If you live in Dallas or Austin and you want to do some serious skiing and snow boarding, Taos Ski Valley is the fastest way to get your fix. Getting to Taos from Dallas is an 10 1/2 -hour drive, and from Austin it’s just a bit more than 12 hours. Car trips from both cities are easily managed in a day.
The closest resorts in Colorado with a comparable combination of Taos’ snowfall, great weather and thrilling terrain are considerably farther. Crested Butte, which draws the closest comparison to Taos Ski Valley in terms of terrain and acreage, adds two and a half hours from Dallas and three and a half from Austin. Same goes for Telluride and Vail.
There are other ski and snowboard resorts in New Mexico, but Taos has nearly double the acreage of the second largest resort in the state, and no place has the combination of steep chutes, trees, and hike-to terrain that has given Taos Ski Valley its reputation as a resort for being a place for real skiers and boarders. Factor in the wide groomers, top-rated ski school and luxurious lodging, and no place comes close.
The routes from Dallas and Austin to Taos are simple. Take U.S. 287 from Dallas or U.S. 84 from Austin to I-40 West. At New Mexico exit 256 take U.S. 84 to Las Vegas, New Mex. through Mora and over the mountains. The drive from Mora to Taos is stunning. Break the trip in half with lunch in Amarillo or Lubbock.