Best Skiing In New Mexico: The Best Mountains and Dates for the Best Snow Experience

Written by Lev Baker
Published: January 19, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


Skiing in New Mexico is a must, as the mountains and snowfall provide prime skiing conditions. The state attracts thousands of visitors each year during ski season. It is impossible to make a wrong choice when looking for a ski resort in New Mexico as there are plenty of top-quality ski parks and resorts to choose from that cater to all skiing levels. Most of New Mexico’s resorts have top elevations above 12,000 feet, making New Mexico a buried treasure for skiers. New Mexico may not have the most ski resorts in the country, with only 8 major ski areas, but each area is extensive and unique. This article will break down 5 of the best ski resorts in New Mexico and discuss the best time to visit to maximize the fun you get out of your winter vacation!

Taos Ski Valley

We can’t talk about skiing in New Mexico without mentioning Taos Ski Valley. Taos Ski Valley is the go-to skiing destination in New Mexico, as it is the largest ski resort in the state. This ski resort is well known for its challenging terrain. This means intermediate and expert skiers will absolutely enjoy Taos Ski Valley to its fullest. But don’t worry if you aren’t an expert yet, there are plenty of beginner slopes as well as a ski school, so this ski resort is perfect for all! The skiable area is huge at 1,294 acres with 110 runs. You will certainly never be bored and can ski away all of your problems.

There are 13 lifts, ensuring you won’t have to wait in long lines. This is great as this resort is a popular ski destination that can get very busy during peak season. The vertical drop is at a whopping 3,131 feet, with the top elevation at 12,481 feet!

Ski Taos, New Mexico's Kachina Peak

Kachina Peak in Taos, New Mexico provides a thrill for snow skiers.

©Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock.com

As a plus, Taos Ski Valley is dedicated to protecting the local environment. They boast of becoming a certified B Corp and take their social responsibility very seriously. Skiing here means you can ski with a happy heart knowing that Taos Ski Valley is doing its utmost best for the environment and the community.

Taos Ski Valley offers a variety of lodging for you to extend your skiing vacation. The resort features slopeside lodging in a fantastic 80-room hotel. Penthouses and bedroom vacation rentals are also available if you want to enjoy your skiing adventures to the max. If you want to explore the Town of Taos, there is also a range of accommodations, including hotels, motels, inns, and rental homes, that may fit your needs. This is perfect if you want to see what the local town has to offer to fully immerse yourself in the Taos, New Mexico experience.

Average Annual Snowfall

The annual average snowfall at Taos Ski Valley is an impressive 166 inches. The best months to visit the resort are between December and March when the average monthly snowfall is at its highest. The snowfall reaches its peak in February with an average of 45 inches and a maximum base depth of 102 inches. However, because the snowmaking capabilities are at 100% for beginner and intermediate slopes, you will have fun whether it is snowing or not.

Angel Fire Resort

Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Southern Rockies, Angel Fire Resort is the perfect place to explore on skis. With 560 acres of skiable area, including two terrain parks and 7.4 miles of Nordic skiing terrain, this resort has all the features you need to make the most of your trip. The mountain has a top elevation of 10,677 feet and a resort base elevation of 8,600 feet. The vertical drop of around 2,080 feet is sure to impress.

The resort has a total of 81 trails serviced by 7 lifts, with a mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert difficulties to choose from. They even have night skiing if you want to enjoy the night air across 50 acres of fully groomed trails. A tubing hill and kids’ sledding are also featured at Angel Fire Resort, ensuring everyone, even non-skiers, can have fun. Complete beginners need not worry as the ski lessons at the resort cater to all skill levels and all ages. They also have a full range of quality equipment to hire to get you out on the slopes feeling confident and safe.

Angel Fire Mountain and Resort in New Mexico

Angel Fire Mountain in New Mexico offers stunning views as you take to the slopes.

©Marcelo Rodriguez/Shutterstock.com

The lodging at Angel Fire Resort is comfortable and relaxing. It is complete with indoor pools and hot tubs, a fitness center, free WiFi, and complimentary parking. They even have pet-friendly rooms! The lodge has a few dining options and easy access to nearby retail and restaurants in the village. Be sure to check Angel Fire Resort’s website, as they have package discounts and deals available across all services they offer. 

Average Annual Snowfall

Receiving an average of 113 inches of snowfall per year, the best time to visit Angel Fire Resort is between November and March, with February having the heaviest snowfall at 33 inches and a maximum base depth of 70 inches. The resort also has enough snowmaking machines to top up 52% of the mountain and 85% of the beginner terrain, making it a bit easier for the less experienced.

Ski Apache

Ski Apache is a family-friendly ski resort located in the southern part of New Mexico. This ski resort is an excellent location for families, as 80% of the runs are for beginners and intermediate skiers. It features over 750 skiable acres with 55 runs and trails to enjoy. But not to worry if you’re an advanced skier, Ski Apache’s ski area is enjoyable for more experienced skiers as well, with a vertical drop of 1,900 feet that should keep you on your toes. The longest run at Ski Apache is around 2.5 miles long!

