Think New Mexico to Enjoy a Different Kind of Rocky Mountain Ski Experience

The Slopes of The Southwest



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A new, $3-million chair lift, which summits at 12,450 feet, takes expert skiers to the top of Kachina Peak in Taos Ski Valley.

Courtesy Feed Media/ryan heffernan

 

When someone mentions skiing the Rocky Mountains, people often think of high-profile and pricey resort destinations known for catering to the rich and famous, such as Aspen, Colorado, or Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

I suggest you travel to the southern end of the majestic mountain range in New Mexico. You’ll find three ski resort destinations that offer all the height, vertical drops and impressive scenery of the northern venues at a fraction of the cost. And you’ll also avoid crowds — both in the resort destinations and on the slopes. The density factor is important to skiers at all levels, but especially for those at the beginner or intermediate levels who are already challenged by fear, inexperience and control issues.

At the start of five days of New Mexican ski experiences, Mike Cerletti, cabinet director of the state Tourism Department, addressed his state’s identity crisis.

“Either one has no conception of what the state has to offer or the wrong one,” he said.

On this particular media trip, our intermediate group experienced three ski destinations, spending a full day on the slopes at each, with an overnight stay to get a feel for the accommodations and culinary options.

For all the resorts, Albuquerque is your point of entry.

The Inn and Spa at Loretto in downtown Santa Fe offers guests traditional Pueblo construction and regional decor paired with exceptional service.

Courtesy nn and Spa at Loretto

 

Travel an hour out of town to Santa Fe and the nearby Ski Santa Fe. At 10,350 feet above sea level in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Ski Santa Fe offers one of the highest base elevations in the United States. There is no need for the novice to be intimidated: Sixty percent of Ski Santa Fe’s 72 runs are at the green (easy) and blue (intermediate) levels.

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