Sitting at 10,350ft, Ski Santa Fe is one of the highest ski resorts in North America. The snow stays light and powdery. Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, the ski resort is 30 minutes outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The southernmost major ski resort of the Rocky Mountains has radical ski sessions in stock. The diverse terrain holds stoke for all levels of riders. If you think Ski Santa Fe doesn’t pack a punch, think again. The glade (tree) skiing, steeps, and cornice will get daredevils buzzing.

Beginners will also find this resort too tempting to stay away from. There are a variety of green novice runs, along with beginner terrain located at high altitudes. All skiers and riders can reap the benefits of the mountain’s altitude and behold spectacular views.

The privately owned resort is relatively busy for a New Mexican resort due to its proximity to the state capital. Still, compared to major commercial ski alternatives, crowds are few and far between at Ski Santa Fe.

Facilities here are sparse but good. On the mountain, you will find restaurants and bars, equipment rentals, and a gift shop. There are no on-mountain lodging or spas. In Santa Fe, gyms, spas, accommodation, yoga studios, and shopping can all be found.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:


Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lift tickets are inexpensive, especially compared to commercial ski resorts
  • check-mark
    The in-bounds terrain holds Impressive glade (tree) skiing
  • check-mark
    Skiing and boarding here is good for beginners
  • check-mark
    Rarely crowded, and if it is, the mountain can disperse the traffic
  • check-mark
    Packaged deals are offered for lift tickets, equipment, and lodging

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThere are NO slopeside accommodations
  • check-markThere is NO advanced terrain park

Where to Book:


Ski Santa Fe

Resort Profile

  • Chairlifts: 8 (2 double lifts, 2 triple lifts, 1 quad lift, 1 rope tow, 1 magic carpet)
  • Vertical: 1,725ft
  • Avg. Snowfall: 145in
  • Season: Late November - April
  • Run: 86
  • Beginner: 20%
  • Intermediate: 40%
  • Expert: 40%
  • Kids Ski School: Yes
  • Accommodations: Not on-mountain
  • Daycare: No
See the complete list of the best Ski Resorts here!


Ski Santa Fe’s 660 acres provides a unique ski experience at the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains. Burrowed in the culturally rich region of the Native American Tanos Pueblos, one will find some of the oldest native histories in the U.S. in Santa Fe. Please respect the Native American people in this area and return their generous nature.

145in of snow a year bless this resort. The snow stays fresh due to the extreme altitude. For powderhounds, show up on a powder day at Ski Santa Fe, and you will not be let down. The untouched fluffy powder can be found at Cornice, Big T, or the off-the-map Stooges. Due to the Ski Santa Fe’s peak elevation of 12,075ft, the snow stays light and dry most of the season.

Hydrating is essential to avoid altitude sickness at Ski Santa Fe. We recommend using commercial oxygen by Boost Oxygen if you particularly struggle with altitude sickness. If you want to scope out the scenery at a high altitude, take Tesque Peak lift to feel like you’re on the edge of the world.

Expert skiers will be shocked to see how world-class a New Mexican resort can be. Taos seems to stand above Santa Fe, but the excellent glade skiing found at Santa Fe is the best in the state. For senders, a bold cornice is formed at the ridgeline due to the wind pattern. Ending the expert’s list with a bang, the Big Rock Chutes hold technical challenges for thrillseekers looking to send it.

The trees at Santa Fe are all over the mountain, with dedicated tree skiing lanes. If sheer vertical + trees are what you hunt for at ski resorts, look no further. The Piñon Pines and Juniper trees are spread out enough to have effortless carving turns. Make your way over to the peak by taking the Millenium lift to access the advanced and expert glade runs in this region.

Groomers stand out at the Ski Santa Fe resort. Many clientele are from the southwest, and they do not seem so interested in moguls. Most of the runs are perfectly groomed. However, Santa Fe has two mogul minefields, “Main Street” on Kachina Peak and “Roadrunner” under the Tesuque Peak chair. Get your legs burning and your mogul quench satisfied.

