Move over fall, winter is coming.
“Ski season is almost here, and after the snowfall we experienced last season, excitement is in the air,” said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “High altitudes, coupled with New Mexico’s light, fluffy snow and brilliant sunshine, can create some of the finest ski conditions in the West. There is no reason to waste an additional five or six hours in the car this winter heading further north - and standing in long lift lines once you finally do get there - when you could already be on the slopes of New Mexico’s incredible winter resorts.”
George Brooks, executive director of Ski New Mexico, added “Our state’s ski resorts offer families a unique, affordable vacation. Since most of our resorts are owned and operated by families, they understand what makes a family vacation particularly special. New Mexico prides itself on comfortable hospitality, from warm welcomes to a variety of lodging options geared toward families to packages accommodating the tall and the small. Easy to get to and easy to enjoy, New Mexico has incredible days of skiing and riding in store for the whole family. If this sounds too good to be true, I invite you to experience it for yourself.”
- Red River Ski Area is “The Place to Learn,” where skiers and snowboarders of all levels feel at home. For those more experienced skiers and riders, the resort offers challenging trails and the Bobcat Terrain Park. For those families that would like to see the sights from the top of the mountain at night, snowmobile tours are offered on the weekends and available by reservations through the Skier Services office. Red River has opened on Thanksgiving Weekend for 47 consecutive years, with a little help from its recently updated snowmaking capabilities, that’s not going to change. Opening day is November 24. Visit www.redriverskiarea.com.
- Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort enters the ski season as the fastest growing resort in New Mexico - yet visitors still won't wait in line for a lift. Opening weekend is slated for November 20. To celebrate this distinction, Sipapu will be offering incredible specials all season long, so you can customize your trip by selecting your favorite specials or take advantage of the incredible packages, and enjoy a fun-filled vacation without worrying about the cost. For a full list of available specials, visit www.sipapunm.com.
- Discover Ski Apache is southern New Mexico's Premier Ski and Snowboard Resort. Fifty-five trails, beginning at 11,400 feet, fan out for skiers and snowboarders of all levels with a fall line of over 1,800 feet, making skiing and snowboarding a blast for everyone. Ski Apache is located just minutes from the beautiful mountain resort village of Ruidoso and the spectacular Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero. Opening is planned Thanksgiving Day Weekend. Visit www.skiapache.com
- Ski Santa Fe is nestled high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains just 16 miles from the heart of historic Santa Fe. With a base area elevation of 10,350 feet, Ski Santa Fe is among the highest ski areas in the continental United States. Its triple chairlift takes snow sport enthusiasts to a new height of 12,075 feet and some of the southwest's finest skiing. The vistas atop Ski Santa Fe are unsurpassed and act as the gateway for thrills including steep bump runs, powder-filled chutes, gladed tree-skiing, and plenty of groomers. Local patrons and visitors from around the world can all find something for their taste, whether a first time skier/boarder or seasoned veteran. Ski Santa Fe is family oriented, but those seeking a challenge can find their place on the mountain. Opening is planned November 25. Visit www.skisantafe.com/index.php/home
- With winter setting in and daytime temperatures dropping, snow guns at Taos Ski Valley are operating 24 hours a day. The crews are making snow on 100-percent of the beginner and intermediate terrain, giving Taos Ski Valley the largest snowmaking coverage area in the region. Snowmaking continues until the middle of January. The recent snowfall and cold temperatures have everyone at Taos Ski Valley gearing up for a great season. Opening day is planned November 26. For more information about everything going on at TSV this winter go to www.skitaos.org.
- Angel Fire Resort opens for the winter season on December 16. If your family is into it, so is Angel Fire. With two high-speed quads, two freestyle terrain parks and a mountain as big as all get-out, Angel Fire Resort has enough to keep the family happy all winter long. In addition to fantastic skiing and snowboarding, winter activities here include snowmobiling, tubing, Nordic skiing, ice skating, sleigh rides, snow blades, snow skates, ice fishing, horseback riding and torchlight parades. Visit www.anglefireresort.com
- Pajarito Mountain Resort is located on the eastern edge of the Jemez Mountains, five miles west of Los Alamos. It comprises around 750 acres of land, privately owned by Los Alamos Ski Club that was developed as a ski area in the late 1950s. Pajarito Mountain currently has 40 trails on 300 acres of skiable terrain, not counting some excellent tree skiing, and has some of the best bump skiing in the state. It is rarely crowded, and is noted for its lack of lift lines, offering 1,200 feet of vertical, five chair lifts and one surface lift. Open to the public - anyone can buy tickets or season passes - and with miles of groomed, lots of bumps, tree skiing, and a brand new terrain park, it is New Mexico's best kept skiing secret. Visit www.skipajarito.com/mountain.php.
- Sandia Peak Ski Area, 45 minutes from Albuquerque, is tentatively scheduled to open December 16. The Ski Area is fully equipped for a fun day on the slopes. Here you find Sandia Peak's certified snow sports school, a complete rental shop, skiers' cafe, and the Wintermill Ski Shop. Visit http://www.sandiapeak.com/index.php?page=winter-sports
- Retreat on cross-country skis or snowshoes to the center of the Valles Caldera, where you'll find yourself surprised by the wide expanse and distances. The Valle Grande, the largest of several large grassy meadows within the Valles Caldera, stretches more than three miles across and offers rolling terrain. Expect to be fully immersed in the quiet tranquility you can only find in snow-covered landscapes. You can also choose to traverse the Valle Grande and enter quiet mountain forests to more remote areas. Ski or snowshoe onward to the History Grove or Jaramillo Meadow for a grand tour of some of the prettiest areas of the Preserve. Visit www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/skisnow.
- Enchanted Forest Cross County Ski Area, New Mexico's only full service cross country ski area, offers 33km of trails groomed for both classic and freestyle skiing, and 15 km devoted to snowshoes. The area, located three miles from the Town of Red River, is scheduled to open November 19. Visit www.enchantedforestxc.com.
- Winter is a time of dreamlike beauty in the Rio Chama Valley. Days are sunny. Nights are clear and filled with a million stars. The surrounding mountain peaks sparkle in the moonlight with their jewelry of freshly fallen snow. In the valley, the combination of bright sunshine and lack of humidity make for surprisingly comfortable days. Higher, in the surrounding mountain passes, you’ll find a reliable base of snow. The gentle terrain of the mesas makes for perfect cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Equipment is available for rent locally at very reasonable prices. Groomed trails and marked tracks crisscross the accessible public lands. In colder years, visitors and residents alike enjoy fine ice fishing on Heron Reservoir. Visit www.chamavalley.com.
Visit www.skinewmexico.com for updated information, including opening dates.