Guidebook

The Best of the Taos Backcountry

Advanced ski lines in the snowy New Mexico mountains!

Charlie Boscoe

Description

Skiing might not be the first activity which springs to mind when thinking about New Mexico, a famously hot and dry state on the US/Mexico border, but there's more for the snowsports enthusiast than you might initially think. The state is home to some sizeable mountains, with 26 peaks over 3000 metres and one (Wheeler Peak) exceeding 4000 metres. Those mountains house some epic terrain too, as you'll learn when you visit Taos ski area - a hidden gem for those in the know.

Taos is home to some great easy skiing, particularly on the lower part of the mountain, but it's probably best known for the superb advanced freeride lines starting from Kachina Peak and the Highline Ridge. We've showcased some of the freeride highlights in this guidebook, but even when you've worked your way through these lines (which will take a while!) there's still so much to explore in this underrated corner of southern America.

Elsewhere there are some excellent ski areas to be explored in New Mexico (Angel Fire, about an hour from Taos, is particularly good) and the legendary peaks of Southern Colorado are close by too!

Twin Trees Chute

Twin Trees Chute

Taos
0.4 km
255 m
41 °
A long and sunny chute.
Private
Main Street

Main Street

Taos
0.7 km
320 m
35 °
The biggest, easiest run on Kachina Peak.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Hunziker

Hunziker

Taos
0.3 km
181 m
41 °
A super-steep, better-not-fall-here chute off Kachina Peak.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Prime Real Estate
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Prime Real Estate

Taos
199 m
32 °
NW
0 m
0.4 km
Classic tree lines.
Difficult
Private
Ernie's Run

Ernie's Run

Taos
0.9 km
415 m
36 °
A very long and isolated tree skiing adventure.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
North American

North American

Taos
0.9 km
446 m
35 °
A long and steep adventure through the trees.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Blitz

Blitz

Taos
0.4 km
173 m
34 °
A wide black diamond with bumps and a few tree options.
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Stauffenberg

Stauffenberg

Taos
0.2 km
165 m
46 °
An open chute that's very steep with a number of technical lines.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Wild West Glade

Wild West Glade

Taos
0.9 km
393 m
31 °
Long secluded trees off the West Basin Ridge.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
K5

K5

Taos
0.3 km
197 m
36 °
A long and steep couloir.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
K4

K4

Taos
0.4 km
220 m
41 °
A long and steep couloir.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Totally Wiard
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Totally Wiard

Taos
127 m
27 °
N
0 m
0.4 km
An interesting lines through moguls and big rocks.
Moderate
Private
Tresckow

Tresckow

Taos
0.4 km
187 m
35 °
A fun and consistent chute with treed and open sections.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Billy Sol

Billy Sol

Taos
0.2 km
150 m
38 °
A fun and private chute surrounded by forest.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
High Noon

High Noon

Taos
0.5 km
100 m
28 °
A fun and isolated black run.
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Lorelei

Lorelei

Taos
1.1 km
306 m
28 °
A sunny black diamond with gladed areas and bumps.
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Pierre's

Pierre's

Taos
0.6 km
240 m
44 °
Very steep, with trees, cliffs and great potential.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private
Longhorn

Longhorn

Taos
1.1 km
461 m
39 °
Long and isolated with steep and bumpy sections.
Double Black Diamond (Very Difficult)
Private