Beginners will find paradise here. The superbly groomed runs allow for learning skiers and snowboarders to excel. Ski Santa Fe offers beginner riders a magic carpet, intro tree skiing terrain, and an entry-level terrain park. Take Santa Fe Super Chief lift to enjoy perfectly carved-out groomed beginner runs.

Santa Fe does have a ski school, but it is only suitable for beginners. It is not a stand-out ski school like Kirkwood or Park City. Santa Fe’s ski school lacks because they do not offer advanced/expert lessons. However, they have a great children’s program, Chipmunk Corner, for ages 3-10. The ski school also has licensed PSIA/AASI-affiliated instructors.

Ski Santa Fe is a family-owned mountain. The Abruzzo brothers have owned the place since 1985 after inheriting it from their parents after a fatal plane crash. Due to its private ownership status, the resort does not participate in the Epic, Ikon, or Mountain Collective pass. However, they offer package deals with lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lodging.


Getting There

Ski Santa Fe is located just 16 miles east of New Mexico’s state capitol, Santa Fe. Driving to the ski resort from Santa Fe is necessary to unlock shreddable terrain. If you do not have a car, the Blue Bus transports visitors to/from the ski resort and Santa Fe daily. Check out the map and schedule here.

Santa Fe Regional Airport will be the best option if you are planning to fly. The airport provides daily non-stop flights to Phoenix, Denver, and Dallas/Fort Worth. Airlines that service Santa Fe includes American and United. If you are flying from far away, having a connection in one of these four cities will make your trip to Santa Fe possible.

Renting a car is your best bet when visiting Ski Santa Fe. That way, you can conveniently see spots in town or visit the ski area. Public transportation does work. But having an automotive transportation system is a need. This is not a “walkable ski holiday resort.”


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Ski Santa Fe does not have any hotels or condo rentals slopeside. Visitors will have to stay in the city of Santa Fe, about a 30-minute drive from the ski area. Luckily the town is cool as heck, and the resort has packaged deals with hotels, resorts, and bed&breakfasts in Santa Fe.

For a historic hotel providing an authentic experience, Hotel St. Francis is the oldest hotel in Santa Fe. It is located one block from Santa Fe’s historic Plaza. The landmark hotel provides an authentic experience of New Mexican culture. Ski Santa Fe offers a packaged deal with this hotel.

Okay, boujee people, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado is waiting for you to take your self-timer insta photos, down some drinks, and soak in the hot tub. The resort is intimately surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo mountains, setting the mood for you to get a healing treatment at their Spa. Ski Santa Fe is prepared to offer its guests a packaged deal with the romantic Four Seasons.

Santa Fe has excellent public transportation. Take the Blue Bus for your transportation needs. This shuttle stops at places in town and ventures out to the ski resort.



Ski Santa Fe has one base area. The facilities are nice, with a rugged mountain feel. Do not expect the luxury commercial-styled facilities deployed at Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, or Heavenly.

The base area includes restaurants & bars, gift shops, equipment rental, and self-storage lockers. No lodging, gyms, spas, or hot tubs are located on-mountain.

There is NO daycare on-mountain at Ski Santa Fe. Take care of your daycare needs in town; there are several options. Patty Cake Nannies is a great option in town.

In the city of Santa Fe, there are plenty of pools and hot tubs, training facilities, shopping, lodging, yoga classes, and spas. The city of Santa Fe will have everything and more that a visitor will want on their mountain ski holiday.

Santa Fe’s spa scene may surprise you. Ten Thousand Waves, located in Santa Fe, was voted #2 by Travel+Leisure’s 2022 “15 Best Destination Spas in the U.S.” Another excellent spa for restorative body treatment is Ojo Santa Fe.


Families and Kids

Ski Santa Fe has a heart-warming family-friendly environment. Families and kids will enjoy Santa Fe deeply, as the staff values prompt, professional, and caring service. Kid’s lift tickets are slightly discounted at this mountain.

The kid’s ski school accommodates children ages 3-10. Three-year-olds are offered a private-one hour-long lesson. Four-year-olds can take a ski-only half-day class. Ages 5-10 can take a full-day ski lesson, while ages 6-10 can take a full-day snowboard lesson.

