Skiing and Snowboarding
Ski Apache 1286 Ski Run Road, Mescalero
(575) 464-3600, www.skiapache.com
Built in 1961, Ski Apache has been owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Indian tribe since 1963. The resort was home to North America’s first mono-cable four-passenger gondola, allowing it to host more than 25,000 skiers in 1962 in just its second year
of existence, and is still today the only ski resort in New Mexico with its own gondola lift. Besides its gondola and three most popular runs – the Apache Bowl, Capitan, and Gondola Liftline – Ski Apache is known for its wood-spired main lodge, in which modern
architecture blends seamlessly with the natural beauty of the surrounding pines and mountain backdrop.
The area’s relatively mild winters combined with the abundance of snow in the mountains make for near perfect skiing conditions at Ski Apache. Sunscreen is a must on the slopes, as Ski Apache sees more sunny days than most other ski resorts. Weather permitting,
Ski Apache’s slopes open on Thanksgiving Day and remain open every day until the end of March or beginning of April.
At Ski Apache, downhill skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to try dozens of trails. The Apache Bowl, known for its wide-open feel and stunning view from the top of Chairlift 6, is perfect for intermediate skiers. Capitan
is considered more challenging, as it includes a steep pitch that drops 475 feet. And Gondola Liftline, another run for experienced skiers, is steep, narrow, and runs all the way from the top of the mountain to the main lodge.
Ski Apache offers classes for beginners, intermediates, adults, children, and families. Particularly popular are the resort’s Adventure Center half- and full-day programs for children between the ages of four and 11, as well as the Family, Mom and Me, and
Dad and Me private lessons. Reservations for lessons are always recommended but are required for youth and family programs.
Also available are season passes, group rates, “ski and stay” packages in partnership with Inn of the Mountain Gods, ski and snowboard rentals, and ski and snowboard retail shops.
Ruidoso Winter Park 1200 Ski Run Road, Alto
(575) 258-3224, www.ruidosowinterpark.com
Located just a few miles from Ruidoso in Alto, Winter Park draws in snow tubing enthusiasts from across the region. Described by the Travel Channel as “the holy grail of snow tubing”, Winter Park uses the largest tubing snow-making system in the Rockies and
has first-class tubing chutes, multiple rider and tube lifts, private igloos available to rent, a zip-line, and a Kidz Korral for children under 42 inches tall. And when you’ve finally tired of tubing, warm up with Winter Park’s delicious pizza and hot chocolate!
Winter Park opens on Thanksgiving Day and is open through mid-to-late March. Night tubing is available periodically throughout the season.
Ski Equipment Rental
In addition to the rental and retail shops at Ski Apache, a number of businesses from which visitors can rent and purchase ski and snowboard equipment are located in Ruidoso. From skis, boots, poles, snowblades, and snowboards to coats, bibs, hats, gloves,
goggles, and helmets, these establishments will make certain skiers, snowboarders, and tubers are prepared to spend the day on the slopes.
Most shops offer money-saving package deals, and many also do ski repair and tuning.
A-Frame Ski Shop 1016 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso
(800) 333-7079, www.aframeski.com
Action Ski Shop 360 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso
Alto Ski Shop Hwy 48 at Ski Run Road, Alto
(575) 336-4386, www.altoskishop.com
Mountain Ski Shop 2716 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso
Rocky Mountain Sports 1103 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso
Ski Ruidoso 1133 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso
St. Bernard Premium Ski & Snowboard Equipment Sales & Rentals 420 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso
(575) 257-7777, www.stbernardski.com
Wild West Ski Shop 1408 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso
(888) 395-3131, www.wildwestskishop.com