free shuttle and bus transportation.
If it’s snowing and you’re looking for deep adventure, head directly to Sunrise. Bald Mountain’s newest zone, this terrain features 380-acres of backcountry-style terrain for expert skiers and riders. Explore The Glades, wide-open bowls, and steep chutes, then jump on the Broadway high-speed quad for a quick ride up to the Roundhouse restaurant.
BEST VIEWS AROUND
For the best selfie spot and the best views, take it to The Roundhouse, where the patio overlooks the entire valley below. Perched atop the Roundhouse Express gondola at 7,700 feet of elevation on Bald Mountain, The Roundhouse has been serving up memorable meals, soul-warming drinks, and stunning views since 1939.
When hunger calls, it’s time to head to The Ram. As Sun Valley’s original restaurant, The Ram has been warming and welcoming diners since 1937. This rustic-yet-elegant dinner house has been recently modernized while preserving its historic charm, and the Fondue will not disappoint.
BUCKET LIST: SNOWBASIN, UTAH
Joining 5 of Utah’s best, Snowbasin has long been renowned as one of the most accessible world-class ski resorts in North America. Sitting at just 45 minutes from Salt Lake International Airport, this globally beloved mountain is regularly top-rated in the categories of accessibility, service, food, lifts, and grooming. Throughout these elevated offerings, families and adventure seekers can experience a wide variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain. This includes championship-level skiing and riding, 3,000 skiable acres, an average snowfall of over 300 inches, and a vertical of almost 3,000 feet. Consistently recognized as one of the best family resorts in North America, Snowbasin Resort is one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating ski resorts.
FUN FACTS & HACKS FOR SNOWBASIN
LOCATING THE LOCALS
Ride like a local while taking laps on the terrain off Strawberry Gondola. It features plenty of open space and is a local favorite on both sunny and snowy days.
For Iconic Runs, seek out Grizzly Downhill and Wildflower Downhill. Both trails hosted downhill skiing events at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games.
NO NACHO PROBLEMS HERE
Gather the crew around the stacked Nachos found at Cinnabar, Overlook, and Needles Lodge. Piled high and perfect for sharing, these heaping, cheesy, and melty plates are never a problem to finish.
FIND JOHN PAUL
In-between runs, seek out John Paul Lodge. Not only is it one of the best selfie spots on the mountain – with views overlooking Mt. Ogden and Snowbasin’s iconic ridgeline – but it also happens to be one of the best lunch stops on the mountain, featuring Bavarian dining with an all-day waffle bar.
From only $249 adult, 22/23 is looking bright and full of fun. With up to 50 unique mountains to explore, now is the time to update your travel itinerary by adding these 3 legends to your bucket list. Claim it all at www.ikonpass.com.