While there are many fantastic North American ski destinations, if you’re looking for a special winter trip, start with New Mexico.
The first ski trails in New Mexico were cut on Sandia Peak by the Albuquerque Ski Club in 1935. Today you’ll find eight unique ski areas and resorts, each of them worth visiting.
“Skiing in New Mexico is affordable and uncrowded,” explains George Brooks, a member of the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame. “It’s an adventure steeped in culture.” Brooks is a New Mexico native, lifelong skier, and coach. He has throughout the world and now serves as Executive Director of Ski New Mexico.
Winter in New Mexico
New Mexico is as much alpine as desert, with 88 mountain ranges, including the southernmost peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The mountains here are steep and high, with the 10,350’ base of Ski Santa Fe towering above most ski area summits. Not to be outdone, the 12,481’ summit of Taos Ski Valley is the seventh highest in North America.
All this elevation means light, dry snow, powder that lasts for days, and a season that extends into March and April.
And while Taos gets much of the attention, with its famous freeskiing terrain and inclusion on the Mountain Collective and Ikon passes, each New Mexico resort has something special to offer to skiers and riders of all ages and abilities.
Plus, skiing in New Mexico is an excellent value. Winter is the state’s less busy tourist season, which means more affordable lodging and non-existent midweek lift lines.
Lift ticket prices are lower in New Mexico than in neighboring states, and it’s fair to say that many of these ski areas are local secrets, enjoyable throwbacks and family-owned ventures. Mega-resorts, with mega-prices, they are not.
Culture and Cuisine
New Mexico’s culture and history is never far away at any of these ski areas. From ancient pueblo settlements to modern art museums, from historic mining towns to Cold War atomic intrigue, the ability to pair perfect days of skiing with world-class culture makes a ski vacation in New Mexico unlike any other.
And then there’s New Mexican food. Flavorful and hearty, and not to be confused with Mexican food, New Mexico’s cuisine centers on chiles, both red and green, washed down with cold beers and ubiquitous margaritas.
Hungry after a long day of skiing? Order your meal smothered in both red and green chile sauce (a combo known as “Christmas”) and make every day a holiday.
Can’t wait to ski New Mexico? Check out rates for 1, 2, and 3-day lift tickets at Red River Ski and Snowboard Area on Liftopia and save up to 25%.