Ski Apache is a definite skiing destination, as the alpine peak is more than 12,000 feet. Amazing views of the desert lands can be appreciated from the mountain. The resort has 11 lifts, keeping the lift lines short and sweet. It also has New Mexico’s only eight-passenger gondola! Great for larger parties. Ski Apache also features the third longest zipline in the world, going 9,000 feet at up to 60 miles per hour!

There are two amazing accommodation options that offer the best lodging near the resort. Luxury rooms include a spa, pool, golf course, and more. An affordable condominium unit is close to shops, restaurants, and galleries. The town of Ruidoso has many other accommodation and restaurant options and is only about 15 miles from Ski Apache.

Average Annual Snowfall

Being a mountain in the middle of a desert, Ski Apache gets less snow than other areas. The annual average snowfall is only around 54 inches at Ski Apache. The best months to visit are between December and February, as the average monthly snowfall reaches its highest during these months. December may be the best month to visit as the average snowfall reaches its peak at 19 inches. There is also snow-making on around a third of the resort to make up for the lack of snow. But to really enjoy Ski Apache at its prime, be sure to check the snowfall before your visit!

Red River Ski Area

Red River Ski Area is another ski resort located in Taos County, New Mexico, “built by miners, not developers,” spanning 209 acres of skiable land. The mountain peaks at 8,750 feet with a vertical drop of 1,600 feet. There are 64 trails to choose from, with a claimed “most smiles per slope in North America.” Complete with three fully-featured terrain parks at the resort, Red River Ski Area is perfect for the experienced skier and thrill seeker. The trails span both sides of the mountain, and 7 lifts are available to get you where you need to go, so there is a very low chance of overcrowding. 

Red River Ski Area is also host to a range of winter events. Such as torchlight and firework parades, and snowmobile races. So even if you aren’t here to ski, there will surely be something to keep you occupied throughout your time here.

For newbies or first-timers, there is a range of lessons available catering to every age group, from 2 years old and beyond. With most runs being of beginner difficulty, Red River Ski Area is one of the best ski resorts in New Mexico for novice skiers. There are also plenty of runs to practice on away from the more experienced skiers. There are also private lessons available for people that want focused one-on-one training. Even if you are relatively confident on the slopes, a lesson from a professional coach may help you improve and move on to bigger and better slopes.

There are many nearby amenities to this wild-west-themed resort. These amenities range from shopping, dining, equipment servicing, and lodging. One day is never enough at Red River, so an overnight stay is a must. There are some lodging options on the resort itself, but they have also partnered with the ones close by to ensure there is always a place to relax and put your feet up at the end of your long day on the slopes. In fact, one of the ski lifts is located right by the main street of the town, so getting to and from the town is accessible, to say the least.

Average Annual Snowfall

102 inches of snow falls annually here, with the best month for snow being February at 33 inches on average. Of course, as with most other ski resorts, the best time to visit is between December and March. But with that said, Red River Ski Area has the most powerful snowmaking system in the state, ensuring top conditions even when the weather holds out, giving you fresh powdery snow across 85% of the mountain.

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe is perfect for those wanting to ski without traveling too far from the comforts of a city. This resort is only 16 miles from downtown Santa Fe, making it a popular destination for those around the area. You can ski all day and then explore Santa Fe and its nightlife at night! Ski Santa Fe is a medium-sized resort that has 660 skiable acres. There are 86 runs featured that can cater to all skiing levels. Beginner and intermediate runs make up 60% of the runs, while expert runs make up 40%. 

The vertical drop is 1,725 feet, with the top elevation at 12,075 feet! The 7 lifts keep the lines moving. Ski Santa Fe also offers many lessons, including private lessons, family packages, youth programs, and adult programs. Ski and snowboard rentals are also provided for you to enjoy your skiing trip without the baggage.

The accommodation options at Ski Santa Fe are endless. Because it is so close to Santa Fe, you can lodge at hotels, inns, or bed and breakfasts. Ski Santa Fe makes booking accommodation easy as it provides a list of lodging that have Ski & Stay offers. Enjoy Ski Santa Fe and everything it has to offer by choosing to stay on-site!

Santa Fe Mountain in New Mexico ski slopes

With an average annual snowfall of 148 inches, Santa Fe Mountain in New Mexico is prime for powder-seekers.

©Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock.com

Average Annual Snowfall

The snowfall at Ski Santa Fe is impressive, with the average annual snowfall at 148 inches. The snowfall is the greatest between December and March. During these months, you will be able to enjoy Ski Santa Fe at its snowiest! The average monthly snowfall peaks in December and in March at 35 inches each! But no matter the month, you will surely enjoy your time at Ski Santa Fe.

Up Next:

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock.com


Share on:
About the Author

Lev is a writer at AZ Animals who primarily covers topics on animals, geography, and plants. He has been writing for more than 4 years and loves researching topics and learning new things. His three biggest loves in the world are music, travel, and animals. He has his diving license and loves sea creatures. His favorite animal in the world is the manta ray.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.