Santa Fe Ski Area
- Ski Areas: Santa Fe Ski Area
- Population: 60,000
- Snow Report: (505) 983-9155
- Annual Snowfall: 225″
- Ski Season: Thanksgiving-April
- Chamber of Commerce: (800) 777-2489
- Average Cost 1-bedroom Apartment: $650
- Santa Fe Lift Ticket Prices
- Local Newspapers: New Mexican, (505) 983-3303; Sante Fe Reporter, (505) 988-5541
At an elevation of 7,000 feet and boasting 300 days of sunshine per year, Santa Fe is a skier’s paradise. Located in the beautiful Santa Fe National Forest and just twenty minutes from the world-renowned culture and cuisine of the city of Santa Fe, this resort will please the non-skier and the expert alike.
Santa Fe Ski Area is a well-rounded resort with plenty of room for everyone. Twenty percent of the mountain is for beginners, with the rest evenly divided between intermediate and expert. Seven lifts have an up-hill capacity of 7,800 skiers per hour, with 600 acres, thirty-eight trails, and 1,650 vertical feet of terrain awaiting them at the top. The ski area boasts an excellent ski school and a NASTAR race course. Snowboarders have a park to themselves, and cross-country skiers can access trails in the Santa Fe National Forest.
Winter activities off the slopes include shopping and visiting Santa Fe’s wealth of museums and art galleries.
The Santa Fe area offers just about everything a visitor could want. The national forest is the perfect place for fly-fishing, backpacking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking. The resort runs its chairlifts from July 4 to Labor Day, giving hikers (but not mountain bikers) access to the mountain’s 12,000-foot summit.
Other summer activities include the Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe Fiesta, and visiting Native American pueblos and craft fairs.
Fine diners the world over have heard of Santa Fe cuisine, but visitors don’t have to be wealthy gourmands to enjoy many of the city’s more than 200 restaurants. La Choza for New Mexican food and Whistling Moon for Mediterranean cuisine are two excellent but still fairly affordable dining options . Evangelo’s is the best bar in town, and Cafe Romano is tops for those who prefer caffeinated brew.
Most out-of-state visitors fly into the Albuquerque airport, an hour’s drive south of Santa Fe. Skiers can also take Amtrak to Lamy, about eighteen miles from the resort, where a shuttle can be arranged. There is a public bus system in Santa Fe, but it does not serve the ski resort.
Santa Fe Ski Area provides a free shuttle bus for its employees who live in town.
The ski resort does not provide employee housing, but there are plenty of houses and apartments to rent in Santa Fe. There is a certain amount of city-owned and -operated affordable housing, with new units being built on a regular basis. Though better known for its high-price galleries and restaurants, Santa Fe is also home to several colleges, so affordable housing can be found by those who arrive early.
Santa Fe Ski Area hires 500 seasonal workers each year, most of them through the resort’s late October job fair. Those who would rather work off the slopes have several hundred restaurants, gift shops, hotels, and art galleries to choose from just twenty minutes away in Santa Fe.