So, skiing is not really my thing. I think it’s too expensive, windy, and a lot of unnecessary work. Really I’d prefer just hiking or snowshoeing in the snow. However, my older daughter asks for a skip trip every year INSTEAD OF PRESENTS, the younger one loves it, and my husband is thrilled they’re both hook. Here are the places we have visited over the years.
Angelfire, New Mexico
Angelfire is the place for kids to learn and the least expensive place we have skied. We’ve spent the majority of our ski days on the mountain. It’s an easy mountain, family friendly, picnic friendly (this is important to your budget) and lift tickets can be found for a fair price. I taught my friends’ kids to ski here, so you can manage not paying for ski school if you like and have a willing adult. Their dad was a collegiate athlete, so there was some serious coordination, but still…. Lodging can be found in and near Taos for a reasonably price. I highly recommend pulling kids out of school and going after the high season ends (Jan 5). Homeowners drop their prices quickly if you’re staying more than a week. We rented one for a third the list price for a 2 1/2 week period last year.
My younger daughter learned here. It’s good for a first or 2nd day skier, but then you need to spend a little time on another mountain – we found it to be a big jump to the slopes. This mountain is small, inexpensive, and if you’re 40 you ski free. I recommend renting equipment off site since lines can be long (or don’t try to rent just before the lifts open). Totally ok to bring a lunch, but the food is reasonably priced.
This mountain is higher dollar, but if you have expert skiers in your group they’ll want to go here over Angelfire. It’s a steep jump from the bunny slopes to the mountain though for learners. Prices aren’t as high as the big Colorado mountains, but still in the $90 range for adults. This place can be downright scary on a holiday since the experts go whizzing by, but if you’re comfy with blues and it’s a weekday you’ll have a good time.
Huge mountain, avoid during busy times since it will be swamped. According to Colorado friends, it’s much colder here than most places they visit.
Absolutely the ritziest place we have skied. We were invited to stay once with friends who had a place and still managed to spend a fortune without having to pay for lodging. This year we’re house-sitting for an aunt who is in Italy, and she clued us in last spring to the Epic Pass. For about $600 for an adult, you get a full season. In 5 days of skiing you’ll cover this cost. Eating on the mountain for a family is just crazy expensive – I’m talking $7 hot chocolates and $16 rice bowls, so pack a sandwich and stick it in your pocket. Nobody does that here, so you’ll have to go to a place where that’s allowed (Spruce Lodge at the top of Centennial life is a great spot). We’re checking out the Talons restaurant today, so I’ll report back. Also, for God’s sake don’t do ski school here. Talk about $$$$$$$$. Go ahead, take a look!