Skip the lift lines and follow the snow this year to Taos Ski Valley; this New Mexico gem boasts unbridled terrain in the midst of a distinctly Southwestern setting. While chasing snow to epic mountain locations shouldn’t need a reason, the five listed below make the case for this cult classic.
1) Bring On The Snow
Without beating to death the uncertainties of what could be a season fueled by an enormous return of El Niño, Taos is primed for what might be a record setting year. Most weather analysts are predicting that Taos will be walloped by both freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation, as indicated by early data, in comparison to resorts farther up North that may experience warmer temperatures from the weather phenomenon. While nothing is set in stone, this could be the year to make some turns in Southwestern powder.
2) Get Your Steep Fix
Show of hands- has anyone reading this ridden Taos? Steep, sheer, and rugged are fitting descriptions of this quintessential skier’s mountain, but for lack of a better word, it’s a downright rad resort with the potential for some seriously ri-dic-u-lous lines. The Taos Freeride Championship is a qualifying event on the Freeride World Tour, and is an opportunity for elite competitors to experience some of the iconic chutes and cliffs that make up the mountain’s jagged terrain. Much of this same terrain is accessible via shorter hikes that are patrolled, and offers riders and skiers the chance to test their ability on some of the world’s best peaks.
3) Kachina Peak
Falling under the same umbrella category of terrain, Kachina Peak needs to be given a spotlight of it’s own. Formerly only accessible via a long bootpack, last season marked the first year that this local classic was accessible via chairlift, summiting at 12,450 feet. Offering 1,100 feet of vertical rise in a 5 minute ride, Kachina Peak Lift offers exceptional advanced and expert terrain, and one of the most breathtaking panoramas in the area.
4) Spice Things Up
When in New Mexico, do as the New Mexicans do- eat some chili (Christmas, please)! Taos is not your average ski town; it’s got that Southwestern spice and flavor that sets it apart from a classic Bavarian village. Spanish conquistadors first laid eyes upon the area now known as Taos as far back as the 16th century, although it served as a settlement for the Pueblo people many years prior. The plaza and traditional adobe architecture of this storied Southwestern spot ooze a type of romanticism that can only be found in the Southwest, and more specifically, in New Mexico. From the history to the hot peppers, Taos has an eclectic mix of shops, museums, and culinary hot spots to satiate the interests of any passerby.
5) Within Reach
Taos is accessible via Albuquerque International Airport or Santa Fe Municipal Airport, and is an easily driveable distance from major airports in Colorado as well. Taos is a feasible add to any Colorado ski trip, as it sits 300 miles, or four and a half hours South of Denver. Colorado Springs is another great jumping off point for Taos, as it’s located only 230 miles North of this Southwestern gem.
Make it a reality, and add a pilgrimage to Taos Ski Valley to your bucket list. Check out ticket deals for this season.