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Taos New Mexico Ski Valley: Lodging, Dog-friendly Hikes, & more!

For most of my life I never knew that it snow in New Mexico, let alone that you could ski an entire mountain there! If you don't like skiing there's still plenty of things to do for a weekend trip there. If you live in Denver, then this is the perfect long weekend getaway to try something new while doing something you love! Skiing in New Mexico is a whole new experience, and one that not many people can say they've done.


Getting There

It's about a 5-6 hour drive from Denver, but relatively flat the entire way because you don't need to take I-70 and you can pass through Colorado Springs on the way. If you want to break up the drive, you can stop there for a quick hike there. If you are flying in, then fly into Santa Fe to make the drive quicker as it's only an hour and 20 minutes from the ski village.


Where to Stay

I recommend staying in a hotel vs an Airbnb here. I find New Mexico to be slightly less safe (as a female traveler) due to the proximity to the border, so hotels are my go to! I stayed in an airbnb once outside of Santa Fe by myself and was pretty nervous. Taos was a great town though and we didn't feel unsafe while exploring there thankfully. I always make sure to book a pet-friendly place that isn't too far from the ski resort in case I want to check on Sora during the day.

We stayed at the Taos Valley Lodge and it was so cute! It was pet-friendly and affordable, but it was a small drive to the ski resort. If you don't mind spending slightly more, then you should stay in the ski village (ski in ski out) at Alpine Village Suites or The Blake. If you need an accommodation for a large group and are willing to spend a little more, then this ski in ski out vrbo would be ideal.


When to Go

Winter is the time of year to go since temperatures are cooler and you'll have the chance to ski and do some snowy hikes! We visited in late March and everything was open and it was slightly warmer which was nice for exploring. The weather is similar to Colorado, so you get lots of blue skies and sunny days in the winter. I think going in January or February would be more ideal since the snow seems to melt a little sooner than Colorado.


Before you Go

Make sure you have the IKON base ski pass if you plan to ski! Since it's a bit stuck in the past, you should definitely bring cash as some establishments didn't accept credit cards.


Things to Do in Taos NM

Skiing

Of course the main attraction in Taos is the skiing! This resort takes you back in time, everything is a bit old school, the lifts are old and small, but it has a lot of character. It's not as busy as the Colorado resorts of course, which makes it more enjoyable. The Katrina lift (top of the mountain) offers insanely beautiful views and some really fun ski runs! I think 2 days is plenty of time to ski here and feel like you got enough time here. We did 3 days and ended up hiking after a half day of skiing because we felt like we saw it all. It wasn't as cold as I was used to in Colorado, so I opted for my lighter rain jacket for skiing instead of my usual heavy coat.


Hiking

If you have the dogs, a great little walk/easy hike you can do is the Gorge Bridge. This is a easy hike that follows the gorge which is the 7th highest bridge in the US, standing 600ft above the Rio Grande river.


If you're looking for more of a challenge, you can take the trail to Williams lake right off the ski resort. This was one of my all time favorite hikes I've ever done! It was empty, beautiful, cold, and the landscape was so unique. Hiking in New Mexico was such a different experience, and people are still so surprised when I show them the photos from winter hiking there. It starts from a groomed ski trail in the ski resort, so be careful to keep your dogs out of the way of downhill skiers as you navigate to the trail. The elevation is 11,040ft, so be prepared for altitude sickness if you're not adjusted. The hike is short, but the snow makes it harder. We did not use snowshoes or spikes and were fine.


City Parks

There's plenty of green space to take your kids or dogs after a ski day or on a day off from the slopes! Kit Carson Memorial Park has a large field you can take the dogs and run around. Everywhere was so empty that we didn't have to deal with other dogs at the park. I also like to the take Sora to baseball fields in the winter, since they're not in use! There was a super scenic one we brought the dogs to so they could stretch their legs.


Day Trip to Santa Fe

Santa fe is such a cool town, and you should absolutely visit if you have the time to spare! it's about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Taos. The Pueblo styled architecture is really special and I loved being part of an authentic, welcoming culture when I was on a solo trip there. The town is very artsy, so be prepared to bring home some souvenirs!


Check out the local cuisine

You're not far from the border, so Mexican food is a must while you're here. We were visiting during covid, so not many places were open sadly, but we did enjoy some margaritas and tacos at Orlando's restaurant! We also had some delicious ice cream at the popular Tao's Cow shop!


Historic Downtown Taos

There's lots of cute boutiques at the John Dunn shopping mall. It's the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. I love wandering around old town districts, meeting locals, and letting the day take us where it wants. It's a safe, cute downtown area and definitely should be on your itinerary when you visit!


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Hi! I'm Jackie and my dog is Sora. I work remote as an engineer, but I love to spend my free time in nature and by traveling to new places. I take my camera wherever I go, and sometimes my drone.

Somewhere With Sora is a Seattle-based lifestyle and travel blog that provides helpful travel and adventure tips for all kinds of trips, with or without the dogs.

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