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It may come as a surprise to some visitors, but New Mexico is home to some of the top ski spots in the Southwest. Ski season here usually spans from late fall into early spring, with many resorts seeing up to 300 inches of snow annually. There are four major ski areas that are all within a two-hour drive of Santa Fe. The closest mountains are Ski Santa Fe (about 15 miles northeast of Santa Fe), which is home to 79 trails and 660 acres of terrain; Pajarito Mountain Ski Area (about 40 miles northwest), which features 40 trails and 300 skiable acres; and Sipapau Ski and Summer Resort (about 60 miles northeast), which has 41 trails, three terrain parks and 200 skiable acres. Those hoping to tackle a larger mountain with more varied terrain will have to travel a little farther to Taos Ski Valley, which is situated around 88 miles north of Santa Fe and boasts 1,294 acres and 110 trails. All four facilities feature terrain for all skill levels and on-site amenities like bars, restaurants, shops, lessons and more.
Visitors who tried Ski Santa Fe appreciated its proximity to the town and said there's even a shuttle (the RTD Mountain Trail shuttle) that runs from downtown Santa Fe to the mountain for a reasonable fee, making it easier to access. Skiers said the quality of the snow was great, the views are impressive and there were rarely lift lines. Sipapu and Pajarito are praised for being good fits for beginner skiers and families, with travelers noting affordable accommodations, fewer crowds and helpful staff members. Meanwhile, Taos Ski Valley earns heaps of praise for its challenging terrain, long runs and relaxed atmosphere.
Winter sports lovers looking to tackle Southwest powder should check the resorts' individual websites for more information on lift ticket costs, trails, events, opening hours and snow reports.