CROSS-COUNTRY SKIERS HEW TO TWO STYLES. Classic skiing looks much like walking on skis: Stride forward and then glide along tracks cut through the snow. Skate skiers push off their skis’ edges in a V-shaped move that resembles ice skating and is often considered more aerobically demanding. Here are some places to hit your stride.
Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area has more than 30 kilometers of ski trails and 15 kilometers of snowshoe trails, as well as access to additional back-country trails.
At Angel Fire Resort Nordic Center, snow transforms a summertime golf course into 12 kilometers of rolling, groomed trails for skate or classic skiing. Pop by the clubhouse for rentals or to book lessons before heading out.
Chama secures what some might call more than its fair share of snowfall for a New Mexico outpost. Expect a wilder experience, with plentiful opportunities for breaking your own trail. Make it an even bigger mission by skiing out to one of the Southwest Nordic Center yurts, parked amid open bowls and low-angle trees.
The volunteer-run Southwest Nordic Ski Club maintains trails at Cañada Bonita, just outside Los Alamos—you might see families stringing up shade fences and a volunteer out before dawn to run the groomer. The club also hosts workshops, races, tours, and moonlit outings. Trails are accessible at the base of Pajarito Ski Area and reach a high point that overlooks Valles Caldera National Preserve.
Wend through aspens on the Norski Trail, a four-kilometer loop in the Santa Fe National Forest, a half hour outside Santa Fe. Trails aren’t groomed, but they are designated for cross-country skiing in the winter and have benefitted from some recent brush-clearing to widen the path.
Sandia Nordic Ski Club volunteers groom over six kilometers of trails in the Sandía Mountains, east of Albuquerque, for both classic and skate skiing. The trail blends beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain, so pack your skills. Access it from the 10K or Ellis trailheads, or from the Sandia Peak Tram.