Backcountry Skiing in Northern New Mexico

New Mexico
5.00
2 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing in Northern New Mexico

  • Trip Highlight

    Limitless terrain options for all skill levels

  • Trip Highlight

    Ski through a fraction of the 250-mile-long mountain range

  • Trip Highlight

    Snow-clad peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains surrounding you

It’s no hocus pocus, but you can ski in New Mexico! Nested in the Enchanted Circle which centers around Wheeler Peak, the highest point in the state, is the renowned Taos Ski Valley in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Extending 250 miles boasting ten 14,000-foot peaks, rest assured you won’t run out of runs. Full of bone-dry powder stashes, you’ll find mellow meadows to descend, big bumps to ride, chutes to dive into, and epic steeps to tame. While a magician never reveals his secrets, your guides sure will—let them show you the best hidden gems of the area.

Season

January through April

Nearest city

Santa Fe, NM, is a 2-hour drive away

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your day

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing

Full-day

Have you been craving to go off-piste, but you’re a complete novice to the backcountry? This is a specially designed day for you near the Taos Ski Valley to get into the nitty-gritty of ski touring. Having familiarized yourself with backcountry ski gear and some basic techniques, head to fresh snow and feel the thrill of carving your first tracks. Your guide will find ideal smooth lines for simple travel and descents based on your comfort level.

Full-Day Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour

Full-day

If you already have the basics of ski touring down, but you have very little or no experience, this one’s for you. There’s plenty of beginner-friendly terrain options and bunny slopes for you to practice on near the Taos Ski Valley. Join your guide for a day in untracked powder, acquire a new set of skills, and ease into backcountry skiing.

Full-Day Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

Full-day

You don’t have to travel for hours to ride the powder stash of your dreams. There’s an abundance of challenging terrain in Northern New Mexico, ranging from steep terrain to narrow chutes. Going to the wilderness with an AMGA/IFMGA guide is your best bet, so go for it and let them help you overcome technical hurdles you might be struggling with.

Full-Day Advanced Backcountry Ski Tour

Full-day

This trip is designed for those looking for endless powder and steep drops all day long. Traveling with the local guides may allow you to connect multiple peaks, drainages, and slopes in just one day. Advanced tour will focus on covering a wide variety of higher and steeper terrain in Northern New Mexico near the Taos Ski Valley—go ahead and search out the best skiing areas!

Reviews

Reviews (2)

christopherzab about Mountain Skills Rock Guides on Trip Advisor

We had a wonderful experience with the back -country skiing in Taos with Mountain Skills. Our guide for the day, Hannah, did a terrific job; with help from Nick, teaching us about avalanche awareness and snow make-up and what causes avalanche. We were equipped with all necessary gear making for a safe outing into the wilderness where we skied 1st tracks in 2 ft of snow. I would highly recommend this group as a way to experience the back-country.

Lauren G about Mountain Skills Rock Guides on Trip Advisor

We did a day of introductory backcountry skiing with John Kear and had the best time! John is awesome – I would highly recommend backcountry skiing with John, no matter what your experience level. We skied through beautiful terrain and learned a ton, including on avalanche safety and how to use backcountry ski gear. Can’t wait to get back out there

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in New Mexico

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Mexico, please refer to New Mexico’s Department of Health

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Full-day of backcountry ski touring
    • Backcountry permits
    • Avalanche safety equipment

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment (possible to rent)
    • Transportation to the meeting point
    • Food and snacks
    • Accommodations

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy these backcountry adventures in Northern New Mexico, you’ll need to have a decent fitness level. You’ll be skiing on varied terrain for at least 6 hours. While backcountry skiing is a full-body workout and it can be strenuous, your guide will help you choose the right terrain for your experience and fitness level.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with solid blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

    • Backcountry skis and skins (can be rented)
    • Backcountry boots boots and poles (can be rented)
    • Avalanche safety equipment — beacon, probe, and shovel (if you do not have it, your guides will provide you with it free of charge)

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Backcountry skis, boots, poles, and skins
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses or ski goggles
    • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Down jacket or vest
    • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
    • Two pairs of waterproof gloves
    • Hat or a beanie
    • Buff
    • Water bottle and 1L of water
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • Lunch and food you can eat on-the-go
    • Sunscreen
    • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

If you need backcountry skis, skins, or boots, you can contact Alain and Peggy at Le Ski Mastery in the Taos Ski Valley. Make sure to reserve them in advance, be fitted, and pick them up the day before your trip.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1. All prices are per person.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family. 

Ski touring in Northern New Mexico can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • For the beginner backcountry skiing tour, the minimum age requirement is 10 years old. If your group has minors over the age of 10, they need to be in the presence of a legal guardian.
    • For the intermediate and advanced tours, the minimum age requirement is 12 years old. If your group has minors over the age of 10, they need to be in the presence of a legal guardian.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to backcountry skiing in Northern New Mexico, most people fly into Taos Regional Airport, which is 40 minutes away from your meeting location. There’s also the possibility of flying into Albuquerque International Sunport, a 3-hour drive from your meeting point.

You’re going to meet your guide at the Bavarian Lodge parking lot, 100 Kachina Rd, Taos Ski Valley, NM 87525, United States.

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