Taos

Taos

Overall Rating

Taos

Taos3.5/511
Taos3.5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
  • Recommend
    82%
  • Would Revisit
    82%

Taos - Reviews

Taos - Reviews

Taos Snow Valley

21/04/2022

Brandon

Powder Connoisseur
Powder Connoisseur

Brandon

Powder Connoisseur
Powder Connoisseur
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    5

Taos Snow Valley

21/04/2022
Don't Panic!
Chair 7A
Beautiful Creek in the base area
My wife hiking up to Highline Ridge
Bout to drop in on Hidalgo
I had some mild expectations for my trip to Taos Ski Valley, I had never been to New Mexico before and I’ve boarded in some pretty epic PNW and Tahoe conditions lately. I was pleasantly surprised by TSV. Our first day on mountain was 12/30/2021 and Taos had been having a pretty dry winter so far so early season conditions were present most places. The one caveat was that they did have a recent storm come through with extremely high winds, in fact our first day on the mountain, lifts 1 and 2 didn’t open until after noon due to wind gusts reaching 55+ mph. These wind gusts did two things, it made the 12 degree temperature feel more like -5… and it moved a lot of the existing snow on the runs to one side, leaving solid ice on the other. So day 1 was less than stellar, only 10% of all runs were open, essentially 1 or 2 blues and a handful of greens. We spent the next day exploring the surrounding areas including a drive up to Great Sand Dunes NP, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and checking out the town of Taos while hoping that the winds died down a bit before our next 2 days boarding. This ultimately worked but we did miss the first day that the hike-to ridgeline run Juarez opened as well as a blue and green run on the backside. The next day however we lapped Juarez twice which was some fun, steep, terrain but already very cut up from the day before. The hike was a very manageable 10-15 min hike, not overly steep, and even my wife who is not an avid snowboard hiker, said it was very pretty in there. She did it twice which was her limit. Don’t forget your at 12,000+ feet here. Later in the afternoon ski patrol opened up the hike-to run Hidalgo for the first time this season and I was lucky enough to catch two runs in there with thigh to waist deep fresh tracks all the way down. Never in a million years did I think I’d be surfing deep pow through the trees with some occasional rock drops in NM. It completed the trip for me.

On to the ratings

Snow: We were blessed with 29” falling during the 4 days we were there, 12 of it coming overnight one of the nights leading to endless face shots. The snow is light n fluffy, and lasts a long time compared to the more popular ikon or epic resorts. Although the wind did have its effects on the snow as most of the other days didn’t really have the nice perfect pow fields that I was used to, considering how much snow they reported getting. I expect this storm was particularly windy and that that’s not a typical problem they have.

Uncrowded: Considering it was peak holiday dates I’m actually very surprised it wasn’t more crowded. We were boarding there from 12/29/21-01/01/22. The first day had some bad crowds but that’s just because the main lifts 1 & 2 werent spinning at all until noon. Then they ran them at half speed the rest of the day and even then the line at lift 2 never got more than 2 mins. There were times like after the backside was opened and then all the fresh snow skied out, that the lift lines got bad on the backside but It was predictable and still only a 10 min wait max.

Lifts: I gave them a bad lift score for several reasons… having so much of the mountain unrideable because of wind was shocking to me. I’m no stranger to wind delays and wind holds, but typically its only affecting the upper mountain lifts and the resorts are still able to provide a decent amount of terrain to make your lift ticket worth it. There were several days during this storm cycle that they were only able to run the bunny hill lifts and that’s during peak holiday dates which is crazy to me. But I digress, also I felt like Lift 1, the main lift at the base that takes skiers up to access the rest of the mountain, is only a quad chair. When the lines did get long down there it really felt like that lift was bottlenecking everything. I do love the old center post chair on the backside (chair 7A). But overall it felt like their lift system needed some work, theres only one high speed quad, several fixed grip quads and a lot of triple seaters that seemed antiquated. Also, they list one gondola… but it’s a joke, it just runs down by the bunny hill… seems like such waste of a gondola.

Piste Trails: The pistes were good. The long blue green from the top of 2 down the front side was a lot of fun. Many of the other pistes like off of chair 8 or chair 4 werent open yet but the runs that were open were a lot of fun. There are a decent amount of catwalks your forced onto but they all have sufficient gradient so neither me nor my wife had any issue on them on a board.

