With the ski season often lasting from early November to late March or early April, there’s a decent window for you to plan your trip. In addition to planning on certain months, there may be specific days that lend themselves to a better time, depending on your personality, family, and what you’re looking for out of the trip. Keep reading to see your options and evaluate which one would be best for you.
Pros: discounts, less crowded
Cons: fewer runs may be open
The main benefit of going during the early season is saving with early season discounts while hitting the slopes while most people haven’t even begun planning their vacations. You’ll be able to spread out, relax, and enjoy yourself without waiting on lift lines or for other snowboarders to get started down the mountain to take your turn. If you choose to take lessons, you may also be able to get into a smaller group session and have more individualized instruction from the teacher! Some ski areas may have less snow during this time and subsequently have fewer runs open, but with snowmaking technologies constantly improving and areas adding more snowmakers, this is becoming less and less of an issue.
Pros: fun family events
Cons: more crowded
The holidays are a beautiful time to spend in the mountains. You can practically guarantee a white Christmas, especially if you spend it on the slopes! In Christmases past, New Mexico ski areas have hosted torchlight parades, skiing with Santa, cookie decorating events, and more. Equally as exciting is New Year’s Eve, where you can ring in the new year with fun activities and skiing or snowboarding! Some areas have special viewing events to watch the ball drop and more fun events. You may have difficulties traveling long distances over the holidays with stores being closed or lodging options being full. Planning ahead is a must to make a holiday ski vacation successful!
Pros: deep discounts
Cons: deals may sell out, might be crowded
Several New Mexico ski areas have yearly periods when you can ski for free or at discounted rates. For example, Red River Ski Area has deal days set aside for specific times, and you can save up to fifty percent or more on lift tickets! Be sure to check out our yearly deals posts (like this one) and sign up for our snow report on the bottom of the page to get updates on available discounts. You really can’t go wrong with grabbing some extra savings, especially if you have a family or want to go multiple times during the year! You may find some package deals, like these, sell out quickly, so be sure to book your tickets early to ensure your savings!
Pros: More events
Cons: More crowded
Many people choose to ski over the weekend to save their PTO days and skip taking their children out of school. This is a great option, especially since many ski areas reserve events like torchlight parades or night skiing for the weekends. As with many popular times to ski, you may see larger crowds on the slopes, meaning longer wait times at the lifts and more people grabbing for rooms in the lodges. Unless you go in the early season or you can get discounts for your age, occupation, or military status, there are also typically less savings to be had on the weekends.
Pros: Less crowded, more discount options
Cons: Might need to take PTO, fewer events
Weekdays are an especially appealing time to go skiing for those who are going for their first time or those looking to ski on a discount. Since most people are working or in school, you’ll likely have more space and fewer skiers to navigate around. Enjoy shorter lift lines, shorter wait times at the on-mountain restaurants and bars, and more opportunities for savings. As a bonus, if you take ski or snowboard lessons during this time, you may find the group lessons are less full, leaving you more time to ask questions of the instructor and focus on your unique needs. Of course, you’ll need to take time off work or school if your schedule doesn’t leave you weekdays free, but we’re sure it will be well worth it!
Pros: extra events
Cons: more crowded
While you may associate spring break with beaches and beverages, it is also a popular time to hit the slopes. There are plenty of options to enjoy yourself and save, both on the mountain and off the mountain. Plus, you’ll be able to take time off without worrying about missing classes or finals and take your children without them missing important information. The atmosphere on the mountain is laidback and fun, with many young people and families traveling in groups. This is another time to plan ahead and save your lodging and tickets ahead of time to make checking in and getting on the mountain easy with the extra influx of skiers and snowboarders.
Pros: extra savings and pond skimming events
Cons: fewer runs open, harder to plan
If the holidays are an extra busy time for you and you find yourself more available in March and April, skiing in the late season may be the perfect choice for you. As with the early season, you’ll likely find extra limited-time offers and fewer crowds. You’ll also be able to take in the great tradition of pond skimming, where people ski down the mountain and then ski over a pond of water. This is always a fun time to celebrate the season and maybe even win a few prizes. However, with the season depending on snowfall and cool temperatures, there may be fewer runs open. Ski areas may need to close earlier than anticipated or may stay open longer. Skiing during this time of year requires some flexibility in travel.
Whenever you decide to ski in New Mexico, we are sure you’ll find great service, high quality trails, and plenty of fun, no matter your age or ability. Start planning your trip today with our packing list and get ready to have a great time!