Believe it or not, you can ski in Santa Fe.
Many visitors are shocked when they hear this. A common misperception is that "The City Different" is just like Phoenix as far as weather. But at 7,000 feet above sea level, it’s high desert rather than desert, with four distinct seasons. It snows in winter.
Love skiing or snowboarding? Then plan to spend some time at Ski Santa Fe during your visit.
It's a good day for skiing at Ski Santa Fe — Photo courtesy of Ski Santa Fe
Ski Santa Fe sits at the top of Hyde Park Road on National Forest lands about 45 minutes from downtown. It’s a beautiful ride with great viewing opportunities. Elevation at the base is 10,350 feet above sea level, and it's 12,075 at the summit.
If you don’t bring your own gear, stop at the rental shop on the lower level of the recently remodeled La Casa Ski Lodge. You’ll find everything you need, from skis to boots to poles and even snowboards. They feature the Head BYS ski system, which gets you out on the slopes quicker, as well as skis from Volkl, Tecnica, Rossigno and Salomon. They also stock 600 Burton LTR snowboards.
Once you’re outfitted, head for the slopes. Ski Santa Fe has 77 trails (40% advanced, 40% intermediate and 20% beginner), served by seven lifts: a double chair, two triple chairs and one four-seater, along with two conveyors for the beginner runs.
Snowboarding, which started here in 1988, has grown in popularity. According to Ski Santa Fe's Director of Communications Debi Owen, the proportion of skiing to boarding is 60/40.
La Casa Day Lodge — Photo courtesy of Ski Santa fe
Need some food or a drink? Head for La Casa Food Court, located on the upper level of the lodge, with seating for over 650 people. Hungry skiers will find The Grill, Local Specials, Pizza & Pasta Bar, Hot and Cold Deli and The Bakery. The BAZ Coffee Bar offers fresh-brewed coffee drinks and espresso.
Have some youngsters in tow? Children ages three to 11 can take ski or snowboard lessons at Chipmunk Corner. This program has its own building and its own conveyor lift.
Childcare is available for little ones aged three months to three years. Have any three or four year olds who need to be amused? Enroll them in the Snowplay program.
Fun at Chipmunk Corner — Photo courtesy of Joy C. Frank-Collins
Want to see the aspens turn in fall? Head for Ski Santa Fe, where a chairlift will take you up the mountain for great foliage views. The lift runs on weekends and holidays in September and daily during the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta at the beginning of October.
The Ski Santa Fe Ski Basin opened in 1947. The name was later changed to Santa Fe Ski Area. When the property was purchased by Sandia Peak Ski & Tram’s CEO Ben Abruzzo, in 1984 it was renamed once again. If Abruzzo’s name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. He was a hot air balloonist and a member of the Double Eagle II team, the first to cross the Atlantic in 1978. Another first: In 1981, Abruzzo and three others were the first to cross the Pacific in their balloon, the Double Eagle V.
Today, it’s simply Ski Santa Fe. For an invigorating day on the slopes, head here and ski and board the day away.