This special corner of New Mexico has seen significant improvements and investments over the past decade, and, according to readers, that work is certainly paying off. With consistently high rankings in both Charm and Overall Satisfaction, Taos Ski Valley has succeeded in becoming a welcoming world-class ski resort that will put a smile on every visitor’s face. The steep terrain of Kachina Peak still gets as rowdy as ever—especially during the long-running Freeride World Qualifier 4-Star event—but improvements throughout the rest of the ski area have made things more friendly for families and intermediate skiers as well.
The ski resort’s most noticeable investment is the base area revitalization, including the Blake Hotel. The accommodations blend authentic New Mexican culture with a high level of comfort and class, best exemplified by the original Georgia O’Keefe art that decorates the hallways and the delicious green chile-infused options available at the 192 Restaurant. The Blake Residences build on the success of the hotel and will continue to add a number of modern updates to the main base village. While there could be a few more options for nightlife, Taos remains a place that puts skiing first and everything else second.
Those looking for less posh and more powder will still enjoy the numerous storms that deliver light and dry snowfall all season long, and the unique chalky snow provides strong edge grip during dry spells. Taos’ windblown fluff is as good as it gets, too, and easy to find from the top of Kachina Peak. Just point ’em towards the steep chutes under the very visible cornices between the summit and Cabin Chute. Kachina Chair closed? Earn your turns and hike to Highline Ridge or West Basin Ridge for more steeps and tree runs. Don’t feel like hiking? Traverse to Hunziker Bowl for easy-to-access adventure.
Taos Ski Valley Stats
Taos Ski Valley Passes
Taos Ski Valley, N.M., is on the Ikon Pass. Ikon Pass holder get 7 days at the resort; Ikon Base Pass holder get 5.
Taos is also in the Mountain Collective Pass; pass holder get two days at the resort and 50 percent off additional days.
From the UNESCO historical site at Taos Pueblo to where to find the best green chile, here are the SKI editors’ picks for the best of Taos Ski Valley.
The authentic Euro grub at The Bavarian is a welcome change from green-chile-on-everything, and is one of the spots where the influence of the Alps can be distinctly tasted. Call to find out which day Fondue Night falls on during your visit, and don’t leave without sampling the authentic Bavarian brews.
Ski the infamous moguls of Al’s Run, top to bottom, without stopping. Extra points if you maintain a mostly straight zipper line. Then do it again until you can’t walk. Crawl into Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina for the best margarita you’ll ever have accompanied by some delicious chips and guac.
Check out the Taos Pueblo (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and the 200-year-old San Francisco de Asís church. Want a good view of the dramatic landscape framed by the rugged Sangre de Christo Mountains? Drive out to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the fifth-highest bridge in America.
Make dinner reservations at The Bavarian to sprinkle a little bit of authentic southern German culture on your ski vacation.
The Wild West Glades are a bit of a trek to get to off West Basin Ridge, but, thanks to recent trail work, totally worth it.
There’s so much of it. Taos is known for its uninterrupted fall-line skiing. May we suggest: the tight trees on North American; Pierre’s, a super-narrow chute; and Stauffenberg, a hike-to area in West Ridge Basin, for scare-yourself steeps.
Do visit the historic town of Taos, 18 miles from the ski hill, packed with art galleries, cafes, and shops, plus the UNESCO Taos Pueblo site.
The beloved Bavarian Lodge sports a new, larger deck on which to snack on ripped-from-Bavaria bratwurst and huge mugs of German beer.