Ski New Mexico? This southern state seems an unlikely choice for a ski USA
holiday. Think New Mexico and you conjure up thoughts of cactuses, deserts, and hot weather. However the Southern end of the Rocky Mountains extends into New Mexico, and when you realise that some of the ski resorts are only a couple of hours drive from Colorado, skiing in New Mexico seems to make more sense.
New Mexico has some great ski resorts with dry, dry powder, but the land of enchantment has a lot to offer beyond just the skiing. It’s culturally interesting considering the unique mix of Mexican, Hispanic, and Native American influences, as well as the European inspiration at some of the ski resorts. And outside of Andorra and skiing in South America
, there aren’t too many ski destinations where you can practise your Spanish language skills!
The ski resorts in New Mexico are not particularly commercialised, and a ski holiday in NM is generally more economical than in other states. Another drawcard is the lack of crowds. New Mexico is sparsely populated, and with few international and interstate visitors, lift queues or congested access roads are a very rare occurrence.
New Mexico Ski Resorts
There are nine downhill ski resorts in New Mexico. They vary substantially from the high profile Taos Ski Valley
, to ski hills that only the locals know about. Taos has the largest ski terrain with 1,294 acres (524 hectares), although this is pretty small in comparison to many of the mega USA ski resorts. (See our USA ski resort statistics comparison
to see how Taos compares).
Apache ski resort, about 3 hours southeast of Albuquerque, is 750 acres (300 hectares). Santa Fe and Angel Fire are slightly smaller, and Red River, a fun little ski resort is only 290 acres (117 hectares). However it gets even smaller with Cloudcroft ski resort clocking in at a very petite 68 acres (27 hectares).
Snow in New Mexico
New Mexico is not renowned for abundant snowfall. With very little surface water and minimal precipitation, it’s not surprising that New Mexico receives a lot less snowfall than Utah ski resorts
and Colorado ski resorts
. The average snowfall across the NM resorts is 4.8 metres annually, ranging from 2.7 metres (105 inches) at Cloudcroft to 7.5 metres at Taos.
However in New Mexico it’s about quantity not quality. Thanks to the dry desert and the high elevations of the ski resorts, the snow that falls is really light and dry.
See our USA ski resort statistics
document to see how some of the New Mexico ski resorts compare to ski resorts in other states.