Ski Resorts Near Ruidosa, New Mexico

Ski Resorts Near Ruidosa, New Mexico
Ruidoso is a small town in south-central New Mexico that is within the Lincoln National Forest and adjacent to the Sierra Blanca mountains. Thanks to its elevation (6,920 feet), the town is home to Ski Apache--one of the southern-most ski resorts in the United States. During warmer weather, outdoorsmen come to Ruidoso to fish on Bonito Lake and mountain bike along Ski Run Road within the national forest. Beyond Ski Apache, skiers will have to travel several hours to reach other ski areas.

Ski Apache

Originally opened as Sierra Blanca Ski Resort in 1961, Ski Apache, operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, has the largest lift capacity of any ski area in New Mexico thanks, part, to the only gondola in the state. Ski Apache has 11 lifts that can carry 16,500 skiers per hour to its 55 trails on 750 acres. Ski Apache averages 180 inches of snow a year and has snow-making abilities on 13 trails. The terrain is 20 percent beginner, 35 percent intermediate and 45 percent expert. The vertical drop is 1,800 feet.

Ski Apache
1286 Ski Run Road
Alto, NM 88312
(575) 464-3600

Ski Cloudcroft

Ski Cloudcroft is a small resort that is the southernmost ski area in New Mexico, about an hour south of Ruidoso on Highway 82. The area has been in operation since 1963 and offers four lifts and 21 trails. Ski Cloudcroft does not open every year; the 2009-2010 season was the first time since 2005 it had opened. There is no terrain park at Ski Cloudcroft, but the resort does offer night skiing Thursday through Sunday. The resort offers a vertical drop of 755 feet on terrain that is broken down evenly among beginner, intermediate and expert.

Ski Cloudcroft
1920 Hwy 82
Cloudcroft, NM 88317
(575) 682-2333

Sandia Peak

Sandia Peak is located northeast of Albuquerque, several hours north of Ruidoso. It is a small resort with five lifts and 30 trails on 200 acres. Sandia averages 125 inches of snow per year. Its peak elevation is 10,378 feet; the base is at 8,678 feet, offering a vertical drop of 1,700 feet. The terrain breakdown is 35 percent beginner, 55 percent intermediate and 10 percent expert. There is a terrain park for trick skiing and riding.

Sandia Peak
10 Tramway Loop Northeast
Albuquerque, NM 87122-2017
(505) 242-9052

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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