Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, New Mexico

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area | Escape2ski | Los Alamos, New Mexico | Ski New Mexico | New Mexico Ski Areas | Tourism New Mexico | Powder Magazine | Ski Magazine | On the Snow

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in New Mexico & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 1440ft/439m, total trails 44, closest airport 101mi/163km, and more. The ski area is located west of the town of Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains of North Central New Mexico. The Jemez Mountains are a volcanic group of mountains that span […]

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Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in New Mexico & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 1440ft/439m, total trails 44, closest airport 101mi/163km, and more.

The ski area is located west of the town of Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains of North Central New Mexico. The Jemez Mountains are a volcanic group of mountains that span Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Los Alamos County.

Los Alamos is located on the Pajarito Plateau between White Rock Canyon and Valles Caldera. Even though it was settled hundreds of years earlier, the area became quite popular in 1943, with the establishment of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As more people moved into the area to work at the Laboratory, there was a need for summer and winter recreation as a way for people to enjoy their leisure time.

Before Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, there was Sawyers Hill, which was the brainchild of a local ski club and opened to the public on December 24, 1944. But after many lean snow years, it was clear a new location was needed that would offer better winter conditions.

After finding an abundance of snow on Pajarito Mountain, the idea of moving to this new location was proposed to the ski club by Stretch Fretwell, Dale Holm, Bill Jarmie, and Mal Wallis. The ski club with the guidance of Bob Thorn, the president, began to plan a move by securing the land and going through other regulatory hurdles.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area would be located on the north face of Pajarito Mountain, which allowed for more consistent snow conditions. Finally, on November 23, 1957, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area opened to the public with no amenities and a few short runs.

The ski area enjoyed immediate success, but it was not until the 1962-63 winter season that a T-Bar would be operating on the Aspen Run. Further development was slow as ski area was self-funded and new additions happened when funds were available. After 1963, new trails were added, and for the 1969-70 winter season, the first chairlift would be in operation.

Since that time, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area has grown and expanded to offer skiing and snowboarding on four distinct zones, added snowmaking capabilities, and a small base area with day lodge. The ski area acquired new owners who continue to support the family-friendly values that make Pajarito a wonderful place to visit.

On the Slopes

  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area has a dedicated learning area near the base are, featuring open terrain and a chairlift. This is the perfect area for children to enjoy the snow if they are new to snow sports or looking to improve their skills.
  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area has a great selection of terrain with the majority of the beginner and intermediate terrain found via the Townsight and Spruce Chairlifts. Boomer, Daisy Mae, and West Confusion are just a few of the fun intermediate trails.
  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area has naturally divided terrain. All of the advanced terrain is located near the Aspen Chairlift, and the expert rated terrain, such as Breathless and Sidewinder is concentrated near the Mother Chairlift.
  • Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is home to the Crazy Mother Terrain Park, which is an advanced park located near the summit of the mountain with access via the Mother Chairlift. Also, in the beginner area, there is the Rail Yard Terrain Park with small jibs designed for beginners.
  • The Snow Sports School is staffed with qualified instructors who teach skiing, snowboarding and telemarking. There are lessons offered for children and adults through either group or private instruction. You’ll also find a great selection of programs for the first-timer heading to the slopes.

Off the Slopes

  • There is no mountain-side accommodations at the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. But close by is the town of Los Alamos, that has a nice selection of places to stay. Options include Canyon Inn, Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, and several others.
  • Drop into the retail shop located in the Old Lodge to find gloves, goggles, hats, and other essential items that will make your day on the slopes more pleasant. Here you will also find Pajarito logo wear.
  • In need of a break, then visit the Pajarito Mountain Café located in the Main Lodge where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast before hitting the slopes or stop in for lunch and enjoy all your favorites, including salads, burgers and fries.
  • The town of Los Alamos has a vast selection of restaurants spread throughout the town. There is everything from fast food to casual and fine dining options.
  • Away from the ski area there are fun activities that include outdoor ice skating at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink from November until March. There is also a theatre for a night at the movies, shopping, and the Los Alamos History Museum or the Bradbury Science Museum.
  • Atomic City Transit is an excellent choice with their “free” transit service to get you to and from the ski area. Service is provided every 30 minutes from various downtown pick-up locations.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Closed

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
1440 ft / 439 m

Base Elevation:
9000 ft / 2743 m

Summit Elevation:
10440 ft / 3182 m

Skiable Area:
300 acres

Average Snowfall:
150 in / 381 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 44

Beginner: 9 (20%)

Intermediate: 22 (50%)

Advanced: 8 (18%)

Expert: 5 (12%)

Terrain Parks: 2

Snow Cross: No

Super Pipe: No

Half Pipe: No

Jib Park: Yes


Ski & Snowboard School: Both

Rentals & Repairs: Yes

Parking:  Free

Retail Shops: Yes

Children’s Ski Programs: Yes

Women's Ski Programs: Yes

Adaptive Ski Programs: Yes

Childcare: No

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Albuquerque NM , 101mi / 163km

Nearest Major City:
Santa Fe NM, 54mi / 87km

Nearest Town/City:
Los Alamos NM, 8mi / 13km

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Jan 21 to Mar 26

Skiing & Snowboarding: Both

Open Days: W, Th, F, Sa, Su

Hours of Operation:
9:00am to 4:00pm : Closed Christmas Day : Hours maybe subject to change.

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices


Lift Information

Total Lifts: 6

Quad Chairs: 1

Triple Chairs: 1

Double Chairs: 3

Surface Lifts: 1


Mountainside: No

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

Albuquerque Intl Sunport  (ABQ)
Distance: 101 mi / 163 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Santa Fe Municipal Airport  (SAF)
Distance: 51 mi / 83 km
Ranking: Limited Flights per Day

Contact Info

Central Reservations: N/A

Direct Phone: 505-662-5725

Snow Phone: 505-662-5725

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site