Taos Ski Valley. With 113 runs—just more half of them for experts—and an average of more than 300 inches of annual snowfall, Taos Ski Valley ranks among the country's most respected, and challenging, resorts. The slopes, which cover a 2,600-foot vertical gain of lift-served terrain and another 600 feet of hike-in skiing, tend to be narrow and demanding (note the ridge chutes, Al's Run, Inferno), but about a quarter of them (e.g., Honeysuckle) are for intermediate skiers, and another quarter are (e.g., Bambi, Porcupine) for beginners. Taos Ski Valley is justly famous for its outstanding ski schools, some of the best in the country. End of NM 150, 20 mi north of Plaza, Taos Ski Valley, NM, 87525. 575/776–2291 or 866/968–7386. Lift tickets $77. Late Nov.–early Apr.


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