Have you ever thought a day of skiing was just simply out of your reach? Well, it doesn't have to be! Each of these 10 mountains offers adult lift passes for less than $50 a day.

It's true: In many ways, skiing has become an exclusive sport. A lift ticket in Vail, Colo., costs more than $100 during peak season. However, these large resorts aren't the only option.

Smaller ski areas often have great skiing, a smaller crowd, and a family atmosphere. Resorts such as Saddleback in Rangeley, Maine, have made a name for themselves based on their values in keeping skiing affordable for Maine families. In fact, Ski magazine readers recently rated Saddleback No. 1 in the United States in terms of value.

It's important to always look for a deal, even at a smaller mountain. Skiers can often get a steep discount by buying season passes early, skiing midweek, buying online, or checking resorts' Facebook and Twitter pages.

For novice skiers, smaller mountains are often a great place to learn and build confidence before heading to the large mountains. They also constitute a better value for those using a minimal number of trails.

Smaller mountains aren't just for beginners; there are also those that cater to advanced and expert skiers, such as Mad River Glen, whose catchphrase is Ski It If You Can. This small mountain in Vermont, owned cooperatively by shareholders, is known for its backcountry terrain and focus on the joy of skiing, rather than on corporate profits.

There are also low-cost mountains for terrain-park enthusiasts. Echo Mountain Park, located just 35 miles outside Denver, prides itself on having innovative park features, all at a great price. Mountains like these are working to create the next generation of skiers and snowboarders. You never know, you may see the next X Games champion in the making!

Press Start for a look at the 10 best budget-friendly ski options in North America.


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