Taos Ski Valley  (866/968-7386, www.skitaos.org , $63 full-day lift ticket) is the premier spot for Alpine skiing. The resort is open from late November through the first weekend in April, with 110 trails served by 12 lifts and snowmaking capacity on all beginner and intermediate areas in dry spells. The truly dedicated can do the hike up to Kachina Peak, an additional 632 feet past where the lift service ends.
Don’t be too intimidated by the trails: The highly regarded Ernie Blake Ski School is one of the best places to learn the basics or polish your skills. Novice “yellowbirds” can take one ($85) or two ($130) days of intensive instruction specially geared to new skiers. For those with some experience, a six-day improvement program costs $225, plus lift tickets. Snowboarding lessons start at $49 per day, depending on experience level. Lift tickets are half price in the two weeks after Thanksgiving.
For cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, Enchanted Forest near Red River  offers miles of groomed trails, and there are also easy access points in the Carson National Forest—at Capulin Campground on U.S. 64, for instance, five miles east of Taos ; along Manzanita Trail in the Hondo Canyon on the road to the ski valley; and, especially good for snowshoeing, the Bull of the Woods Trail, which starts off Twining Road, at the far end of the ski area parking lot, and leads in about 2.5 miles to a high pasture and then another 5.5 miles up to Wheeler Peak, if you’re feeling extremely energetic.
Don’t have your own gear? Cottam’s Ski & Outdoor (207-A Paseo del Pueblo Sur, 575/758-2822, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–8 p.m. Sat. and Sun.) has the biggest stock of rental skis, snowboards, and snowshoes. The shop also sells everything else you’ll need to get out and enjoy the snow; there’s another shop at the ski valley (575/776-8719) and one at Angel Fire  (575/776-8256).