Taos Ski Getaways
Certainly the most well-known area in the state, Taos Ski Valley is a must-ski experience for experts seeking challenge in the southern Rockies. From the intimidating face of Al's Run just above the base to the hike-to steeps of "The Ridge" Taos offers up plenty of challenge. It's not just the steeps, though, that explain why so many families come back year after year.
Founded by the legendary Ernie Blake and still a family business, Taos blends the warm atmosphere of its small Euro-style village, excellent service, glorious sunshine, and a famous ski school to ensure that guests return. An abundant ration of desert-dry powder and complete snowmaking coverage on beginner and intermediate terrain also help explain the resort's popularity.
There are 1294 acres of skiable terrain. The lift-served vertical is 2612 feet and tops out at 11,819 feet. Hike along The Ridge for about an hour to the top of Kachina Peak at 12,451 feet and you can increase the vertical to 3244. But most chutes and gullies off The Ridge require less effort to reach. You don't need to hike at all if you wish because there are plenty of lift-served choices for advanced and expert skiers.
Despite the mountain's reputation for difficulty (not helped by a first-time visitor's view of Al's Run) there's a wealth of beginner and intermediate terrain. True, some of it may be tougher than comparably-rated terrain at resorts with less tilt, but that just might encourage you to take advantage of the well-regarded ski school. True beginners start off gently at the base.
There's a terrain park with a couple of big jumps, rails and other features but leave the snowboard at home. Taos is one of the few areas left solely for skiers.