The US is home to 21 aerial trams — those giant people movers that are popular among skiers and sightseers for their unique, year-round experience — with about half of them located at ski resorts. The 11 US ski resorts with aerial trams, also called cable cars, detailed below, will give you a bird’s eye …
Regarded as the ‘Land of Enchantment’, New Mexico is more than just a place where green chilis grow and white dunes expand for miles. In the mountains north of Albuquerque and Santa Fe are some of the best ski resorts in the Southwest, thanks to their sun-kissed winter days and freshly powdered trails. New Mexico …
Guide to New Mexico’s Ski Resorts
For some, it’s surprising to hear that New Mexico is a great place to ski. While a portion of the state is arid desert, 80 percent is located 4,000 feet or more above sea level and the north includes a section of the Rocky Mountains. The state has nine resorts, ranging in size from 70 skiable acres and 25 runs to more than 1,000 acres and 110 runs.
Many New Mexico ski resorts rise above 10,000 feet and receive plenty of snow, an average of 125 inches annually. Most resorts are based in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the northeastern part of the state, but there’s still skiing available further south.
The ski season usually begins in mid-December and can extend as late as April. In New Mexico, skiing is generally coupled with sunshine, as the state sees nearly 300 days of sun annually.
Sangre de Cristo Resorts
At the southern part of the Rockies, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains stretch from Colorado into the northeastern part of New Mexico. To the north, Red River Ski & Summer Area began as a mining town, and today is a year-round vacation destination. The ski resort on 209 acres receives more than 200 inches of snow annually with plenty of snowmaking ability when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Seven lifts service 64 trails and the mountain is skiable on two sides, each catering to different types of skiers.
In the center of the state’s Enchanted Circle is Taos Ski Valley. Ski Magazine regards its terrain as the most challenging in the country with one run an impressive five miles long. A whopping 51 percent of the resort’s 110 trails are cut for expert skiers. Taos Ski Valley has steep faces and chutes along the back ridges with plenty of moguls mixed in. The resort once lacked nearby accommodations, but a new base area has changed that.
Angel Fire Resort is the only ski resort in New Mexico to offer night skiing. On the 560-acre resort, there are 81 runs, of which 56 percent are intermediate. The resort also offers terrain parks, glade skiing and a tubing area.
Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort is family-friendly, but isn’t necessarily gentle. Of the 43 runs, only 20 percent are beginner terrain. What is gentle is the price: kids 12 and under and adults over 75 ski free. Most of the challenging runs are on the top half of the mountain while the intermediate runs fill the bottom half of the 215 skiable acres.
Conveniently located near the state capital, Ski Santa Fe gets around 230 inches of snow annually. The seven lifts lead to 86 runs on 660 acres. The ski area boasts fantastic views from almost every run.
Nearby in the Santa Fe National Forest, Pajarito Mountain offers plenty of runs and tree skiing on its 300 acres. The resort, known for its fantastic moguls, is also famous for year-round festivals and plenty of live music.
Sandia Peak Ski Area is the oldest ski resort in the state. The easiest way to get there is a fifteen-minute tram ride from Albuquerque. The tram takes visitors across canyons and up the mountain to access hiking, dining, and the ski area’s 35 runs. The mid-sized resort gets 120 inches of snow annually on 200 skiable acres.
Although it’s one of the southernmost ski areas in the US, Ski Cloudcroft receives plenty of snowfall — about 120 inches annually. The resort is the smallest in New Mexico, with only 25 trails with three lifts.
Ski Apache is primarily for beginning skiers with only 20 percent marked expert runs. The ski resort, filling 750 acres, has plenty of tree runs and a terrain park for varied skiing. The resort only has snow-making abilities on a third of its runs, but with 180 inches of snow annually, its runs are often comprised of nature-made powder.