Off-Piste: Once again this is what you powderhounds are here for. The off-piste tree skiing was decent when I dipped into the woods off of Lonestar and Powderhorn, the snowpack wasn’t quite deep enough and my board suffered a bit but the trees did have potential with some fun slope angles and trees on the tighter side but not too tight. The main off-piste draw however is definitely the runs off the ridgeline hike. The West Basin wasn’t open yet, in fact the only hikes that were open so far were Juarez and Hidalgo but they were both very good. Awesome steep and if you can time it right you can pair those steeps with some awesome powder. I cant wait to go back later in the season and try em all! The one reason I gave it a 4 was that those 2 runs were very short.

Child-friendly: Taos isn’t the most child friendly. The greens and blues off the main lifts are on the steeper side and not as wide as you may be used to in CO or UT. The beginner area is pretty nice and its conveniently located right at the base where mom can be watching from one of the restaurants. I’m unaware of daycare ameninities but I did read that their ski school is award winning. Also there wasn’t any marijuana smells or much of a party scene which for it being NYE was pretty tame I felt. It did give it kind of a family friendly vibe.

Value: I always struggle with value but that’s because I feel like if the runs are THAT good, I’ll pay anything. Holiday season tickets were 175 at the window I believe. That’s insane for NM and several of the locals I rode up with complained about this and how the new owners are ruining the resort rabble rabble rabble. However if I had gone later in the season when more terrain was open, there were even less lift lines and the lift tickets weren’t holiday rates, this would probably get a decent score.

Nightlife: you get a one… On New Years Eve we were kicked out of the bar / pizza joint at like 8pm… partly because it was snowing so much and the employees needed to get home, and maybe partly because of covid / lack of people but still. There was nothing going on in Taos Ski Valley. See our video here

Two bit resort

Bob
20/01/2022
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    70+
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

Two bit resort

Bob
20/01/2022
Although they’re have a $175 window lift ticket price, they’re still second rate resort. For that kind of price, you wouldn’t expect them to have just one high speed, have just one small cafe on the mountain, constantly run out of coffee at lunch, run out of soap and towels in the restrooms during a pandemic , and say you have to be vaccinated to enter their cafeteria and have no one checking them

The ski runs are still as fun and challenging as they under the old owners. The only improvement to the skiing has been the addition of a high speed lift. Yes, they’ve they invested millions into the base, but none of it has improved the skiing experience m See our video here

first and last time

Qualityguy
07/04/2021
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Admin Rating
    3

first and last time

Qualityguy
07/04/2021
I had MAJOR issues with Taos as a first timer.

1) Only one lift serves ALL of the main mountain. It is NOT protected from wind. Poor design Taos.
2) Winds were steady at 30mph- with gusts to 70mph. Not TAOS’ fault.
3) When I picked up my lift pass, I was not informed that the main lift had been on wind hold for an hour, and there was zero likelihood that it would open that day. TAOS’ FAULT!!
4) After an hour of waiting and making some inquiries, I found out that there WAS a different section with a lift running (Lift 4). GREAT NEWS!
5) Directions from multiple employees: go to the end of the parking area and take Twinig Road- about 1.5 miles (another said 2 miles). OK, great.
6) Actual distance is 2.7 miles- if you don’t take a wrong turn. Unacceptable communication from Taos employees.
7) The way from Taos Ski Valley is a poor dirt road with multiple Y’s and not a single sign at any intersection. When you get to lift 4, there is NO identification that is any part of Taos Ski Valley. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE TAOS!
8) TSV seems utterly uninterested in customer service.
9) And the terrain: not much better or worse than any other major ski resort. Except for this: they do not have high speed detachable chairs. So you will be unpleasantly reminded of you slope time to lift time ratio that you remember from 20 years ago.
10) Net net: inexcusable wasted hours getting started to use the only lift running. Utterly frustrating lack of any effort to help their clients. My first and last time. See our video here

Essential for experienced skiers; a pleasure for anyone.

Paul
15/02/2021
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

Essential for experienced skiers; a pleasure for anyone.

