As we established in an earlier post about our state’s climate, New Mexico is proud to claim one of the most diverse landscapes available in the country. With wide, scorched deserts and mesas to snow-capped mountains, our environment is one of extremes and contradictions. To keep pace with the diverse landscape, New Mexicans participate in a wide range of outdoor adventure and recreational activities. From skiing to camping, whitewater rafting to mountain biking, New Mexico is an adventurer’s dream come true. The arid images splayed on advertisements and tourism media lead visitors and observers to believe that we’re full of desert. It’s true—we are. However, we have a lot to offer in the world of winter recreation. So, to answer your question, yes—you can ski in New Mexico.
New Mexico is home to a whopping nine ski resorts in New Mexico. You heard us right—nine. Clustered primarily in the northern part of the state, our ski resorts boast the best conditions south of the Mason-Dixon line. Six are located in the Santa Fe area: Red River Ski & Summer Area, Taos Ski Valley, Enchanted Forest Ski Area, Angel Fire Resort, Sipapu, Ski Santa Fe, and Pajarito. Sandia Peak is just outside Albuquerque, and Ski Apache is way down south, just north of Alamogordo. Additionally, all ski resorts are close to major roads—primarily I-40 and I-25. No matter where you live in the state, a great day on the slopes is, at a maximum, three hours away.
These mountains aren’t baby hills, either. When you read about ski mountains in the south, you likely think of 300-400-feet of a vertical drop. New Mexico is different. Taos Ski Valley, for example, offers a whopping 3,281 feet of vertical, 15 lifts, 110 trails, and 1,200 skiable acres—enough terrain to rival the colossal resorts of Colorado and Utah. Even Ski Santa Fe, which is quite far away from the state’s northern border, has a 1,725-foot vertical drop and gets an average 225 inches of snowfall each year. Of course, we have several family-friendly options, but the point is: our ski resorts don’t mess around.
Just like the north, our ski resorts are clustered around ski towns. In these areas, like Tres Ritos, Angel Fire, and Taos, you’ll find everything you need to prepare for an unforgettable ski trip—equipment rentals, demos, guide books, and experienced locals full of insider tips. You might come to New Mexico to see a cactus, but you’ll stay for the expert piste.