The Best Downhill Skiing

By Richard Mahler

Author of "New Mexico's Best"

"The simple facts about Taos remain unchanged," declared Snow Country magazine in a review of Taos Ski Valley. "The terrain is varied and often challenging, the sunny weather is a kick, and there probably isn't a better place in the country to learn to ski.:

Although it's harder to get to than many other Rocky Mountain venues, Taos Ski Valley is consistently rated the best downhill ski resort in New mexico, and one of the best in the entire United States. The slopes receive an average of 320 inches of white stuff each winter (plus artificial snow), and there is something for skiers of every ability.

"Taos has quie a few begginer, intermediate and, particularly, expert runs, plus it's blessed with great snow," says SFAOL contributor Dan Gibson, who has skied in new Mexico since he was 6 and writes about the state's skiing for Powder, Ski World, The New Mexican and other publications. "The ultimate powder skiing in New Mexico is found off either Highline Ridge or West Basin Ridge at Taos.

"The best bar and best restaurant are at the Hotel St. Bernard," adds Gibson. "It's also my favorite place to stay."

If You Go: Lodging, restaurants, childcare and rental equipment are provided in a comfortable complex at the base of 12,481-foot Kachina Peak. Taos Ski Valley is surrounded by the Carson National Forest, 15 miles northeast of the town of Taos via NM 150 (also called Ski Valley Road). Skiing information: 800-776-1111 or 505-776-2233. For Hotel St. Bernard information: 505-776-2251.

Richard Mahler is author of "New Mexico's Best" and several other books. A journalist and photographer as well, he specializes in travel writing. A longtime resident of New Mexico, he resides in Santa Fe.

For a full listing of Richard Mahler's books, and to place orders for them, visit Amazon.com.

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