Cross country skiing on the streets of Taos, New Mexico after a recent snowfall.
Skiing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're thinking about the arid Southwest. However, the high mountain ranges of Southern Colorado and New Mexico provide the cold temperatures necessary to produce snow when precipitation flows in the atmosphere. In fact, the greatest annual snowfall at a down hill ski resort in Colorado is usually at Wolf Creek in Southern Colorado. Snowfall in the mountains also makes for some excellent cross country ski adventures.
Skiing cross country at Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico.
Cross country skiing can be undertaken wherever sufficient snow falls. We've skied the city streets in Durango, Taos and Santa Fe when blessed with a heavy snowfall. However, back country skiing is what really gets our blood flowing. To get out in the mountains and experience the sunshine and scent of the pines is pretty much close to heaven. We're not talking here about going to a down hill ski resort and paying to cross country ski on their groomed trails. Why do that when the National Forests await? Most of the National Forest roads in the high mountains are closed in the winter, and all you have to do is drive in as far as you can, park, and slap on your skis. Then head on up the snow packed roads and bliss is yours for free. The jeep roads of the summer become the cross country ski trails in the winter. If you stay on the road you can't get lost, and avalanche danger is minimized as long as there aren't steep slopes above you.
We've been skiing cross country in Southern Colorado and New Mexico for many years, and can guide you to the best places. Memories abound about the Old Monarch Pass Road in Colorado with the incredible views west, and gliding on the forest roads on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass. New Mexico cross country skiing memories include the climb up the Aspen Vista road in Santa Fe National Forest, just a few miles out of Santa Fe. And who could ever forget the windblown days skiing cross country in the vast flat expanse of Valles Caldera National Preserve west of Los Alamos. https://www.nps.gov/vall/index.htm Come explore with us!
Cross country skiing in the crater of the extinct volcano at Valles Caldera is an unforgettable experience!
Some of the absolute best powder skiing down hill is found in the ski resorts of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. These resorts are usually far less crowded than the resorts west of Denver. So it is worth the drive from the big city to head to the south. Or fly into Durango or Santa Fe and head out from there. In Southern Colorado you'll find the magnificent resorts of Telluride, Purgatory/Durango, Wolf Creek, and Monarch Mountain. In northern New Mexico skiing is incredible at Red River, Taos Ski Valley, Sipapu, and Ski Santa Fe. Southern New Mexico offers skiing at Ski Apache and Cloudcroft, but snowfall there is often scant, so a check of conditions is prudent before heading there. Wherever you go, you'll find plenty of sunshine and often fresh deep powder for your down hill skiing adventure. We'll guide you to the best experiences there!
An early Autumn snowfall blankets the ski slopes at Purgatory/Durango.
(The rest of our Skiing section is currently under construction. Please check back often, and come explore with us!)