To ski New Mexico may be the perfect vacation for you to a state known for its southwestern appeal. In New Mexico winter is a state of mind and the sun
shines brilliantly in between fast and furious snowstorms.
Mountain shadows float over towering pines and firs. Snow
covered adobes defined by festive garlands look like colorful
Southwestern gingerbread houses. At this time of year
the rhythm of life slows down a pace or two as people
stoke flames in kiva fireplaces and the smell of baked
goods resonates in the air. The dichotomy of winter and
summer moods is as severe as the split in the Rio Grande
canyon. Skiers start pouring in to ski New Mexico, skis
strapped tightly on car roofs so as not to lose prized
possessions. Affordable flights
to New Mexico are coveted by skiers as this time of
year sees some of the cheaper flights to New Mexico arise.
Those who regularly ski New Mexico know exactly what they're looking for and where. They know the ins and outs of valleys and hills like the backs of their hands. When they ski New Mexico the thrill of it all comes flying back like a furiously thrown boomerang. When skiers ski New Mexico the smell and chill of the air, the snow-covered peaks and hills and the steep chutes and glades are a welcome respite from smoldering summer days. Summer seems to go on endlessly without a stitch of snow in sight and only dreams allowing skiiers to ski New Mexico.
New Mexico ski resorts and hotels start filling up as soon as there's enough snow on the ground. Some hotels are booked far ahead of opening season. Most skiers stay near the ski hills and catch shuttles while others prefer their own vehicles for the holidays and prefer rental cars for transportation to and from the ski hill and to check out other nearby attractions when not rushing down snow covered slopes.
Winter temperatures are generally fairly moderate averaging roughly mid 30's during the day to mid-teens earlier in the morning. New Mexico ski resorts enjoy an average yearly snow fall of approximately 180" in the valley and over 200" in the ski areas although this does vary throughout the different New Mexico ski resorts.
When looking for New Mexico ski resorts and hotels there are 8 major hills, 7 of which are located in the Northeast part of the state where the highest annual snowfall is enjoyed. Many taking new Mexico ski trips will test out several ski resorts because a handful are so close together. Enchanted Forest is the state's biggest cross country ski area with 33 km's of trails groomed for freestyle and classic XC skiing and 15 kms of trail for snowshoeing.
Taos Ski Valley is one of the most popular resorts for skiers on New Mexico ski trips averaging 305 inches of snow every year. Over 1200 acres of prime skiing area are filled with 110 trails, 12 lifts running from 9am-4pm with a capacity of 15,000 people per hour, base elevation of 9,207 feet with the highest lift serving 11,819 feet. The highest vertical drop is 3,274 with a hike up Kachina Peak.
An alternative for New Mexico ski trips is Ski Santa Fe averaging 225 inches of snow a year. The ski resort has 660 acres of breathtaking terrain, 67 trails, 12,075 foot summit, 1,725 vertical feet of skiing, 7 lifts. The longest run goes on for 3 miles. New Mexico ski vacations to Angelfire are a good bet in the winter months as well. The resort gets 210 inches of snow annually and 52% of the mountain receives snowmaking services. With 70 trails, 7 lifts, and a base elevation of 8,600 feet.
There are some other ski resorts that are great for New Mexico ski vacations but they just don't share in as much of the glory as some of the bigger ones. Smaller hills have their own advantages such as less crowded hills and ski amenities. Some of the other New Mexico ski hills include Pajarito Mountain, Red River, Sipapu, Sandia Peak and Valles Caldera National Preserve. Ski Apache is the lone one of the bunch located in south eastern New Mexico