The state of New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the United States, spanning more than 121,589 total square miles, a massive chunk of land comparable in size to the entire country of Poland.

It also happens to be the sixth least densely populated state, home to only 17.16 inhabitants per square mile. That’s less than the cornfield-laden plains of Nebraska, and the vast agricultural expanses that make up North and South Dakota.

These two statistics might seem to have nothing to do with skiing or, more specifically, with Ski Santa Fe. However, consider New Mexico’s immense land mass and the fact that it offers a wealth of majestic, snow-capped mountains. And then consider the second stat about New Mexico’s low population density and what you get a state with terrific ski resorts but relatively few locals clamoring for chair lift lines, resort rooms and powder-filled runs.

Ski Santa Fe

Sometimes the name really does say it all: Ski Santa Fe. It is a breathtakingly beautiful and crowd-pleasingly challenging ski resort that’s a beautiful and relatively short 16-mile drive through the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range from the state’s capital city of Santa Fe.

As you are riding Ski Santa Fe’s thrilling Millennium Triple Chairlift up to its apex at 12,075 feet, swinging your skis above the blindingly white powder, you can ponder these amazing facts about Ski Santa Fe:

  • It is one of the highest ski destinations in the nation due to its base area elevation of 10,350 feet.
  • It has 1,725 vertical feet of skiing magnificence
  • It provides 77 trails, ranging from easy (20 percent) to more difficult (40 percent) to what you might call “major thrills if you know what you’re doing” (40 percent)
  • It enjoys an average snowfall in the 225-inch range
  • Its longest run gives you 3 miles of skiing bliss
  • It provides 6 lifts in addition to the aforementioned Millennium Triple Chairlift.

The mountain welcomes snow sport devotees of all shapes, sizes, skill levels and interests, such as snowboarders and cross country skiers, and offers specially designed ski gear for disabled people.

You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

So, what’s there to do at Ski Santa Fe once they boot you off the mountain (at 4 p.m. on the Lower Mountain and 3:45 p.m. on the Upper Mountain)? Good question.

Warm your insides as well as your outsides by wandering in to the Ski Santa Fe Base Lodge’s La Casa Café Grill and the Totemoff Bar, Grill and Lodge.

You can also get yourself some new ski apparel, gear and accessories at the Wintermill Shop. This would also be the place to pick up anything ski-related that you forgot at home or lost in some strange vortex (including cars, dryers and sock drawers). Wintermill Shop is the place to pick up gloves and mittens, jackets and vests, and a wide variety of sunglasses and goggles.

Additional New Mexico Must-Ski Destinations