Skiing and Snowshoeing
Sixteen miles northeast of Santa Fe in the Santa Fe National Forest, Ski Santa Fe (Hwy. 475, 505/982-4429, www.skisantafe.com, $54 full-day lift ticket) is a well-used day area (no rental cabins) with 44 fairly challenging trails. A major selling point: virtually no lift lines.
The only regularly groomed trails for cross-country skiers are the Norski Trails, about a quarter of a mile before the Ski Santa Fe parking lot, off the west side of the road. The standard route is about 2.5 miles, winding through the trees and along a ridgeline, and you can shorten or lengthen the tour by taking various loops and shortcuts, as long as you follow the directional arrows—important here because the network sees a lot of use.
If you want to blaze your own trail, Aspen Vista, on Highway 475 just after mile marker 13, is a wide 10-mile-long road with a gradual climb and good views—great for either skiing or snowshoeing. It’s closed to motorized vehicles, so it’s relatively peaceful too.
Just seven miles out of town along the road to the ski area, Hyde Memorial State Park has a couple of nicely maintained sledding runs, as well as some shorter cross-country ski routes. Cottam’s Ski Shop (Hwy. 475, 505/982-0495, www.cottamsskishops.com) is the biggest rental operation in the area—it’s handily situated on the way up to Aspen Vista.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition