Ski Experience – Pajarito Mountain
Pajarito offers some of the cheapest and most varied skiing, and is well worth the drive from Santa Fe or Albuquerque to avoid crowds. There are a ton of runs of varying ability levels, and it is said that you can ski right onto the lift with little to no wait time.
With a peak elevation of nearly 10,440 feet, Pajarito’s nickname of “ski hill” is anything but that. More than 40 named trails served by a half-dozen lifts are spread among ability levels: 20% easy, 50% intermediate and 30% advanced. The base sits at 9,000 feet, and most of the slopes face north so snow conditions are good with ample snowfall.
The intermediate skier will enjoy the fast groomers, great bumps, and there’s variation and progression in the difficulty of the runs. The west side presents loads of steeps, with the biggest incline at a 37-degree pitch – an excellent option for advanced to experts. Although skiers will find plenty of variety in the runs, they can also cruise to the terrain park off of Easy Mother to try some features.
The Saturday beer and band series is a popular draw, featuring some of the area’s great local breweries. More nightlife can be found at the casinos in Sante Fe, a short and easy 20-mile drive. For a more laid-back après, drive 5 minutes to the smaller city of Los Alamos with friendly locals and a selection of restaurants and bars.
Terrain Parks – Pajarito Mountain
Pajarito is a good mountain to ride whether you are a seasoned rider, or just starting out. There is a slope for every level of skier, and there is always powder to be found on the mountain.
Parks & Pipes
Kids can try riding within the little terrain park in the learning area off the Beginner lift. For the more advanced snowboarder, the Crazy Mother Terrain Park with challenging features can be found off of the Mother Lift via one of the blue or black Mother trails.
Out of Bounds
Nuther Mother is a must-try for mogul-lovers. The double blacks are pretty steep for about the first hundred yards, then waist-high moguls for the rest. Milt’s Meadow is a smart way to break into glade skiing because it has a gentler pitch and the trees are spread out. Why Not and Pussycat stand out as groomed blues with varying pitches. For a good tour of the mountain take East Road, a nicely cut road that riders can cruise.
Hangout & Hookup
There’s no alcohol served on the mountain, but Pajarito allows visitors to bring your own adult beverages. The 20-mile drive to Santa Fe is easy and provides access to more delicious food, bars and casinos. An evening in the smaller, closer town of Los Alamos is even more laid back.