Taos Ski Valley is New Mexico’s favorite resort. This should be your go-to destination if you live in the southwest of the United States and are looking for pristine ski conditions. Be warned, Taos will give you a nature spankin’ if you’re not careful; the extreme terrain is gnarly.

Nestled in the Sangre de Cresto Mountain Range, dry and deep powder, a 3,281ft vertical, and limited crowds should rope you in. If that doesn’t, the friendly country folk sure will.

This mountain has terrain for every level of skier or boarder. Half the mountain is labeled as difficult, a quarter is intermediate, and the other quarter is easy. Taos mountain is at a high altitude, north-facing, steep, and shaded, so the snow conditions are preserved excellently.

Located 30 minutes from the town of Taos, New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley crowds stay sparse. The off-the-beaten-path location makes sure this stays true regardless of the overcrowding problems at ski resorts like Vail, Cooper Mountain, or Whistler over the past couple of years.

The facilities at Taos Ski Valley have it all. The Ski Valley is prepared to offer its visitors ski-in / ski-out restaurants, lodging, spas, and shopping. If you cannot find everything you need at the base village, the town of Taos will have you covered.


Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lift tickets are affordable, with some of the lowest prices in North America
  • check-mark
    Accessible through the Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective Pass
  • check-mark
    Virtually non-existent crowds and undetectable lift lines
  • check-mark
    Diverse terrain

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDifficult to get to; only one private charter airline, Taos Air
  • check-markSlow-moving fixed-grip lifts

Where to Book:


Taos Ski Valley 2023 Guide

Resort Profile:

  • Chairlifts: 14 (1 gondola, 1 double lift, 4 triple lifts, 4 quad lifts, 4 surface lifts)
  • Vertical: 3,281 ft
  • Avg. Snowfall: 146 inches
  • Season: Late November - Early April
  • Runs: 110
  • Beginner: 24%
  • Intermediate: 25%
  • Advanced/Expert: 51%
  • Kids Ski School: Yes
  • Accommodations: Yes
  • Daycare: Yes
See the complete list of the best Ski Resorts here!


Repeat, Taos Ski Valley is the grand dame of New Mexico’s ski resorts. The snow here is lighter than Utah’s famed fluff, trust us. It is just in the middle of nowhere, so people get confused about what is the best.

Pronounced similarly to “house,” Taos region will make you feel at home. Laying North of Taos, Taos Pueblo is home to the Native American tribe of Puebloan people. The pueblos are one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. The Taos lands are blessed and spiritual. Please be respectful and return the good-naturedness of the Native Americans.

Avoiding the cookie-cutter corporate ski model, Taos wants you to have an authentic mountain experience. Everything is different here; the adobe homes, art scene, and culture in Taos are unique to the rest of the world.

The 1,300 skiable acres seem small, but the 3,281ft vertical drop and an assortment of 110 runs help the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains end with a bang, not a sizzle. For a good reason, this mountain has a daunting reputation in the ski community. The cliffs and chutes embedded in a steep vertical make even the pros shiver. But half of the runs are marked as intermediate and below.

Taos Ski Valley averages about 150in of snowfall a season. This may seem on the low side, but the geographical position of the mountain helps the resort make the most of the inches it receives each season.

Powderhounds should be sniffing Taos Ski Valley. The powder days roll through here, and the powder stays fresh for a while due to the natural position of the mountain and high altitude. The powder is light and forgiving, fun for all levels of riders.

The powder days mean there are storms. Driving here on storm days should be done with the appropriate equipment (4-wheel drive or front-wheel drive and snow chains).

The wind can pick up in this region as well. However, it is well predicted, so check the weather before heading out so you can wear the right ski gear. We recommend layering and neck gators on windy days here.

taos-ski-valley-the resort

Servicing one of the highest altitudes in North America by ski lift, the mountain’s peak is 12,481ft. Expert riders have the chance to summit the peak and unlock breathtaking views. The mountain’s high altitude means an increased risk of altitude sickness. Drink lots of water to avoid any symptoms.

The lifts at Taos Ski Village are all mostly fixed-gripped. This means slow-moving but fast getting on or off. Thankfully, the lift lines at Taos are not an issue. And besides, the sharp vertical of the mountain burns legs, so resting on the lift is a gift.