The downside of lessons from their ski school is that they only provide first-time, beginner, and intermediate classes. Black runs for advanced riders and higher are not taught at this school.

The lessons for adults and kids here are affordable compared to Whistler Blackcomb, Heavenly, or Palisades Tahoe: Olympic Valley. Taking a first-time class here makes the most sense, as they have qualified beginner instructors.

If you and your family are looking for a lesson package, look no further! Family Packages offered at Ski Santa Fe are for groups of two to five people ages 6 years and older. Equipment rentals and lift tickets are included in the family lesson package.

Repeat, the Ski Santa Fe area does NOT have a daycare/childcare program on the mountain. The youngest age the ski school accepts is three years of age. Daycare will be found in the city of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe’s Children’s Museum is a great family activity. This hands-on museum features a garden, climbing wall, and puppet stage. There are also interactive classes for kids; the schedule is on their website here.

Santa Fe has the memorable experience of horseback riding. Vision Quest Western Horseback Ride & Lessons will be available all four seasons of the year. Families will have the time of their life here, with options of a 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour, or a destination option.

Sledding is available at Hyde Memorial State Park for $5 a person. Sleds and tubes will not be available to rent. So be sure to get equipment in town at REI or Alpine Sports.


For Beginner Riders

Ski Santa Fe’s beginner terrain makes up 20% of its mountain. Intermediate terrain makes up 40% of the mountain. Most of the beginner & intermediate terrain is accessible from lifts: Sierra, Easy Street, and Santa Fe Super Chief.

The tree skiing at Santa Fe is not just for experts; entry-level glade skiing is located near the base of Santa Fe Super Chief. The run is marked blue and called “Adventure Land Glade.” This is an ideal place to enter into the beautiful world of tree skiing.

The ski school at Santa Fe is perfect for first-timers and beginner riders. The instructors are PSIA/AASI certified and prepared to give you qualified lessons. The magic carpet at the ski base will be a great launching pad for first-time skiers and boarders.

Lesson packages for adults, including equipment rentals and lift tickets, will be found here. Classes accommodate first-timers, beginners, or intermediate riders. The beginner terrain holds spectacular views as you cut across the mountain on manicured, groomed slopes.


For Routine Skiers

Routine skiers, especially those coming from Santa Fe, will adore this mountain. The diverse terrain allows for several kinds of riding, helping those routine skiers and boarders step up their game in every area.

There are 7 lifts and 86 marked trails. There is a cornice that builds a nice shelf of snow for riders to huck it off of. Chutes will also be found on this mountain, testing even the most experienced riders. And, of course, the famous glade (tree) skiing will get y’all tree lovers hyped.

The beginner area of the mountain will have some traffic during the weekends and holidays. The advanced area stays relatively uncrowded, especially the double blacks located by Millennium and Tesuque Peak lifts.

The glade skiing here is some of the most rad in North America and the best of the New Mexican resorts. “Tequila Sunrise” run will be your absolute favorite if tree skiing in the steeps is what you daydream of during the summer months.

This resort will help routine skiers find peace and tranquility at the top. The limited crowds and happy-paced employees and visitors will relax you. Then the mountain’s natural geography will stoke you up.

The Santa Fe region is home to out-of-bounds skiing. Backcountry skiing here ranges from intermediate to expert. For the best of the best, Heaven Hill, located on Lake Peak, startles riders with its 25-degree pitch and 1,800ft vertical.

For more laxed entertainment, the Norski Cross Country Ski track is located at the Ski Basin. The track has entry-level terrain for beginner cross-country skiers. But there are enough elevation changes to challenge the endurance of more experienced skiers.


For Snowboarders

Snowboarders are welcome at Ski Fe Santa. Learning to snowboard here will be easy due to the wide open perfectly-groomed runs. A snowboard lesson from the ski school will also elevate your game and speed up your progress.

Their one terrain park, “The Bone Yard,” has beginner and intermediate jumps and features. The park’s open status is weather/snow dependent. Before sending it, make a plan, look before you drop in, start small, and respect others.

There is NO half-pipe at Ski Santa Fe.


