Rockies South – Colorado and New Mexico
The Rocky Mountains are a range in western North America extending from New Mexico into British Columbia. For GNASA purposes we’re breaking the area up and Rockies South is Colorado and New Mexico.
Colorado is America’s favorite ski state when it comes to total skier days, generally topping 7 million. There are 30 resorts in Colorado, 7 of which generally crack the top 10 in most skier visits. New Mexico has Taos. For avid skiers, Taos is part of the Ivy League, a bucket list destination.
Colorado ski areas can be broken up into areas in the South, North and those off Interstate 70 (in the middle of Colorado). Major Southern Colorado areas include Durango (Purgatory), Wolf Creek, Silverton, and Telluride. I70 resorts include Loveland, Arapahoe, Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail, and Beaver Creek. Winter Park is off the I70 via 40. Aspen can be accessed off I70 via 91, 24 and 82 (about 4 hours from Denver). Crested Butte is in here too, but its just a pain to get to from Denver. Northern Colorado has Steamboat Springs.
If your planning adventures from Denver, always consider I70 weekend and holiday traffic. During these times Denver to any resort can easily turn into a days drive (6 -10 hours).
The “land of enchantment” is simply spectacular, especially in the North where high deserts give way to the rocky mountains. Areas around Taos are known to have some of the best light for painters in the world. Low humidity creates dry air, and massive panoramas extending hundreds of miles seem to be everywhere.
The major ski areas are Taos and Angel Fire. Taos is an expert skiers paradise. Angel Fiore is knows for its terrain parks for Boarders. There are small areas for those with time on their hands like Sipapu (owned by the Durango owners) and Pajarito (near Los Alamos Laboratories).
It’s a closer drive from Taos (New Mexico) to Telluride (Colorado) than from Denver to Telluride. It’s also faster from Taos to Telluride, Purgatory and Wolf Creek. This means you can create a ski adventure starting in Northern New Mexico and access Southern Colorado resorts.
Ski Adventure – Southern Colorado & New Mexico
This makes a Southern Colorado – New Mexico adventure doable in 10 days. You can fly into Albuquerque, spend a day driving to Crested Butte, A few days at the Butte and then make a three-hour drive to Telluride in the afternoon. A few days at Telluride and you can head to Durango (2 hours). From Durango, you can hit Silverton (1.5 hours). From Durango it’s a 4 hour drive to Taos. After a few days in Taos, you head back to Albuquerque Airport(3 hours).
Ski Adventure I70
I70 always offers an adventure. From Denver to Loveland, then off to Summit County where you can make day journeys to Arapahoe, Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail and Beaver Creek.