Rocky Mountain Highs

As the summer heat approaches, many folks opt for cooler climes and there are none so sweet as those found in the Rockies. 

By Lily Sanborn and Virginia Clark

The Enchanted Circle’s Chambers of Commerce are on top of everything, planning for every eventuality, now and in the future, so visitors are welcome whenever state ratings allow.

The breathtaking scenes “will be here to greet and comfort you – as they hav been for centuries of people before us” says the Village of Taos Ski Valley website.

Rock climbing

New since 2020, is the Via Ferrata at Taos Ski Valley. This new way to explore the mountain is sure to get your heart racing.

A hiker on the Via Ferrata in summer 2020. Courtesy Taos Ski Valley

“Our Via Ferrata routes are now open, just a short walk from the top of Chair 4!” Climbers are led by experienced guides, with safety as a priority. Harnesses, lanyards and helmets are included in the price of the tour, and there are beginner, intermediate and advanced routes.

Via Ferrata is an amazing introduction to climbing and an exciting new way for more advanced climbers. However, you do not need rock climbing experience to enjoy this thrilling activity.

According to, 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 is located in the upper bowl near Lift 4.

Reopening Memorial Day weekend, to make reservations, go to or call Taos Sports, 575-776-5330

Mountain biking

Amidst hiking and exploring the breathtaking backdrop of the Taos and Colfax counties, a new addition to the summer activities offered is trailed mountain biking. 

Awarded No. 1 Bike Park in the Southwest by, Angel Fire Bike Park ( is the largest of its kind in the Rockies. More than 60 miles of trails open May 17. Courtesy Angel Fire Resort

Angel Fire Bike Park is a kick-arse, multiple award-winning bike park set to open May 14, 2021, weather and state mandates permitting. Drop in at 10,650-foot for a 2,000-foot Southern Rockies altitude adjustment, and enjoy “sweet berms, flowy lines, and monster jumps. They’re all here,” they say online; 800-633-7463.

Courtesy Angel Fire Resort

Northside at Taos Ski Valley is a self-guided mountain biking area on 1,200 acres of private alpine wilderness. A looped trail system on Bull of the Woods and Frazer mountains, it’s designed specifically for mountain biking. Northside includes spectacular overlooks. The terrain is best suited for the intermediate and higher level rider; 575-776-3233.

Red River is just north or Taos and Angel Fire, where you’ll find a network of old-school cross-county routes all around the mountain, just great for both pedaling or downhill adventures. Typically not everyone wants pure downhill adventure so this is your spot – with biking, disk golfing, hiking, horseback riding and even tubing. Do check out the Enchanted Forest XC center if you’re looking for even more trails to explore, 575-754-2223.

Courtesy Kurt Schmidt 2016/Taos Ski Valley Chamber

Taos Ski Valley in summer 2020, just opened their first lift-served mountain biking trail – the new Green Chile Flow Trail. This trail is the first of a series being built by Gravity Logic, out of Whistler, British Columbia, with the help of the Taos Ski Valley Bike Park Crew. Ranging from the top of Lift 4 all the way to the bottom of the Kachina Basin, this 3.5 mile trail is equipped with “buttery banked turns, amazing scenery, and fun for the whole family” according to Taos Sports online and reopening in May 2021, 575-776-5330.