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Taos

Taos Ski Resort Guide

Taos, United States

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift3,410m
Resort Height2,810m
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Taos

A legendary ski centre created in the 1950s by Ernie Blake. Over 50% of the terrain is 'expert' standard, and there is a very highly regarded ski school. The historic town of Taos is 30km/17 miles away.

Summary

The American ski resort of Taos is in the American Rockies at an altitude of 2,810m.

Taos has direct access to 108 marked pistes, served by a total of 12 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 2,810m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,410m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Taos?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Taos.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Taos
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Ski Area Stats

Taos Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
56
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
28
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
26
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
12

Altitudes

Taos Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,410m
Lowest Piste2,810m
Resort Altitude (Taos)2,810m
Max Vertical600m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Taos
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Taos Overview

In common with many major western North American ski centres there are two Taos's. There is a legendary town that has existed for over 400 years and there's a legendary ski area that has existed for more than 50 years. The two are 30km (17 miles) apart. Both exist today as partners, the ski area a major winter asset to the town of Taos, and the old town a major factor in attracting destination skiers to the area - besides the great downhill.

The historic town of Taos was established by early Spanish settlers in the sixteenth century who battled with the Native American inhabitants on and off through to 1696 when they finally won permanent control. Like all of New Mexico, has a very strong Spanish influence to this day and is one of few North American ski areas outside Quebéc that takes the trouble to publish promotional documentation and even its web site in two languages.

Part of Spain until Mexican independence in 1821 and then part of Mexico until conquered by the US in 1848, Taos has belonged to three different nations. In the later nineteenth century discoveries of gold and copper in the high peaks encircling what is now Taos Ski Valley brought thousands of miners to the area in an 1880s 'rush'. Even Taos' famous mountain man, trapper and Indian scout, Kit Carson, staked claims in the Twining Valley (as it was called then). The Twining mining camp was a place of hardship, endured mostly by miners' dreams of riches. The mine itself was plagued with difficulties and faulty machinery, the local Frazer Mountain Copper Company collapsed due to embezzlement of funds and murder.

The next chapter in the history of Taos began in Sepember 1889 when two artists stopped in the town to have a wheel on their cart repaired, liked the place so much they decided to stay, and begun a century of migration by artists to the area, the most recent boom during the hippy era of the '60s and '70s. There are now more than 80 art galleries and seven museums as testament to this unique status.

Then came skiing. In 1954, Ernie Blake, founder of today's Taos Ski Valley, arrived. He had been flying over the Sangre de Cristo mountains in his small Cessna 170, tracing a route between Santa Fe Ski Basin and Glenwood Springs. He had been searching for several years from the air for a ski place reminiscent of his native Switzerland. In Twining he found a snow-rich valley where the season would be long and sunny. The north slopes were naturally steep and challenging.

Construction of the ski area began in 1955 with the installation of the first small lift. Taos Ski Valley today is a place with a world-class reputation for challenging slopes, one of the leading ski schools in the US and with snowboarding not allowed. A haven for skiers who are passionate about their sport.

There are now nearly a hundred residents and more than a dozen lodges and condominiums, plus shops and restaurants to meet every interest, budget and taste. The Village of Taos Ski Valley became New Mexico's 100th municipality in July, 1996. With its spectacular mountain scenery and European influences remaining strong to this day, many European visitors say the Village of Taos Ski Valley has a European feel to it.

Skiing

Taos is the most southerly of the major North American ski areas and is famous for its light, desert-dry powder of which an annual average of 305 inches falls. Secondly, and equally important, its famous for its ski school, named after resort founder Ernie Blake, which has a reputation second to none for tuition of skiers at all ability levels.

For beginners, tuition is likely to begin at the Strawberry Hill beginners area at the base of the mountain, although it's possible to get around most of the key sectors of the mountain on easy trails once you've perfected those first turns. Beginners will be taught using a technique known as 'Zone therapy' through which they will progress through five zones dividing up the various stages of novice skier progression.

Intermediates will enjoy fast cruises down through the trees and a few of the lift served bowls such as Hunkizer or black diamond runs like Blitz and Reforma accessed by the number two lift. Virtually all beginner and intermediate skiing has snowmaking back up in case Mother nature fails to do the business.

Experts have more than half of Taos's terrain to enjoy - normally including unpacked powder, trees, glades, bowls, bumps, chutes and wide well-groomed cruisers. Above the tops of the lifts there are dozens of double black diamond extremely difficult trails which can be hiked up to along West Basin Ridge and highline ridge. The highest bowl skiing is beneath Kachina Peak up at 3805m (12,481 feet) - 200 metres above the top of the lifts and giving a skiable vertical of virtually 1000 metres.

Taos offers good sking, particularly, for Expert and Intermediate skiers.

Snowboarding

After a 53 year ban, Taos opened for snowboarding in the Spring of 2008. All of the facilities both on and off mountain were upgraded to accomodate snow boarders from classes to rentals and an upgraded terrain park called TSU is ready to host snowboarders and their families.

Location and Map

Where is Taos?

This ski resort is in the American Rockies.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 12 ski lifts are able to uplift 15,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 32 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Taos open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late November (Opens Thanksgiving but then Thursdays - Sundays Only Up To Christmas Week when full time for rest of season), and usual closing is Early April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Taos, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Taos Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Taos

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

There are no super night spots in Taos Ski Valley itself, although several of the hotels and restaurants lay on live entertainment. Otherwise it is a case of trying different friendly and relaxed bars and other eateries or participating in an organised evening activity like skating, snowmobiling or tubing. For a greater range of evening activities you will need to stay in, or at least travel to historic Taos town.

Taos