Don’t like skiing?

Here are five great alternatives to enjoy some winter adventure

By Ellen Miller-Goins

No doubt sitting by a crackling fire under a warm blanket is wonderful but if you choose this option, you are missing out on a truth: being outdoors in Northern New Mexico during the winter is magical, beautiful, exhilarating and … fun! 

If you consider skiing or snow

boarding to be a hard no, Northern New Mexico offers myriad options for enjoying wintertime in the Land of Enchantment. 

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Ice Skating

Check out the new Eis Haus ice skating rink at Taos Ski Valley. Rentals are included for skating afternoons and evenings all season long and spectators will enjoy rink-adjacent seating next to large built-in fireplaces. Taos’ Youth & Family Center is open for rentals and skate lessons — beginner to advanced, children to adults — through the Skating Club of Taos. Helmets and safety equipment are also available at the skate rental counter.

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Few thrills can beat speeding over a snow-packed meadow or navigating along a tree-lined mountain lane. Visitors can find guided tours in Taos Ski Valley and Red River as well as tracked 6-passenger OHV tours in Red River. 

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Nothing beats the thrill of screaming down a snow-covered hill at top speed. Red River Ski Area and Angel Fire Resort offer a “magic carpet” ride
so you can spend your time riding down tubing lanes instead of hiking uphill. Call ahead or check their websites for hours, reservations (a must during busy times) and height and age requirements. 

Courtesy Angel Fire Resort

Sleigh rides

Nothing beats the romance of a sleigh ride and now visitors have a couple of options. Taos Ski Valley offers dinner sleigh rides from the main plaza to the award-winning Bavarian restaurant at the base of Kachina Basin for a three-course dinner, complete with wine.

In Angel Fire, call Nancy’s Burch’s Roadrunner Tours. Cuddle up under blankets for tour, a cup of hot chocolate and “beautiful family photos with the horses,” Burch says. “On any sleigh ride we always make sure guests have time to take photos.” More than a few guests book a private ride for what Burch calls “the wedding proposal ride.” 

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As snow falls in the forest, the sound changes, becomes muted, interrupted only by one’s own breath and the slap, slap, slap of snowshoes. Pick up rentals at sport shops in Taos, Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire and Red River and head for your favorite hiking trail. You can also take a guided tour courtesy of Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area or Heritage Inspirations out of El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos. Additionally, Enchanted Forest offers rentals and 18k of well-marked, packed snowshoe trails. They also offer several “snowshoe friendly” events. 

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