It’s not hard to tell the newcomers from the locals when it comes to outdoor activities in Santa Fe. The locals know all the best recreation spots, they know what time of year to hit which destination, they know how parking is going to be on the way in, and they always seem to find a way to get a spot. If you’re a new resident, never fear: You do know someone local—it’s us! Now that ski season is here, we’re sharing some insider info on the skiing scene in Santa Fe.
How’s The Weather Up There?
2019-2020 is starting out strong, with deep powder days for the first three days of the season. Ski Santa Fe saw Thanksgiving open with only a handful of lifts, but not due to the lack of snow–they couldn’t keep up with grooming the trails and removing fencing! Currently, the Pacific Jet Stream is running south, giving up storm after storm, so we’re optimistic these won’t be the last big dumps of the season.
Typical temperatures at the ski basin will be fluctuating between 0’s to 30’s, with windchill at the top of the longer lifts to be significantly less. With a newly renovated Totemoffs bar, it’s easy to stay warm between runs, though. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen as it’s typical to have bluebird days here.
Where To Shop Local
You could pick up all your gear from a big box store, but if you want to shop local, we highly recommend Alpine Sports on Sandoval Street and Cottam’s on Hyde Park Road. Both places offer personalized service, knowledgeable staff, and a great selection of winter sports gear.
“But I Don’t Know How To Ski!”
You can learn to shoot hoops at the gym or the high school or with a fifty-dollar hoop in the driveway. Skiing is a little trickier. You need a mountain, and most of us don’t have one of those in our backyard. Luckily, Ski Santa Fe offers private lessons every winter. Choose from one hour up to a full day for either one or two people. You’ll need to book a private lesson a couple of weeks in advance, but they can bring you up to speed very quickly. Ski Santa Fe also offers group lessons on a first-come, first-served basis.
Booking Your Ski Trip
Ski Santa Fe’s 2019-2020 season typically will run till the first weekend of April and you can choose from season passes starting at $269. If you just want to head out for a weekend in the mountains, Ski Santa Fe does offer reasonable day rates, ranging from $23 to $62, depending on options.
“I Don’t Want To Drive Up and Down The Mountain!”
If you’re coming from an area that doesn’t experience snowfall, driving up the ski basin road can be intimidating. We always recommend AWD or 4×4 vehicles only and good, traction-rated tires. Nothing gets Santa Feans more grumpy than a traffic jam on a powder day due to an ill-equipped vehicle clogging up the road.
Good news: The North Central Regional Transit District RTD, known locally as the “Blue Bus” will get you up and down Hyde Park road to Ski Santa Fe. Most people don’t rely on buses in Santa Fe for the daily commute because the bus schedule is a bit sparse, but when it comes to a ski trip, you’re not in a hurry, so there’s no reason not to hop on board for a day on the slopes. In fact, the bus picks up right in front of our office, so who knows, you may catch one of us trying to play hooky!