The winter season is now coming. Despite all challenges this year has given everyone, you should still reward yourself for the holidays. One way to do so is by going on a fun trip with your family or friends (of course, you better observe proper social distancing). If you don’t know where to go, you might want to visit the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. Check out the winter destinations in New Mexico for a fun experience!
Here are 10 winter destinations in New Mexico that will capture your heart:
1. Sandia Peak Ski and Tramway
Are you ready for an “adventure above all?”
They say the best way to enjoy wintertime is by experiencing snow! Whether you are skilled at winter recreation activities or not, you need to be brave for the adventure that awaits you here. For both the skilled and novice individuals, you can choose to enjoy skiing or snowboarding down the Sandia Mountains.
Guests who opt to just chill (except if you’re afraid of heights), may also ride the cable car and be in awe with the picturesque view of the Rio Grande Valley. The Sandia Peak Tramway gives you an experience of a lifetime as you ascend one of America’s most stunning urban peaks, and reach heights of up to over 10,000 feet. You will just be speechless by the panoramic view. The mere 15-minutes will seem like an elevation of the body, mind, and soul. Linger for a bit and watch the sun and shadows play. For the best view, make sure you catch the sunset!
For a bigger adventure, you may also hike any of the 100 hiking trails that are accessible from its crest atop the Sandia Peak Tramway. Some recommendations include La Luz Trail (7.5 miles), Peak Nature Trail (.3 miles), and Domingo Baca (4 miles).
Location: NM-536, Sandia Park, New Mexico
2. Valles Caldera National Preserve
Who says you can’t hike down the trail during the winter? Get your snowshoe and brave the cold weather at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The place has miles of trails for the adventurous skier and snowshoer. Just remember to plan accordingly because this environment has changing weather conditions, unpredictable wildlife, deep snow, and snow-covered streams. It might be pretty challenging for a first-time visitor.
You can do cross-country skiing and slide through an open valle or a silent forest full of fresh, white snow. It is a rejuvenating activity that will give you the rush and thrill you badly need. Guests may also do snowshoeing – which is less intense than the first activity. It is as easy as strapping snowshoes on your boots and grabbing a couple of poles. Depending on your ability, you can hike for as long and as far as you want.
Understand the limits of your ability and be prepared for any situation! Don’t forget to layer up with waterproof clothing (with insulation), use sunglasses and sunscreen, and carry your water. This place also has no groomed trails so make sure to carry a USGS topographic map and a compass. Your safety is your responsibility!
Location: 39201 NM-4, Jemez Springs, New Mexico
3. Enchanted Forest Ski Area
What’s a list of good winter destinations in New Mexico if it doesn’t include the Enchanted Forest Ski Area? The place takes pride in having a cross country ski area and patrolled trail.
You can purchase a pass for the Daily Trail use or enjoy unlimited use with the Season Pass. The latter entitles you to 10% off everything. That’s right! This includes discounts on yurt rentals, in-store merchandise, and waxing services. On top of that, you get to enjoy unlimited skiing and snowshoeing, 2 complimentary single-day trail passes, and 1 complimentary skate or classic ski lesson.
There also some yurts for rent if you want to rest immediately after a tiring day of hiking. Our last reminder would probably be to warm-up before you go because skiing takes hard work.
Location: 29 Sangre De Cristo Dr, Red River, New Mexico
4. White Sands National Monument
Seriously. This place feels like a winter wonderland even during the other seasons. Just one look and the place already gives you the impression that it is perfect for enjoying the holiday spirit. Come to White Sands National Monument during winter and sled down with your family and friends. The dazzling white gypsum shines like snow and makes for a perfect backdrop.
Can you tell the difference between the snow and the sand? The famed destinations sand already resembles fresh snow. You and your family members might get a kick out of that challenge.
This place may occasionally throughout the year, including during select winter days due to unsafe road or extreme weather conditions. Make sure to check the website before coming here! For the regular operations, White Sands National Monument is open daily year-round except for December 25, Christmas Day. The hours of operation vary throughout the year as well.
