Skiing Taos Ski Valley!
There are so many great things to look forward to about winter, like sitting by the fire, building a snowman and of course my annual ski trip! This year – 10 days in Taos, NM/Taos Ski Valley. Since it was just going to be two of us I wanted to find an affordable studio house with a kitchen, laundry, private hot tub and walking distance to the square, shops and restaurants. I looked around on the VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner) website and found the perfect place. This website is a lot more affordable than the higher priced hotels or the condos rented from a specific company. Just be aware of a scam going around about hackers getting into the owners sites and taking peoples money by wire transfer. Always talk to the owner on the phone and always pay with a credit card and you will be fine.
There is a great bus called the Chili Line that will pick you up in town and takes you up the mountain for 50 cents each way. I love letting the professionals drive in the snow and ice while I relax on the bus. It makes several hotel stops and also picks up at the Solar Center. Since the Solar Center is the last stop we park and catch the bus there. At the end of the day be sure and check out KTAO/Solar Center Station Bar. You can enjoy a drink with a view, sit by the fire and watch the local radio DJ spin the tunes.
Taos Ski Valley ski lift tickets are $75 a day but you can find coupons at your local ski store for $15 off a day and buy two get one free. Be sure to “like” the Taos Ski Valley Facebook page and they will let you know when they send out the coupons and to which stores.
On rest days, when not skiing, we loved being able to walk to the square and the John Dunn Shops to look for souvenirs and check out the many galleries. Please remember they get a late start with most shops opening at 11 a.m. One of my favorite stores called Seconds had all green items created from recycled materials. I also got some amazing earrings from Fx-18 Gifts & Jewelry. There is plenty of free parking around the square. Be sure to print a map before you go.
For lunch we ate twice at The Alley Cantina. The shrimp, burgers, catfish and burritos were excellent. In the afternoon we stopped for a drink at El Camino Cantina and loved the view of the mountains from the rooftop deck. They have a giant jar with pineapple pieces floating in three kinds of rum. It’s one strong drink! For the best home brewed beer you must check out Eske’s Brew Pub. It’s a tiny little place with a big patio and great beer. I heard you can’t go to Eske’s without trying the Green Chili Beer. It was different and packed with heat!
When we weren’t cooking dinner we enjoyed shrimp tacos and carnits with the locals at Guadalajara Grill (the north location). We walked up to Eske’s again after dinner one night to catch the 2 piece band. It was a lot of fun and we were glad we didn’t have to drive home.
At Taos Ski Valley the rumor is that the runs are a little more challenging than other mountains. Everyone will have a different opinion but I learned to ski here when I was little and it is my favorite places to ski. If you’re an expert you can hike up 10-15 min for a more challenging run or all the way to the top of Kachina about 1.5 hours. I just watched but it looked fun.
While on the mountain at Taos Ski Valley you can get an amazing crepe and stop to rest at the Whistle Stop Cafe. For a bigger lunch we stopped at the Phoenix Grill. They have everything from burgers, pizza, soups and hot dogs. After an awesome day of skiing we would have drinks at the Martini Tree bar and Stray Dogs Cantina. The fresh lime margaritas at Stray Dogs are yummy!
On another rest day we drove South 20 min to check out shops along the way. There wasn’t much open but we came across a little winery called Vivac and stopped in for a tasting. Tastings were 6.00 for 6 or free with a bottle purchase. This will definitely wake you up at 10:30 in the morning. There are also 2 other wineries near Vivac to check out, Black Mesa and La Chiripada Winery.
We had an awesome time and I can’t wait to start planning next years trip back to Taos.