Taos Ski Valley’s terrain park is small by mighty. Maxies Terrain Park features exiting lines for all levels of park rats. If you are just starting, Skier’s Right is home to smaller jumps and features. Skier’s Left is the larger line; it includes several big airs and a brand-new manual pad. Boxes and rails are scattered throughout the freestyle terrain park to link steezy lines. The park is open 10am-3pm, weather permitting.

Backcountry skiing is excellent at Taos Ski Valley. However, avalanches are prevalent in the region because the snow is so light and dry. Off-piste skiers should rejoice in the opportunity to ski the fluffy powder, but having a backcountry guide, knowing the area’s snow conditions extensively, and avalanche training is necessary.

While skiing here, you may see more people than you’d expect skiing without helmets on. And on top of that, many first-time skiers enjoy these slopes. With this combination, know the rules of the mountain. It is your fault if you hit someone from behind, and you can be held liable. Be sure to yield at trail intersections, respect posted signage, and stay in control of yourself and your equipment. Also, wear a helmet.

The skiable area of Taos Ski Village was founded by Ernie and Rhoda Blake in 1955. They put in the first surface ski lift in 1956, called the Snakedance. In 2003, billionaire Louis Bacon purchased Taos Ski Village. Since then, the privately owned resort has thrived.

This mountain is accessible through the Ikon Pass, the Mountain Collective Pass, and direct purchase of single or multi-day lift tickets from the resort.

Taos’ ski school, The Ernie Blake Snowsports School, is ranked top in North America and should be taken advantage of by everyone. This school provides kid’s group lessons, adult private beginner lessons, and extreme steeps classes.

Taos Ski Valley Ski School

Getting There

Taos Ski Valley, Inc. started Taos Air. The airline operates during the ski season with service at Taos Regional Airport. Taos Air operates with JSX Air, providing a non-commercial jet seating 30 people, private terminals, and the ability to check in as little as 20 minutes before your flight.

Fly direct to Taos, New Mexico, with Taos Air from Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Prices are low; a roundtrip direct flight is around $200 from each destination.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Getting There

Suppose you are traveling from across the world or a far corner of the United States. In that case, Santa Fe Regional Airport will be your destination. This airport is located 70 miles southwest of Taos Ski Valley. However, it is possible to commercially fly into one of the cities that Taos Air partners with and change airlines to fly into Taos.

Driving to Taos from the surrounding states of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona is a real possibility; it should be looked into by the people residing in these states. It is a 5-hour drive away from Denver.

New Mexico residents, please visit the beautiful Taos Ski Valley. Driving from your home state to this incredible mountain is undoubtedly worth the gas money and time. Albuquerque is located a snappy 3-hour drive. Santa Fe is a 2-hour drive.


The town of Taos has plentiful hotels and vacation rental properties. Prices in Taos, New Mexico, will be significantly less than other ski resorts in North America. Especially if you compare prices to popular resorts like Vail, Whistler, and Palisades Tahoe.

We recommend staying at The Historic Taos Inn, located in the town of Taos. The landmark adobe inn has a charming feel and a vibrant bar. This hotel has easy access and convenient parking in the back.

If a four-star slopeside access hotel with on-site bars and restaurants, a saltwater heated pool, hot tubs, and spas are calling your name, The Blake at Taos Ski Valley will be your choice. The fitness center here will be the perfect place to warm up before you walk out the door to snag first chair of the day.

There are also other slopeside hotels and condominiums available at Taos Ski Valley that will have a more laid-back feel. Affordable lodging options will be a possibility to find here.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Accommodations


Taos Ski Valley has nice facilities. Do not expect Heavenly level or other commercially owned ski resort facilities. Here they are charming, reasonable, and clean. The new ownership is also bringing upgrades to the on-mountain facilities. This mountain has a backwoods vibe but with satisfying facilities.

Spas, in-hotel-fitness centers, and hot tubs are scattered throughout the ski village at the mountain’s base. Staying on-mountain provides slopeside ski access and facilities to meet guests’ wants.

In town, Taos has plenty of gyms, spas, pools & hot tubs, hotels, and yoga studios to choose from. Staying in town will allow visitors to be presented with more facilities that meet their wants and needs.

On-mountain, Taos Ski Valley Childcare is for the little kids that are not quite ready to slip n slide. The daycare is located in the Rio Hondo Learning Center. Children ages 2 months to 3 years will be watched over here. The childcare facility is open from 8am-3:30pm.