Location: U.S. Route 70 Alamogordo, New Mexico
5. Carson National Forest
While most of the trails are inaccessible during the winter season, you can still have a fun time at the Carson National Forest. As an alternative, you can ride snowmobiles to explore the area and be astonished by the beautiful landscapes and tall pine trees.
Carson National Forest is one of the best winter destinations in New Mexico because you get to be in awe of the stunning mountain scenery and cool temperatures. This place is exactly where you can get some peace and quiet.
There are also many winter activities for you to try such as snowboarding, XC skiing, skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing. However fun your planned winter recreation may be, do not cross-country ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile alone if you are unfamiliar with the terrain. If you must do it alone, make sure to notify someone where you are going, and give your expected arrival.
Location: Taos, New Mexico
6. Eagle Nest Lake State Park
Here is another addition to our list of interesting winter destinations in New Mexico: Eagle Nest Lake. This place is pretty popular with nature lovers as it acts as the gateway to northern New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle. It provides access to the Colin Neblett Federal Wildlife Area in nearby Cimarron Canyon. Your eyes will love the scenery of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Many artists and photographers get inspired by this setting because of the opportunities to capture the area’s dramatic natural settings.
What makes it a fun place is that you also get to experience ice fishing. Have you ever tried that activity before? Walk out onto the frozen lake, find the perfect spot, drill a large hole through the ice, and get ready to test your fishing skills. You can just drop in your hook and enjoy the day. See how many salmon and trout you can catch.
Location: 2 Marina Ln, Eagle Nest, New Mexico
7. Jemez Hot Springs
Don’t think our list of winter destinations in New Mexico only involve ski resorts.
Jemez Hot Springs is perfect for when you want to soak in hot water and feel cozy during the cold season! The water on this property originates from deep beneath the Valles Caldera National Preserve. For a long time, ancient water was trapped there, resulting in water infused with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more. The water is heated at a warm temperature, ranging between 100 and 104 degrees.
We consider this place one of the gorgeous nature spots in New Mexico that is worth exploring!
Location: 040 Abousleman Loop Jemez Springs, New Mexico, 87025
8. Taos Ski Valley
There are different slopes perfect for all levels at Taos Ski Valley. Are you planning to ski for the first time? Go ahead and try their little slopes. Feeling a bit adventurous but still want to go on the safe side by bringing some company? You can bring some family and friends in the chair lift and ski down together.
There are also some guided full moon snowshoe hikes if you prefer to soak in the beautiful winter environment for much longer. Once you are done with your winter recreation activities, feel free to reward yourself by kicking back in a hot tub under the stars.
Location: Taos County, New Mexico
9. Ruidoso Winter Park
Do you remember the round floats you used for swimming and sliding during summer? At the Ruidoso Winter Park, they use it for an exciting ride during the winter season. The activity is called tubing, and it is also similar to sledding, except you’ll be using lighter equipment for easier twists and turns.
If you want a different winter experience, the park also offers VIP Igloo Packages that lets you chill and relax from the comfort of a stylish VIP Igloo. The package already includes a 12 x 12 ft. igloo with tables and chairs, zipline tickets for six guests, and unlimited snow tubing. You will also be entitled to reserved tubes, handmade pizza, beverages, and much more. Not to mention: there is a VIP hostess ready to assist you during your visit.
You know what they say. Go big or go home. The rate starts at $420 per package.
Location: 121 Ski Run Rd, Ruidoso, New Mexico
10. Angel Fire Resort
If you want to hit the slopes and experience the best snow in New Mexico, come to Angel Fire Resort. You will have the time of your life in the uncrowded trails for every ability level of skiing and snowboarding. There are over 80 runs, 3 ski & ride terrain parks, as well as 30 acres of graded trails.
Guests will also enjoy the varied terrain with a stunning view of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Lastly, we recommend the night skiing activity done on the front side of the mountain. The terrain consists of 50 acres of groomed trails. No doubt, this will be an unforgettable experience!
Location: 10 Miller Ln, Angel Fire, New Mexico 87710
Which among these winter destinations in New Mexico did you like the most?
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