Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley | Escape2ski | Taos, New Mexico | Ski New Mexico | Tourism New Mexico | Powder Magazine | Ski Magazine | On the Snow

Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 3281ft/1000m, total trails 110, closest airport 154mi/248km, lifts 14, and more. The ski resort is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Carson National Forest and is nestled in the Canyon of Taos County at the end of NM State […]

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Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 3281ft/1000m, total trails 110, closest airport 154mi/248km, lifts 14, and more.

The ski resort is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Carson National Forest and is nestled in the Canyon of Taos County at the end of NM State Highway 50. The wilderness area of Wheeler Peak borders much of the ski resort to the south. Wheeler Peak is the highest mountain peak in New Mexico at 13,161ft/4012m.

Long before skiing came to the area, in the late 1800s, copper was discovered in the present day Taos Ski Valley and drew many people to this part of the country seeking opportunity and fortune. A mining company known as the Fraser Mountain Mining Company was formed when Albert C Twining, a New Jersey banker in invested in the mine. The area was later named after him in recognition of his contribution.

As with most resource-based areas, opportunities decline and by 1932 Twining was completely abandoned, and the town disappeared, including its name. It would not be until 1954 when Ernie Blake would discover this area while on a flight to Glenwood Springs, Colorado and lead to the idea of creating a ski area.

How Taos Ski Valley came to be was by way of romance. Ernie Blake was born in Germany, raised in Switzerland and had a passion for skiing. He moved to the United States in 1938, and met future wife Rhoda while on a ski trip to Vermont in December 1940, and then followed her to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Together the Blake’s worked to create, plan, and execute the opening of Taos Ski Valley in 1955 with just one run. The ski area was welcomed with excitement by the local community and as visits increased they added the first lift, a J-Bar in 1956.

Over the years, Taos Ski Valley began to earn a reputation for having some of the best advanced and expert terrain found anywhere, as well as an incredible European inspired village with all the amenities required to offer an amazing overall experience. Today, Taos Ski Valley features two base areas, the main village along with the smaller Kachina Village with three distinct ski and snowboard areas on this rugged mountain.

A little known fact is that Taos Ski Valley only opened its slopes to snowboarding in 2008 (well behind most other ski areas). The ski resort remained family owned until December 2013 when a new owner, Louis Bacon, an American investor saw the future potential for the ski resort and purchased what has grown from simple beginnings into a world-class ski resort.

On the Slopes

  • When you first glance at a trail map of Taos Ski Valley you will discover that 51% of the terrain is rated as advanced/expert. The front side trails are a haven for great advanced terrain on runs such as Snakedance, Inferno, and Al’s.
  • The 12,481ft/3804m Kachina Peak Summit is lift serviced and features some of the most challenging terrain on the mountain. A good reminder is to know your ability before heading to the summit and venturing onto runs known as Main Street and Cabin Chute.
  • Taos Ski Valley has a dedicated beginner area at the base and a Children’s Learning Center. The beginner area is a great place to start to learn to ski or improve your skill set before heading into the high alpine.
  • Taos Ski Valley has one terrain park for those looking to gain some air, ride the rails, and create memories with their friends. There are small to medium jumps, rails, boxes, rainbows, and other jib features located mid-mountain near Lift 7.
  • The Ernie Blake Snowsports School has a team of dedicated instructors who can provide ski and snowboard lessons if you are new to the slopes or help provide instruction if you are looking to improve your skills with the latest techniques.
  • Taos Ski Valley has a variety of lodging situated in and around the village base area. Some of the properties are located within walking distance of the chairlifts. There are condominiums such as the Sierra del Sol and the Snakedance along with a selection of mountain cabins.
  • Taos Ski Valley also features their signature property, The Blake, a deluxe 80-room extraordinary lodging experience that is located in the heart of the quaint and charming mountain village. The Blake has a variety of amenities including a spa, pool, and fitness center.

Off the Slopes

  • In and around the Taos Ski Valley there are numerous activities away from the slopes, including seven snowshoe trails that cover over 30mi/50km along with 14mi/23km of Nordic Trails. Rentals are available from the many ski shops in the area. There are even guided snowmobile tours where you experience incredible views of New Mexico’s highest peaks.
  • Taos Ski Valley has several options when it comes to dining throughout the village area. You can enjoy casual to fine dining at such places as the Blonde Bear Tavern, Stray Dog Cantina, The Bavarian Restaurant, and Hotel St Bernard Restaurant.
  • The Taos Ski Valley Childcare is located in the Children’s Center and is equipped to look after children ages 8 weeks to 3 years. Here your child will have fun with games, activities and interacting with other children while you have some time on the slopes. Reservations are recommended.
  • Stroll around the village area and you will discover a diverse selection of specialty ski shops including Cottam’s Ski Shop, Boot Doctors, and Alpine Xtreme. Shop for the latest clothing, accessories and get equipment rentals, and more. There is even a local market for groceries.
  • About 45 minutes away is the historic town of Taos you will find accommodations, shopping, many art galleries, dining at the local restaurants the Taos Art Museum.
  • The North Central Regional Transit District (RTD) provides free bus service to and from Taos Ski Valley. Use the Helpful Links below for more transit info. The RTD provides service to the Town of Taos, El Prado, Arroyo Seco, Valdez, and Taos Ski Valley.
  • Taos Transportation provides a convenient daily pick-up and drop-off airport service that operates all year. It services the Albuquerque International Sunspot Airport, Santa Fe, and Taos airports. Call 1-800-776-1111 for more information and to make a booking.
  • Another exciting feature about Taos Ski Valley is Taos Air operated by Ultimate Jet Charters. It provides non-stop flights from Austin International and Dallas-Love Field, Texas to the Taos Regional Airport. Also provided are two free checked bags and complimentary ground transportation to the ski area.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Closed

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
3281 ft / 1000 m

Base Elevation:
9200 ft / 2804 m

Summit Elevation:
12481 ft / 3804 m

Skiable Area:
1294 acres

Average Snowfall:
300 in / 762 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 110

Beginner: 26 (24%)

Intermediate: 28 (25%)

Advanced: 25 (23%)

Expert: 31 (28%)

Terrain Parks: 1

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: Yes

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Albuquerque NM , 154mi / 248km

Nearest Major City:
Taos NM, 19mi / 31km

Nearest Town/City:
Taos NM, 19mi / 31km

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Nov 24 to Apr 16

Skiing & Snowboarding: Both

Open Days: Open Daily

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

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices


Lift Information

Total Lifts: 14

Pulse Gondolas: 1

Express Quad Chairs: 1

Quad Chairs: 4

Triple Chairs: 3

Double Chairs: 1

Surface Lifts: 4


Mountainside: Yes

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

Albuquerque Intl Sunport  (ABQ)
Distance: 154 mi / 248 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Santa Fe Municipal Airport  (SAF)
Distance: 98 mi / 158 km
Ranking: Limited Flights per Day

Contact Info

Central Reservations: 1-800-776-1111

Direct Phone: 575-776-2291

Snow Phone: 1-844-828-5601

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site

Mountainside Lodging

Nearby Lodging