New Mexico has the reputation as the place where Texans learn to ski. That's because it is, in fact, where Texans learn to ski. And Oaklahomans, Arizonians, and certain Nebraskans. But trust us, it’s not just for Texans. The four major ski areas of Taos, Red River, Angel Fire, and Ski Santa Fe make up what New Mexican's call the Enchanted Circle. This area offers a hard to beat combination of good terrain, low crowds, snowfall, and prices. Advanced skiers go to Taos and get lost in its 1,295 skiable acres. Lift tickets average $60 per day, and the maximum capacity of each area is about 4,500 people. Go for the powder, the lack of crowds, or go because you have a weird proclivity for cowboy hats and tamales. Follow the links below to learn how to ski, stay, and eat in each area of the Enchanted Circle.
The 800-pound gorilla of New Mexican skiing, Taos will test the legs of the most seasoned veterans. Family run since its inception and closely watched by one of the most experienced ski patrols in the country, Taos is a steep skier’s dream. But be careful; you might end up like many of Taos's employees who came to visit and now, 20 years later, still haven't left. Check out the Seven Things You Need To Know About Skiing Taos.
Ski Sante Fe
This not-so-little local hill 30 minutes from the town of Santa Fe has secrets of its own. From its origins, it has grown to offer everything from excellent beginner terrain to terrifyingly steep, cliff lined tree runs to New Mexico's finest backcountry skiing. Oh, and Ski Santa Fe's Totemoff's Bar has the best beer on tap of all the New Mexican resorts. Check out our Complete Guide to Skiing Santa Fe.
Angel Fire vs. Red River
Any family ski destination needs good lodging, off the hill activities, and a price tag that won't threaten little Johnny's college fund. Red River and Angel Fire are those destinations. The skiing on the two mountains is nearly identical. But leave the lifts and Angle Fire and Red River have as much in common as an '88 Dodge Dakota and a new Lexus. Go to Red River because you want a real ski town with lifts going all the way to Main Street. Just don't expect glitz. Go to Angel Fire because you want a modern, resort experience complete with real estate options and a golf course.