Austria has the Weisse Ring.
Italy has the Selle Ronda.
New Mexico has the Enchanted Circle.
While Europe’s famous ski circles are connected by piste and lift — and are skiable in one day — when you ski New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle you’ll need a car to complete the route and at least three days to ski.
But but try to make it a week!
(New Mexico lifted the mandatory quarantine period for visitors on February 10. If you’ve been waiting to ski New Mexico this winter, now you can!)
5 Reasons to Ski Angel Fire Resort
Angel Fire Resort feels “family.” It’s a mountain to which families return, year-after-year. The closest lodging is at the base, just steps from the Chile Express Lift, making Angel Fire a resort where you can park your car and truly relax.
Pro Tip: The Chile Express lift is long, with long runs. If you’re skiing with lower intermediates, this is your lift. More experienced skiers can take the Chile up one time and lap the Southwest Flyer, a shorter lift with more challenging terrain.
1. Excellent Infrastructure
Angel Fire has seven lifts, including two high-speed quads that serve the entire mountain. Unless you’re a beginner, or skiing with beginners, there is no need to catch a slow lift.
2. Intermediate Heaven
With 560 skiable acres and a 2,077’ vertical drop, Angel Fire is a medium-sized mountain that caters to intermediate skiers. Fully 56% of the terrain is blue. Turn your kids loose and let everyone explore.
3. Secret Stashes for Advanced and Expert Skiers
If you’re looking for powder that truly lasts for days, where the only tracks you’ll see are the ones you just skied, head for The Steeps. While the black runs here aren’t super-long, they are super-empty. Or, check out the Angel Fire’s hike-to terrain, with even less competition for lines.
4. Gorgeous Glades
The healthy pine forests at Angel Fire are beautiful, and in several places, perfectly thinned for fun, rewarding glade skiing. Our favorite was Shane’s Glade, a medium-angle wonderland.
5. New Mexico’s Only Night-Skiing
Operating on weekends and during holidays, Angel Fire lights up 50 acres for after-dark fun. Other daytime options include sledding, tubing, and nordic skiing.
5 Reasons to Ski Red River Ski and Summer Area
Before visiting Red River Ski and Summer Area, I was told that it’s reminiscent of Telluride. It’s true. The mountain rises steep and rugged above the old mining town, set high in the southern Rockies. However, Red River is smaller and significantly more laid-back and affordable.
Pro Tip: Ski the Silver Chair. While the black diamond runs here are shorter and moderately less steep, the fall-lines are true and the natural snow is soft at the top of the mountain.
1. Red River is Steep
With 1,600’ of vertical, rising straight up from town, fully 38% of Red River is rated expert, the hardest of which includes vertiginous drops through glades and top-to-bottom leg burners.
2. Best Children’s Zone Ever
The backside of Red River is a sylvan delight, with green trails winding through aspen forest and punctuated with an “old west” mining camp, village and more for families to explore. The beautiful terrain makes these easiest runs a delight to ski, for all ages.
3. So. Much. Snowmaking.
Red River makes snow on fully 85% of the mountain. Planning an early season visit? No worries.
4. Ski-In/Ski-Out Convenience
Dream of sleeping less than 50 yards from a lift? Much of the town’s lodging (and dining — don’t miss Red River Brewing) is located at the base of the mountain, adjacent to the Platinum and Copper chairlifts.
5. Natural Beauty
From the Ski Tip lodge at the resort’s summit, you can see forever. Grab a wrap or a sandwich, a beer or a coffee, and enjoy stunning Rocky Mountain views.
5 Reasons to Ski Taos Ski Valley
Taos Ski Valley is a New Mexico “must-ski” for intermediates and above. Founded by a Swiss immigrant looking for the region’s snowiest slopes, Taos is New Mexico’s world-class resort.
Pro Tip: Taos has an excellent “learn-to” program with a dedicated beginner area. But to take full advantage of the mountain, hold off until everyone in your group or family can handle harder blue runs.
(I’ve actually got Ten Reasons to Ski Taos Ski Valley.)
1. It’s a Big Mountain
While the base area is small, the resort rises a full 3,804 feet to the top of precipitous Kachina Peak (12,481’). The high-altitude snow is light and dry, although 100% of beginner and intermediate terrain (49% of the mountains 110 trails) has snowmaking.
2. World-Famous Terrain
A perennial stop on the Freeride World Tour, Taos is known for its dramatic steeps and chutes. Ski lift-served Kachina Peak when conditions allow. Check with ski patrol at the top of Lift 2 for the status of Taos’ abundant hike-to terrain. Or, ski right off Lift 2, traversing to steep glades and chutes.
3. Don’t Miss Runs
Taos has some runs you shouldn’t miss, including Honeysuckle (Green), Lower Stuaffenberg (Blue) and Hunziker Bowl (Black). For confidence-building, check out Walkyries Bowl, Chute and Glade. And to cap off your Taos experience, ski Al’s Run.
4. It’s a B-Corp
From EV charging in the parking lot to responsible waste reuse, Taos takes myriad small steps to make big environmental change. A certified B Corp since 2017, Taos receives high ratings based on sustainability and stewardship.
5. Authentic Culture
Stay and dine in the town of Taos for a taste of authentic New Mexico food (try Orlando’s or La Cueva). And, don’t miss Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site, inhabited for more than 1,000 years.
More New Mexico Skiing:
- Family Skiing at Red River Ski Area in New Mexico
- Skiing In New Mexico
- Five Reasons to Ski and Ride Ski Santa Fe
- Ten Reasons to Ski Taos Ski Valley This Season
© 2021, braveskimom. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.