For nearly 25 years my father and I, along with friends, significant others and whoever else wants to tag along, have loaded up the car and road tripped it from Texas to Colorado or New Mexico for our annual ski trip. This year we decided to make two stops – Taos, NM and Pagosa Springs, CO.
First Stop: Taos, NM
We spent the first four days in Taos at our favorite place to stay, the Sagebrush Inn. The suite was equipped with a fireplace and includes a free breakfast with five choices made to order. We were able to recover at the Sagebrush Inn after each hard day of skiing in their hot tub. The restaurant on-site is excellent as is the bar, which features a live band to dance the night away. Something to note, the Sagebrush Inn is pet friendly.
For our first day of skiing we were picked up next door at the sister hotel, Comfort Suites by the Chile Line bus. (The bus doesn’t stop right in front of the Sagebrush Inn, but Comfort Suites is very close so there is no hiking in ski boots.) This bus is $.50 one way and will take you to Taos Ski Valley to ski and bring you back several times during the day or at the end of the day (4:30 pm). This worked out great because we didn’t have to worry about driving up the mountain or parking a mile away.
Some say Taos Ski Valley is a little more challenging than most resorts, maybe that’s why it’s my favorite. I feel its ski runs offer a variety for every level of skier. We skied down the back side and the snow was great! We stopped at the Phoenix Grill, about half way down, for lunch and cocktails. It’s very conveniently located at the base of the #4 chair (the quad chair in Kachina Bowl) and has great food. On the front side about halfway way down you can stop at the Whitlestop Cafe for snacks and a restroom but no cocktails. It’s located at the base of #6 lift and close to the #2 quad chair. After a great day of skiing we had drinks at the base at The Martini Tree Bar, it’s upstairs from Tenderfoot Katie’s. This is the place to be after a long day – live music, play some pool or just relax by the fire.
Since we were staying in town we had a bit more variety to choose from for dinner. The Guadalajara Grill on Paseo del Norte was recommended by several locals and for good reason. This place was amazing and very affordable. One thing to note, you can’t be put off by its appearance; if you want really good Mexican food this place is it. We will definitely come here again. Its online reviews speak for how great this place is. The menu is extensive, with items such as grilled fish tacos served in soft tortillas, shrimp with garlic sauce to burritos smothered in red or green chilies. Try the fish tacos and fried ice cream. Yum!
If you’re in Taos, you must go to the Taos Plaza. It’s a great area for shopping and checking out the local art scene given the number of art galleries and street artists. Or if you’re just interested in getting a history lesson, the Taos Plaza is a walking history book. From the plaza, you can take a self-guided walking tour of 22 historic Taos landmarks. Pick up a brochure at the visitor center (or download it). This is also a great “walking tour” resource of the Plaza. It’s a nice way to stretch your legs after a long day of skiing…