Local Guide

Great winter activities to do around the state

While the holiday season is under wraps and we’re at the start of a new year, and decade, there are still a lot of things to do this winter season.

Ten outdoor winter activities in New Mexico

Go cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snowy environments, instead of using ski lifts or other forms of assistance. Never tried it before or don’t know where to go? Here are some of the places you can go to today:

  • Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Area, Red River, NM
  • Cham Valley Ski Area, Chama, NM
  • Valles Caldera Cross Country Ski Area, Los Alamos, NM
  • Angel Fire Resort, Angel Fire, NM
  • Pajarito Mountain, Los Alamos, NM
  • Amole Canyon, Taos, NM
  • Sandia Crest Cross Country Skiing, Albuquerque, NM
  • Manzano Mountain State Park, Mountainair, NM
  • Norski Cross Country Ski Track, Santa Fe, NM

Take a walk

The Rio Grande bosque has a lot of porcupines in the naked trees this time of year!

A person wearing a pair of modern snowshoes (Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash)

Go snowshoeing

If you’ve never tried snowshoeing, now more than ever is the perfect time to start. You start by wearing snowshoes, which are footwear for walking over snow. It’s a form of hiking in the winter.

One of the best places to go snowshoeing is at Valles Caldera National Preserve. There they have a lot of winter activities from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing. Depending on seasonal conditions, their ski and snowshoe shoe season usually lasts from mid-December to mid-March.

Stroll through the neighborhood

Even just exploring places like Old Town or Santa Fe Plaza during the winter may help you discover something new. A new shop, a new local coffee shop, or even a new lunch spot. Sometimes you don’t have to leave the city to find something fun to do during the winter.

Soak in hot springs

Newsflash, it gets cold in the winter. Like, really cold. So now is the perfect opportunity to go soak up in a hot spring during the cold winter months at Jemez Springs.

Visit our zoos

During the wintertime is a great time to visit some of the state’s zoos. It’s the perfect time to avoid crowds and still see a lot of the animals. The Penguin Chill at the ABQ BioPark Zoo is now open, so it can really feel like winter. There are also zoos, or wildlife centers, in Carlsbad, Clovis, Alamogordo, and Edgewood.

Birdwatch at Bosque del Apache

Tens of thousands of Sandhill cranes and snow geese flock to the wetlands each evening. There are other species of birds that have been observed in the area. Which ones have you spotted?

Hit the slopes

Winter always equals ski (or snowboard) season. Here are some great ski areas you and your family can enjoy:

Hike or bike in the sunny south

Like mentioned before, it gets cold in the winter. If the cold winds have you shivering, consider a day of hiking or biking in Las Cruces or the Chihuahuan Desert around Carlsbad. Most of the southern New Mexican destinations have winter daytime temps in the 60s!

Enjoy nature from your own back yard

Snow has finally hit and you need something to do. Why not take the kids out sledding from their own backyard? Build a snowman (while also singing the hit song from that hit Disney movie that kids are always talking about). Visit the nearest park. Whatever it is, just go outside and enjoy that winter season.

Or, you could always cozy up in your warmest pajamas, a cup of hot chocolate in hand, sit next to the fireplace, or stay under a blanket on your couch and binge-watch the latest season of You on Netflix.

Stay warm!

Categories: Local Guide