Taos Ski Valley is an Alpine Purist’s Paradise

Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley is an alpine purist’s paradise, tucked away in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. Its high elevation (11,819 feet at the top) makes it a snowier resort than most of its peers. This is one of the best powder destinations in North America and a great choice for the truest purist of skiers.

Pristine snow and limited crowds make Taos a dream destination for serious powder lovers. It’s also a wonderful destination for families, with plenty of ski-in / ski-out restaurants and other activities in the village.

Terrain at Taos is split almost evenly between green and blue trails, with some black terrain in the middle to give beginners a good challenge and a lot of double black terrain. The mountain has a strong focus on keeping the environment pristine, by restricting the number of guests, ensuring that every trail is well-groomed and maintained, and by keeping avalanche control to an all-time low.

Awe-inspiring views from the top of the ridge, with spectacular vistas on both sides of the slopes, are a major draw for skiers at Taos. The view from the top of Kachina Peak is especially awe-inspiring, as it stretches out over the Taos River Valley and the Santa Fe River Valley to Wheeler Peak and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The mountain offers a challenging ski experience for intermediate to expert skiers, with 70% of the terrain rated as experts. The difficulty score at Taos is 82.8, which ranks it in the top 10% of all ski resorts across North America.

Despite its challenges, the mountain offers a solid selection of steep and deep runs that are suitable for all ability levels. You can ski the infamous Al’s Run, top to bottom without stopping, or you can try your hand at a gnarly mogul traverse, like those found in the Wild West glades on the east side of the mountain.

In addition, the resort boasts an impressive art collection and has a thriving spa industry. The recently-opened Blake hotel is a fantastic addition to the resort, with 80 guest rooms featuring an exquisite art collection and an excellent spa for a reasonable price.

It’s a bit of a climb to get to the top of the mountain, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning view over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and a truly authentic alpine experience.

Taos is a member of the Ikon ski pass network, which allows you to purchase an unlimited lift ticket for a single season or buy separate passes for individual slopes. The Taos pass also provides access to other ski areas in New Mexico, including Alta Ski Valley and Snowbowl.

The mountain offers a variety of dining and bar options at its base, many with a European flair. The Bavarian Lodge is a wonderful spot to grab lunch and a beer after your long day on the slopes, while Rhoda’s, named for the first lady of Taos, has a lovely plaza patio to relax and drink your brews in.