Kick it off at Sandia Peak, just 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque (or even faster, via Sandia’s aerial tramway, one of the longest in the world). Enjoy sustained, fall-line cruising in the morning, and be back in the city by the afternoon for a round of golf, happy hour, or even a business meeting.
Blogger’s pick: Panorama Point for endless blue skies, snowshoeing within sight of the tram terminal for the whole family.
Take it southbound to Ruidoso and Sierra Blanca Peak; the towering backdrop and snow-maker for Ski Apache – the southernmost ski resort in the country. New Mexico’s second largest, Ski Apache serves up 750 acres and 1,900 vertical feet of terrain for skiers and riders of all abilities, as well as the state’s only gondola.
Blogger’s pick: The state’s only gondola lift is always a crowd-pleaser, nearby Inn of the Mountain Gods serves up entertainment year-round.
Taos Ski Valley
Further north lies the Enchanted Circle of northern New Mexico; an 83-mile loop which starts in the historic town of Taos. Our state’s largest winter resort, Taos Ski Valley, is home to some of the country’s most storied steeps and light, powder snow (as well as a world-reknowned ski school, to show you how to navigate this legendary terrain).
Blogger’s pick: The Bavarian Lodge for pretzels and beer, top-to-bottom groomers compliment hair-raising steeps.
North of Taos lies the slopeside town of Red River, where many accommodations are just steps from the nearest chairlift. With a hearty vertical drop of 1,600 feet, Red River also boasts a robust snowmaking and grooming system, as well as a veritable bevy of family-friendly events throughout the season.
Blogger’s pick: Weekend fireworks and torchlight parade from the Lift House
Continuing around the Enchanted Circle will take you to Angel Fire. Featuring the state’s only high-speed lift system, Angel Fire will have you spending more time on the slopes, and less time in the lift maze. Wide open frontside cruisers abound, with steeper runs and bumps served up from the backside. The terrain park rules.
Blogger’s pick: A newly redesigned terrain park will have you throwing that Cork 540 in no time (take a lesson!)
Nestled just south of Angel Fire and Taos is Sipapu, boasting the longest season in the state. Family-friendly cruisers compliment a happy stash of steeps and glades here; Sipapu is a little mountain with some big surprises. Accommodations are also affordable, cozy, and just steps from the base lodge and lifts.
Blogger’s pick: Car-load days (everyone skis for $50!) and fantastic tree runs from Lift 4.
Moving south towards Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain sits atop the nuclear city of Los Alamos. Built by scientists from the labs in the 1940’s, Pajarito is a local’s favorite. While the mountain is well-known for it’s pitchy terrain (read: steeper than average), the biggest challenge here may be finding yourself in a lift-line. Crowds are noticeably absent, even on weekends.
Blogger’s pick: Can’t-miss town views (from the Townsight quad!) compliments a hearty Frito Pie in the base lodge.
Ski Santa Fe
Finally, into our state capitol of Santa Fe, and it’s namesake ski area (just 16 miles from town). With a base elevation of 10,350 feet – Ski Santa Fe collects fresh snow like a catcher’s mitt, and keeps it cold all winter long. The variety of terrain here is remarkable, with a myriad gladed shots from the summit taking high honors.
Blogger’s pick: Dedicated learning area for the kids Chipmunk Corner and Spaten and soup at Totemoff’s for mom and dad.