Travel-Mommy: Road Tripping to Taos Ski Valley
Ski Jumping on Shalako Run
We grew up road tripping, so we just love trips cross-country. While they are not for everyone, you have to do it at least once with your children. You see raw and real America. While at first everyone complained about the 16 hour drive from Houston, TX to Taos Ski Valley, the family ended up really enjoying the vacation. Day one we drove 13 hours to beautiful Santa Fe NM known for its amazing pueblo architecture and the bevy of art museums including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. We enjoyed an absolutely delicious dinner at Tomasito’s a Santa Fe institution that we highly recommend for NM cuisine but be ready for the chilis!
The drive from Santa Fe to Taos Ski Valley took less than two hours and was just majestic. For even better views drive the “High Road” from Santa Fe to Taos. However, we would not want to drive the winding curved road during a blizzard. Luckily, we missed a storm but were able to take advantage of the fresh powder.
What makes Taos Ski Valley revolutionary is that it is a 3rd generation family run mountain with many of its employees working there for over 20 years. Rare in the industry, the family culture creates a homey laid back ski environment that combined with terrain for all levels makes for a wonderful family ski vacation. Plus, the mountain features the best benefit of all: short lift lines. The resort prides itself in not being Beaver Creek or Vail with their super easy access and high-end luxury. No wonder 50% of Texas goes there for Spring Break!
Skiing Taos Ski Valley
Lodging & Logistics:
- Taos is not easy to get to because you have to fly into Santa Fe or Albuquerque. American Airlines and Southwest do have great family ski packages
- VISA Concierge can also help book lodging and reservations
- When booking online, the resort can provide an airport shuttle for $85 from Albuquerque. This is not a bad idea since parking requires a bit of a hike to the resort
- Rio Hondo Condos: convenient for families with little children since it is right by the parking lot and ski school, but you will pay over $445 a night for 4 people.
- VBRO or Dwellable.com: list family friendly rentals & B&B options
- You can stay in the town of Taos and take public transport. The Chile Line is only $1
- Marriott’s El Monte Sagrado: is beautiful luxury on Kit Carson Rd
- The Taos Country Inn: is a beautiful bed and breakfast featuring pueblo architecture
- Hampton Inn and Quality Inn: supply free cocoa & cookies every day
Ski Tickets, Ski Rentals and Ski School:
- Book your tickets online in advance for savings or pay $70 per person for a day. This price is still cheaper than the $100 ticket in Colorado
- Book your ski rentals in advance but arrive early to avoid the long lines and make sure you fill out all the forms
- The locker room is around the corner (follow the red line on the floor). Thank goodness you can pay for a locker with a credit card
- Friends rave that the ski school staff is friendly and great with kids
Tons of No-fuss family friendly restaurants:
- Martini Tree: on the ski hill has super affordable bar food and has WIFI if you need to check emails over lunch or dinner. We enjoyed the live music and you have to love a band called “Better than Bacon”
- Taos Cow: in Arroyo Secco serves up some of the best ice cream in America
- Michael’s kitchen: serves super affordable americana fare in Taos on the main drag
- Five Star Burger: rated the best burger join in NM and has a fantastic family friendly happy hour with sliders for less than $2 also on the main drag right across from the town movie theater. BTW, We loved Disney’s OZ The Great and The Powerful and the movie theater was very comfortable
- Orlando’s: on north end of town serves really delicious NM food featuring lots of chilis
Skiing the Moguls
- Santa Fe is less than two hours away and features the Georgia O’Keefe Museum
- Also only a few hours drive, Albuquerque offers a desert wildlife zoo. The Atomic museum has as much bomb history as you can take or you can hit Roswell to hunt for Area 51 and UFOs
- Taos Ski Valley offers tubing starting at 2pm
- The Bavarian on the hill creates a true german experience with waiters in lederhosen
If you want a luxury trip: The best kept secret:
- If you need luxury: try Edelweiss Lodge & Spa located right by the ski school for $550 a night for a beautiful four-star one bedroom suite or $700 for two bedroom suites
- The concierge can arrange all transportation to and from the airport and will rent high-end skis for you from the Alpine Xtreme ski shop off the lobby
- If road tripping is your fancy, Edelweiss is the only place with underground parking
- We highly recommend the Spa and Daniel’s sublime massage
The mountain closes April 7th but it is never too early to begin planning for spring break next year. Hope you love the resort as much as we did! Let us know about your experience!