Touted as the ski and snowboard capital of the southern Rockies, Taos Ski Valley is the New Mexico’s largest ski area. It’s also the state’s top destination for high-adventure, high-alpine skiing and snowboarding. The 12,450-foot Kachina Peak lift is one of the highest in North America. Although the installation of the lift was slightly controversial (the terrain was previously accessible only via a hike), the mountain has maintained its hike-to terrain as well. The renowned ski school is perfect for novices and experts who want to perfect their technique before taking on this steep-and-deep terrain.
Several accommodations here offer ski-in/ski-out capability, including The Bavarian Lodge (also a top spot for mid-day burgers and beers), Hotel St. Bernard, and Edelweiss Lodge and Spa.
When not blanketed in snow, the Sangre de Cristos around Taos Ski Valley are also prime for hiking and mountain biking. Popular hiking trails lead to Williams Lake and to Wheeler Peak, the state’s highest point. The South Boundary Trail is top terrain for mountain bikers.