Best New Mexico ski resorts

New Mexico Family Ski Vacations

New Mexico Family Ski Vacations
Landing at Albuquerque International Sunport, passengers get a birds-eye view of the mountain they are about explore up-close. Often referred to as the "Land of Enchantment, " New Mexico has some of the most beautiful scenery from red cliffs to snow-capped peaks. Perched on the edge of the Rockies, the area offers light, powdery snow and pure-blue skies. Three hundred days of the year, the mountains are basked in sunshine.

New Mexico ski resorts are accessible, offering good values and a family-friendly atmosphere. Historic Native American culture pervades the area, from Anasazi pueblo ruins to local galleries that hang artwork and crafts. The food is great. Authentic, hearty dishes are rich with chili pepper spice. Locals have a down-to-earth, laid-back persona and are welcoming to outsiders.

Rich with history and historical prevalence, Taos Ski Valley is one of the few family-owned and operated ski resorts in America. Originally a ski-exclusive resort, Taos opened its doors to snowboarding for the first time in 2008. Today, avid skiers and snowboarders flock to this snow-covered mountain for some of the best trails and riding experiences around. With more than 1, 200 acres, 110 trails and 13 lifts, this New Mexico ski resort features a variety of terrains for all skill levels. The resort's trails are evenly dispersed, with beginner and intermediate terrains making up 50 percent, with the other 50 percent on advanced and expert terrain.

The resort features a children's center offering a variety of fun-filled activities for kids of all ages. The nursery staff offers childcare to children 6 weeks to 1 year. Indoor activities, snow play and tasty snacks are provided for children ages 1 to 3, with half-, full- and multiple-day sessions available. Kids age 3 and up can participate in a variety of ski and snowboarding programs, allowing them to learn the basics of riding and work on new skills and abilities. Five programs in total cater to kids with varying levels of expertise.

With plenty of lodging throughout the area, families can easily find something that will fit their needs and budget. From hotel rooms, suites and chalets to two- and three-bedroom ski-in/ski-out condo units, the Taos Ski Valley area has it all. The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant offers families a perfect mid-mountain ski-in/ski-out location. For a great family value and slopeside accommodations, the Alpine Village Suites offers spacious suites and studios with mini-kitchens and private balconies. Offering a variety of family amenities in a convenient slopeside location, the Edelweiss Lodge & Spa features one-, two- and three-bedroom condo units. Several other ski-in/ski-out condo units provide families with cozy accommodations and great family amenities.

Angel Fire

Consistently rated one of the top family ski areas in the Southern Rockies, Angel Fire offers tons of terrain for tubing and skiing. Beginner and intermediate trails make up more than 75 percent of the mountain's terrain, making it great for those just starting out. For more experienced riders there are several expert trails along the back of New Mexico's tallest mountain. More than 560 acres of trails are accessed by seven chair lifts, overlooking Moreno Valley and Wheeler Park. Music is pumped out on the trails from sound systems under the lifts, adding a festive vibe. The ski resort is also the only snowboarder half-pipe terrain park in the state. A timed NASTAR racecourse is just above the 8, 600-foot elevation base, offering recreational racing for anyone on a huge slalom format. The Polar Coaster is a three-lane trail down 1, 000-feet hills, perfect for tubing. Two freestyle parks have jumps, rails and boxes, putting Angel Fire on the top for snowboarding in New Mexico. The mountain's lower front side, home to the easiest trails, is lit up and open in the evenings for night skiing on Thursday through Sunday.

Children ages 4 to 12 can learn to ski in one of four full- or half-day classes, split by age. In the ski programs, all children are encouraged, not forced, to ski or snowboard. Classes include lunches, snacks, rentals and free lift ticket. Select classes are for first-time skiers only. Families can also rent skis and snowboards for kids up to age 12 at a discount. A range of adult ski classes are also available, based upon skill level.

At Angel Fire, most guests stay at The Lodge at Angel Fire, featuring cozy rooms and suites, an indoor pool and a hot tub near the Chile Express chairlift. The Caliente Grill offers breakfast and dinner on the second floor of the lodge. En Fuego hosts nightly entertainment, and The Coffee House in the lobby provides a morning caffeine fix. The base country club is home to Stonewood, a restaurant that serves American specialties and provides a children's menu. The country club also has a fitness center and indoor swimming pool. Angel Fire also offers larger rental condos, studios and vacation homes with up to five bedrooms.

Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Ski Santa Fe is a family-oriented resort with runs for beginners and a few challenging runs for more advanced riders. Deemed one of the highest ski areas in the United States, the resort has a base elevation of 10, 350 feet. The Millennium Triple Chairlift takes visitors to a soaring 12, 075 feet over 660 acres of gorgeous scenery, 1, 725 feet of vertical skiing and 73 well-groomed trails that appease skiers of all levels. With seven chairlifts total, don't expect to be waiting in lines at Ski Santa Fe. A freestyle terrain park, known as "The Bone Yard, " contains boxes, ramps and jibs for all riding enthusiasts. Guests can enjoy smooth runs up to 3 miles long, narrow chutes, and more challenging black diamond trails.

At the entrance to the ski area, La Casa Base hosts a cafe grill, the main ticket office, a rental shop and a sport store. Higher up the slopes, guests can enjoy a mid-mountain hot drink or meal by the fireplace at Totemoff Bar & Grill.

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