While skiing, daily lockers for storing personal items are available for rent on the lower level of the Upper Plaza.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Facilities

Families and Kids

Hey, families with kids 6 years and younger, your lil’ kiddos can ski for free here with a paying adult.

80-year-olds and up, y’all get to ski free any day of the week. Keepin’ it rad for the rest of us.

The ski school, Ernie Blake Snowsports School, is there for you if you want to up your shredding game. The school is highly accredited.

After the incredible ski classes, sledding is your next stop. Located next to the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa and Gondolita, this sledding hill is available to visitors at no charge and at any hour. You must bring your own sledding or tubing equipment to the hill; this seems like a good stocking stuffer! Several shops in the village sell the necessary equipment. Visitors must hike up the hill as well; good luck!

For non-skiing activities, families have the opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride for memories to last a lifetime. The calm, predictable morning wind patterns make going up into the ski possible in all seasons. Book your trip of a lifetime with Taos Balloon Rides.

Another incredible non-ski opportunity for families to take advantage of is the multitude of hot springs found in the region. The Rio Grande rift is responsible for creating Taos’s abundant natural hot springs. Check out the Mamby Hot Springs and the Black Rock Hot Springs.

An affordable fun activity, ice skating, can be found at the Taos Youth and Family Center in the town of Taos.

Snowshoeing in the Taos region is an excellent adventure. The hiking trails designated for snowshoeing are scenic and adventurous. Snowshoes can be rented for cheap and bought reasonably inexpensively. Outfitters in town we recommend include Mudd N Flood and Cottam’s Ski Shop. Guided tours are available with Snowshoe Taos.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Families

For Beginner Riders

Come prepared to take a lesson at Ernie Blake Snowsports School, as this ski school ranks top in North America. The instructors will guide you to become the shredder you know you can be.

Taos is prepared to offer its beginner ski and boarders $55 lift tickets that are valid only in the beginner areas. Take advantage of this, as very few other mountains provide such a good starter deal.

The beginner runs are groomed and wide. Some sections are marked as “learning zones” if you are particularly worried about a ski collision. Besides that, Taos mountain offers green runs that cut across and around the mountain, allowing the novice skier to absorb a high-altitude mountain environment.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Beginner Riders

For Snowboarders

No worries here, snowboarders. Y’all may have heard a rumor that Taos Ski Valley does not allow snowboarding, but since 2008 the gnar is permitted to be shred here. So for those missing a ski, aka snowboarders, come enjoy the conditions Taos offers.

Visit Maxies Terrain Park to max out on steeze. All levels of snowboards will be accommodated at the park due to varying features ranging from x-small to x-large.

For Routine Skiers

The light snow, diverse terrain, sheer steepness, and vast selection of off-piste skiing should bring any skier and rider to Taos Ski Valley. And once they come, they will want to keep coming back. This is definitely not a hit-it-‘n-quit-it mountain.

If that does not catch your attention, the sparse crowds and the friendly people should. This is a high-quality resort that is off-the-beaten-path.

Advanced skiers and boarders have the opportunity to summit the Kachina Peak, gnar level: extreme difficulty. Previously a 45-minute hike, the new Kachina Peak lift brings senders up to the top in five minutes. The views and radical inbounds ski lines located at this peak are world-class. A daring region, Dahl-Bredines’ is littered with big drops and billy-goat lines. While sending it down the cliffs here, your peripheral vision might catch a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.

There is hikeable terrain within the ski boundaries accessible from the top of Lift #2. Locals’ favorite lines are Stauffenberg and Zdarsky; adrenaline seekers will feel it pumping here.

Taos is home to deep-powder backcountry skiing. The backcountry trailheads of the Wheeler Wilderness will drive powderhound off-piste extreme daredevils crazy. If you are new to the area, go with a guide. Like much of the Southern Rockies, the snowpack can be fragile and avalanche prone. Know before you go.

Earning your turns out-of-bounds at Taos Ski Valley will be a highlight of your winter. Afterward, reward yourself with the welcoming bars & restaurants dispersed around the region.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Routine Skiers

The Apres-Ski

At the Taos Ski Valley base area, the apres-ski scene is satisfying. Find lovely restaurants & bars slopeside, but only a few.