Paul
15/02/2021
Excellent trails for all levels, excellent facilities and well prepared staff. Taos Ski Valley is the best ski resort that I have personally visited. I first skied in 1991 and have skied in a number of countries. See our video here

Taos: A 4 letter word for steep

Pallavicini
23/10/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    1

Taos: A 4 letter word for steep

Pallavicini
23/10/2019
Taos in a good season is an unbeatable ski area.
Amazing terrain period. See our video here

Ski Nazi outlook by management

Blake Bachman
29/11/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    3

Ski Nazi outlook by management

Blake Bachman
29/11/2016
Their communication is horrible when it comes to early season or delayed openings. They do not update the snow report and have blamed early season conditions for not opening in the past when conditions were ready. They don't have the operational efficiencies to open when they get snow. Other resorts celebrate their snow and rush to open terrain as soon as possible. TSV tries to hide their snow and leave people in the dark. They may open Saturday, but won't announce it until Thursday. They have no consideration for those that travel to ski or passholders. Makes a season pass undesirable. See our video here

My local mountain: a love story

Wes Thome
02/11/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

My local mountain: a love story

Wes Thome
02/11/2016
As a skier/snowboarder stranded in Texas, my options are fairly limited, but Ive yet to find a comparable mountain anywhere in the US. While small compared to some CO super resorts, Taos seems absolutely huge, partly due to the perceived lack of people. With so much off piste (and normal, groomed) terrain it never feels like there's more than 10 people there. In 3 years of pass holding I can count on one hand the amount of times I've waited in a lift line for more than 30 seconds, when you factor in the low cost of tickets and lodging (not in the valley but in the city of Taos), you've got a great mountain, value wise. On to the actual riding, the groomed runs are standard, good in the morning, ehh in the afternoon. The terrain park is a very nice touch, as it blows any other NM mountain's park out of the water. Moguls are extremely prevalent and well maintained. Most importantly however, the tree runs, chutes, and off piste terrain is all STUNNING. Runs along the Highline Ridge feature a mellow gradient (for a double black), the perfect concentration of trees and drops, and some decent chutes. Runs along the west basin however, turn the intensity up another notch. Multiple pro skiers and snowboarders come to ride west basin. The chutes and steeps in the west basin are insane, some of the hardest terrain I've ever ridden. When there is snow west basin is among some of the best terrain in the rockies, but therein lies the problem "when theres snow". For all the amazing terrain, cheap costs, great atmosphere and natural beauty the snow is inconsistent. While easily surpassing other NM mountains for base, Taos doesn't quite match up to the likes of Wolf Creek or Jackson Hole. Most years the cover is consistently good from about the New Year on, but sometimes the mountain goes a long time without fresh snow. Without the regular dumps seen in CO, most of the terrain gets icy and tracked out. The snow is definitely not bad, but its the only thing dragging Taos down. See our video here

Amazing Ski Week

John Smith
01/02/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January

Amazing Ski Week

John Smith
01/02/2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOzwjaxqGfQ
Video of our amazing ski week experience See our video here

Taos

CWK
12/11/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Taos

CWK
12/11/2013
Taos is so special. Expert terrain that is second to none on a good snow year. Light, fluffy powder and landscape that rivals that of the Swiss Alps.

Nicest employees I've ever encountered and the perfect ski town vibe. It's 100% family owned and always has been, which is a huge plus (nothing corporate).

The only negative I can think of is the lack of snow they sometimes have at the beginning of the season, but they usually always catch up in Feb. Amazing spring skiing.

Hike the ridge if you haven't, amazing views and even better terrain. Kachina is WELL WORTH the 1-2 hour hike, true in-bounds big-mountain skiing. Be weary of West Basin though unless you're a top level expert, scary scary (but rewarding) lines over there.

The stats and trail map lists approx. 110 trails, but there's a LOT more that aren't marked on a map, that you have to find. You could ski at Taos for an entire season and not ski everything.

For those with kids, the ski-school is unparalleled with super helpful and friendly instructors that you can tell just love their job.

Last thing, no lift lines....EVER! Hidden gem in the truest sense. See our video here

POW POW POW

Patrick Barry
24/09/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    3

POW POW POW

Patrick Barry
24/09/2013
Decided to go to Taos becuase of the cheap airfare to Albuquerque. The mountain turned out to be one of the best places I have ever skied. The terrain is challenging and steep. It snowed most of the week and by the 5th day it was up to my chest on the hike terrain.

There are no crowds and the people are very friendly. The girls are super friendly. The lift tickets were a little pricey but the terrain and snow quality are worth it. I recommend hiking to get used to the elevation. As the week goes on you will find yourself doing laps on the hike terrain. You will never want to leave it is that good! See our video here
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