Taos, New Mexico
Do you like to ski steep and deep, uncrowded slopes with no frills?
If you like challenging tree skiing and short, easy hikes down ridgelines to steep, powder-filled runs, a trip to Taos should be a top priority.
In the past, this resort was only available to skiers, but the 2008/2009 season was the first season that Taos allowed snowboarders. Taos is a dramatic peak rising to over 3800 meters in the middle of the New Mexican desert. It's about as far south as you can ski in the Rockies, so early December and late April snow can be a little patchy. Taos is best know for it's steep black and double black runs, but there is plenty of choice for intermediates and adequate beginner areas. Taos is a family owned resort and not big on the frills, but it has a laid back atmosphere with plenty of serious skiers. It's not uncommon to see people skiing Taos in their jeans, but don't let that fool you. They ski in their jeans because they're on the mountain every day, and they don't fall.
Skiing in Taos
Taos is all about the skiing. Slopes are maintained to a high standard, double black bowls are avalanche controlled, lift lines don't exist, and mountain amenities are few. Other than the main village, there is only one restaurant on the mountain and another on the back side however, one of them is a funky little Bavarian style restaurant with large beers and great food. With 300+ days of sunshine, you can be confident of beautiful weather, but Taos still manages to grab over 7.5 meters of snow a year. Just in case conditions aren't adequate, every ski run on the mountain has snowmaking capabilities. The highest lift is at 3600 meters, but there is easy hiking access to higher elevations. Taos is a paradise for advanced skiers with over 50 percent of the 110 ski runs designated expert. Upon arriving at the base, the only run that you can see is Al's Run, one of the steepest, most difficult runs on the mountain. But beginners and intermediates should not be scared with 25 percent of the ski runs belonging to the intermediates with some nice cruisy blue runs. Although only 24 percent of the runs are designated easy, they are spread across the front and back sides of the mountain and allow you to explore the whole area. Snowboarders are new to Taos, but there is still a terrain park. It has two huge airs, a quarter pipe, and some rails.
Apres ski in Taos
Apres ski in Taos is limited with a few bars at the base, but the village of Taos about 10 miles away has an ample supply of bars and restaurants. It's a beautiful Adobe town in the desert with a huge variety of art studios and some highly rated restaurants. It has several bars and a 24 hour casino. The town is reasonably priced and the locals are very welcoming and gracious.