America's Best Ski Resorts
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Why Go: Unpretentious Taos is ideal for avoiding crowds and for "bluebird powder days" (blue-sky days following heavy snow fall the night before). At 1,294 skiable acres, the relatively small mountain makes up for its size in snowfall and sun (more than 300 inches and days of it, respectively). Plus, experts willing to work for their turns can access another 600 vertical feet of runs by hiking from the top of Chair 2 to West Basin Ridge, where steep slopes and jagged cliffs offer plenty of terrain.
Where to Après: Taos Ski Valley is located about 20 minutes outside the town of Taos, but there are a few options for those who want to stay onsite. Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina draws a solid crowd with its happy-hour specials and burritos smothered in roasted green and red chile sauces.
Left: Red Chile Benedict at Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina. Photo courtesy of Ryan Mlynarczyk.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.