FOUR-SEASON ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
Locals head to the hills for cool summer
by Lauren Seale
WITH TAOS SKI VALLEY SHIFTING its winter resort into a four-season destination, now more than ever there is an abundance of activities for the entire family year-round – except for this year, 2020 (and maybe some of 2021), due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There’s still plenty to keep us all busy in the outdoors and eating establishments.
With Northern New Mexico’s diverse climate, Taos Ski Valley is the perfect spot for year-round activities. Jake Wilkes, of Taos Ski Valley Inc., offers insight to the newest developments shifting the mountain from a snow-day location to a year-round destination.
“I believe existing tourism guests traveling to the town of Taos will have more reason than ever to visit the ski resort as part of their summer trip,” said Wilkes, noting new outdoor activities and programs complementing the existing summer events and outdoor recreation.
Included are a lift-service mountain bike trail and a protected climbing route, also known as the “Via Ferrata” or “Iron Road.”
The lift-service mountain bike trail will consist of six new trails to explore. With the shortest trail being roughly a half-mile long, and the longest trail about 3 miles long, this is a great way for visitors to explore the mountains in a new and exciting way.
According to skitaos.com, the “Via Ferrata” is “a protected climbing route consisting of metal rungs, ladders, cables and bridges. This system has been popular in Europe for decades because it allows novices to explore rock climbing in a safe and controlled environment. Climbers are continuously secured to cable throughout the course. This one- to two-hour course includes relatively easy, moderate and hard routes, and will be located in the upper bowl near Lift 4.”
Tried and true
Locals and visitors argee there is nothing better than summertime in the Rocky Mountains. With an abundance of sunshine, fresh air and tried-and-true activities to explore the mountainside, there’s no end to the enjoyment of field and streams in the high country of the Ski Valley.
Visiting Taos via RV? With a free first-come, first-served RV parking lot at Taos Ski Valley, you can enjoy staying directly at the base of the mountain for a glorious price tag of $0 dollars. Prefer something a little more rustic? Twining Campground in Taos Ski Valley offers plenty of space for tents or trailers. For a little lower altitude, Carson National Forest offers several campgrounds right below Taos Ski Valley. For the most recently opened camping spots, see fs.usda.gov/recmain/carson/recreation.
Dozens of rivers, streams and lakes within an hour of Taos Ski Valley provide hot spots for you to create your New Mexican fish tale. Hire a guide or venture out on your own to find the spot that’s right for you.
In Taos Ski Valley there are rocks aplenty to explore. Whether you hope to go climbing or bouldering, there are several routes for veterans and newbies alike.
Hiking and trail running
With trails such as Williams Lake Trail, Bull-of-the-Woods and Wheeler Peak Trail, there are an array of mountainside trails that are ready and waiting to be traversed.
Chair lift rides
Take in the scenic views without gearing up in hiking boots and climbing gloves. Hop on a chair lift ride to the top of the mountain for stunning views of Kachina and Wheeler peaks.
Enjoy a leisurely game of disc golf while soaking in beautiful views of Taos Ski Valley – free of charge.
What’s happening and not happening
At press time, Taos Ski Valley said some summer events might be scheduled after all, depending upon changes in coronavirus precautions. Call or check the website for the “Phased approach to opening” that the Village of Taos Ski Valley and TSV resort are allowing for events and businesses during this year of heightened security for locals and visitor safety.