New Mexico Ski Resorts: Find the Perfect Spot for Your Ski Adventure
The major New Mexico ski resorts are mostly clustered in the north central part of the state, where the vast majority of the snow and mountains are found. But just because you understand the Land of Enchantment’s unique geography doesn’t mean you automatically know which of the New Mexico ski resorts is right for you. That’s where we come in.
New Mexico Ski Resorts
Located in the northeast corner of Santa Fe National Forest, Angel Fire Ski Resort has over 560 acres of skiable terrain. 79 trails cut through the resort which features a 2077 foot vertical. Angel Fire also has three terrain parks and over four glades for tree skiing. A dedicated learning area and daily ski lessons will help get you ready to hit the rest of the park, or any of the New Mexico ski resorts. If you’re a fan of night skiing, Angel Fire has that covered as well. The entire front side of the mountain is lit to allow night skiing from 4 to 8 pm.
Pajarito uses one face of Pajarito Mountain to deliver a skiing experience par excellence. With four different lifts taking you to a different starting point, there is a ski trail combination for everyone. The park covers over 300 skiable acres with 40 runs. This park is rarely crowded, so there are no lines for any of its six lifts. Pajarito also has a gerrain park located just off of the Mother Lift. The vertical here is 1240 feet, and Pajarito makes the most of it with cruisers designed to let you zip down the mountain at whatever speed you feel most comfortable with.
When Taos is a little more crowded than you like, turn your gaze north to Red River Ski Area. Red River has 57 trails and 1 glade for skiing, with 7 lifts. The backside of the mountain is reserved entirely for novice skiers, with nine beginners’ trails. Getting there requires riding the platinum or copper chair lift up to the summit, then taking the green chair to the starting point for the novice runs. On the front side of the mountain, there are three terrain parks and 19 expert runs that take advantage of the full 1600 foot vertical. Red River receives about 200 inches of snow annually, but also has snowmaking capabilities over 85 percent of the park, ensuring that it’s always a good day to snow at Red River.
Sandia Peak is located in the northeast corner of Albuquerque and features the world’s longest aerial tramway. This tram runs a total of 2.7 miles as it takes you to Sandia Mountain Peak at an elevation of 10,378 feet. As New Mexico ski resorts go, this one is a cruiser’s paradise, featuring 39 trails that all take advantage of the 1700 foot vertical. Most of the trails are rated as intermediate, but there are some branches that will veer into expert ratings because of the pitch or terrain. The lower right of the ski area is a dedicated learning center with four runs and a wide open hillock for getting comfortable on your skis.
Ski Santa Fe
Twenty minutes northeast of the city center lies the Santa Fe National Forest. And nestled inside is Ski Santa Fe resort, with over 660 acres of skiing. Ski Santa Fe receives over 225 inches of snow annually and opens every year near mid-November, thanks to snow making coverage on over 50 percent of the mountain. There are 79 trails, 39 of which are groomed daily. The vertical at Ski Santa Fe is 1725 feet, with several cruisers that take advantage of every foot. There are also two terrain parks, three expert glades, and a double-black diamond bowl to keep your skis busy.
Located in the Carson National Forest, Sipapu Ski Area sprawls out over 200 acres with a 1055 foot vertical. This ski park has three terrain parks and lots of tree lined cruisers, but where it shines is in its expert-rated glades and chutes. Annual snowfall at Sipapu is about 190 inches per year and the average ski season runs from mid-November to early April. There are a total of 41 trails with 8 beginner, 16 intermediate, 10 advanced, and 7 expert rated runs.
Operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, this resort is located just northwest of Ruidoso. It opened in 1961 and was the site of the first single cable quad lift gondola in North America. The ski resort has 55 total trails over 750 acres of skiing. With 11 lifts, Apache has the highest lift capacity of any resort in New Mexico. There are seven beginner trails, 15 intermediate trails, and 26 expert-rated runs at Ski Apache, making sure there is a trail for everyone, regardless of ski experience.
Taos was founded in 1954 and has since evolved into one of the premier New Mexico ski resorts. Covering 1294 acres, Taos features 110 trails with a vertical drop of 3250 feet. 15 lifts service the mountain with four quads, three triples and five doubles ferrying skiers all over the mountain. There are two terrain parks, multiple glades, chutes and cruisers aplenty, enough to satisfy any skier’s appetite. For those who want something more exciting, the new Kachina Peak Lift takes you up to the peak at 12,481 feet above sea level. From there, expert skiers can zip down Main Street, a wide open run with one heck of a slope. If that’s not the snow you’re looking, a short hike will take you to any number of chutes or bowls for some epic drop-ins. For less experienced skiers, Taos has plenty of softly pitched cruisers that will let you amble down the mountain, taking in the amazing scenery. Of note for ski tourists, Taos joined the Mountain Collective this year, which includes other resorts such as Sun Valley, Mammoth and Jackson Hole.