A popular on-mountain choice is the Tyrolean-styled Bavarian Restaurant serving tasty beers, cocktails, and fine wines. Pair your drink with a scrumptious elk sauerbraten or spaetzle, followed by pastry strudels.

Taos Cow will hit the spot if you are looking for incredible breakfast and lunch options on the way to the mountain from town. They also serve famous ice cream. This locally owned joint sits between Taos and Taos Ski Valley.

Martyrs Steakhouse will be the go-to dinner spot in town; here, you will find a great atmosphere, heated outdoor seating, and delicious food. Dining here will be a quality experience with exceptional staff.

The art scene in Taos, New Mexico, is on fire right now. Local galleries are filled with creative artists and creators. “First Friday” on Bent Street is a must-do if you find yourself in town on the first Friday of every month.

Taos is the only place in the world to house the D.H. Lawrence Forbidden Art collection. Nine oil paintings were forbidden to be displayed in the 1930s due to obscenity. He was presented with the option to take the paintings from England forever or to destroy them; he took them to the American Southwest. Find this collection at Hotel La Fonda de Taos.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Apres Ski

Shopping Options

In the town of Taos, shopping options will be located around Bent street. Find handmade items, mountain/ski gear outfitters, menswear, and boutique shops.

At Taos Ski Valley, slopeside, visitors find a quaint selection of high-quality shops, including ski and mountain sports shops, a market, a coffee shop, and a must-visit boutique called Confluence. The boutique carries artisan clothing and accessories, and other goods.

On-mountain, there is the famed BootDoctors ski fitting store. It seems there is this fear in skiing about your feet hurting from your tight uncomfy ski boots. If your ski boots feel like ish, get fitted at the BootDoctors to have the most superb true-to-size comfortable ski boot imaginable right from the get-go.

Taos Ski Valley Ski Shopping

The Bottom Line

Suppose you want stick-free snow, a wide variety of terrain, meager crowds, good facilities, and a stellar local vibe. In that case, Taos Ski Valley will be the place for you.

Families and individuals will be welcomed with open arms by the Taos community. The privately owned resort maintains a supportive local culture. Skiing here feels effortless, as the people seem to manifest energy for you to have fun and be comfortable with where you are in the present.

This mountain resort will not have the intense Olympic training vibe of Park City or Whistler. It can be intimidating at a resort where the skiers only seem to care about skiing better than they were the day before. At Taos, people are just happy to be outside and skiing. Staying positive in the present moment at Taos is hard not to do.

But, here, being happy with where you are in the moment is also correlated with advancing your ski and snowboard skills. Taos Ski Valley provides visitors with ample ski terrain full of possibilities to improve their riding regardless of skill set.

The distinctive culture of Taos Ski Valley is sure to stand apart from anywhere else you have ever been. The town of Taos’ art scene and hip mountain energy is cool enough. Adding Taos Ski Village’s captivating mountain, a quick jaunt up the road makes this place unmatched.

Related Reviews


Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lift tickets are affordable, with some of the lowest prices in North America
  • check-mark
    Accessible through the Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective Pass
  • check-mark
    Virtually non-existent crowds and undetectable lift lines
  • check-mark
    Diverse terrain

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDifficult to get to; only one private charter airline, Taos Air
  • check-markSlow-moving fixed-grip lifts

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Frequently asked questions

Where is Taos Ski Valley?

Taos Ski Valley is located in New Mexico in the Sangre de Cresto Mountain Range. The region is also known as the southern tip of the Rocky Mountain Range.

What is the best ski resort in New Mexico?

Taos Ski Valley stands above other resorts in New Mexico due to the remarkable powder days, the mixed terrain, the most skiable acres, and the facilities.

What is the closest airport to Taos Ski Village?

Taos Regional Airport is the closest airport, 30 minutes from the mountain, with one affordable private charter airline.

Santa Fe Regional Airport will be the best bet for commercial flights 2 hours from Taos Ski Valley.

We give you all the details of Getting To Taos Ski Village in our in-depth review.

I am an Ikon Pass Holder; how do I reserve my days at Taos Ski Valley?

Reserving your ski days at Taos will be done through Ikon’s website or app.

Is snowboarding allowed at Taos?

Yes! Starting in 2008, snowboarders have been allowed to shred this mountain.

Does Taos have a kid’s ski school?

The Ernie Blake Snowsports School is excited to welcome kids and adults to their ski school at Taos Ski Valley.


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