The Apres-Ski

Ski Santa Fe has few dining options, but the apres-ski scene is satisfying. La Casa Cafe, Totemoff’s Bar&Grill, and Terrace Grill are ready to greet you during or after your ski day. Be hydrated well if you drink due to Santa Fe’s extreme altitude.

In town, Santa Fe has a vivacious apres-ski. Entertainment is flooding the streets. Art galleries, restaurants, bars, historical points of interest and landmarks, wine tastings, the state capital building, cultural & historic tours, museums, an opera house, and self-guided tours are available to visitors.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the oldest church in America, sits in Santa Fe. This church has portions dating back to 1626. Visiting this destination brings insights to the old world.

New Mexico’s capital is home to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Here, O’Keeffe’s life collection of paintings is displayed, telling the story of how her famous art collection happened. She is an inspiration for many modern artists.

The Museum of International Folk Art resides in Santa Fe. The museum holds 100,000 objects from over 100 countries, with the purpose of sharing folk culture. This museum is captivating. Guests will be blown away by the extensive collection.

For an elegant fine dining experience, Geronimo is known as the best. However, being the best means being accompanied by a $$$$ warning.

If southwestern food is what you are searching for, as you are in the southwest, The Ranch House will be at your disposal every day of the week until 9 pm. BBQ mains and creative cocktails will help soothe sore muscles after your dope ski day.

The city of Santa Fe has a unique shopping scene. Visit boutiques, handcrafted goods stores, Native American markets, malls, and sports equipment shops.


The Bottom Line

Ski Santa Fe offers a unique family-friendly environment with stoke-worthy ski terrain. The light powder, famed glade skiing, and beginner-friendly atmosphere should put this New Mexican ski resort on your radar.

The affordable prices of a ski vacation here should be tempting enough. Add the close proximity to a convenient airport and the hip town of Santa Fe, and this resort becomes a top destination for those looking for a different experience from the traditional luxurious ski resorts.

A downside of Ski Santa Fe is there is no slopeside accommodation, so the 30-minute drive from Santa Fe is necessary. It’s not a bad thing,  it is a scenic drive, and a reliable bus system makes the trip as well.

Overall, a trip to Ski Santa Fe will be a relaxed, fulfilling ski holiday. Expect to be loaded with shreddable slopes, good food & drinks, a vibrant art scene, and impressive Native American history. The southwest corner of the United States is unlike any place in the world, and visiting would broaden your cultural lens.


History of Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe is home to the first New Mexican rope tow, installed in 1936. In 1949, the Sierras de Santa Fe group founded the Santa Fe Ski Basin. A private owner, Joe Juhan, purchased the resort in 1950. During this time, the founder of Taos Ski Valley, Ernie Blake, managed the resort.

Around the 1970s, the resort was bought by the Abruzzo family. Tragically in 1985, the parents were killed in a plane crash. It was then that the Abruzzo brothers took the helm. Over the past 40 years, the resort has stayed under the Abruzzo reign. The brothers made it possible to create a flourishing, family-owned ski resort environment when the odds seemed stacked against them.

This resort is one of the few left in North America that is privately owned. Visiting here will support local businesses!

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:


Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lift tickets are inexpensive, especially compared to commercial ski resorts
  • check-mark
    The in-bounds terrain holds Impressive glade (tree) skiing
  • check-mark
    Skiing and boarding here is good for beginners
  • check-mark
    Rarely crowded, and if it is, the mountain can disperse the traffic
  • check-mark
    Packaged deals are offered for lift tickets, equipment, and lodging

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThere are NO slopeside accommodations
  • check-markThere is NO advanced terrain park

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Frequently asked questions

Where is Ski Santa Fe?

Ski Santa Fe is located 16 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Does Ski Santa Fe allow snowboarders?


When does Ski Santa Fe open their winter season?

Their season began on November 24, 2022, with a tentative closing date on April 9, 2023.

Do I have to pay for parking at Ski Santa Fe?


What is the closest airport to Ski Santa Fe?

Santa Fe Regional Airport will be the closest airport to Ski Santa Fe.

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