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Help Needed: Taos travel and lodging

marzNC

Angel Diva
I want to ski at Taos- what airport is the best to use and any ideas on lodging close by?
Welcome! Are you thinking about later this season or in 2024-25? Reason I ask is that the best lodging is often book by early fall for March. That's when Texas school has spring break. There is a reason that value season passes are blacked out then and lodging prices are higher during that period.

The best airport is ABQ. The car rental service center requires a free shuttle bus ride. There is shuttle service to/from Taos but only goes a couple times a day. The drive is easy since it's mostly in the desert, not the mountains, and takes about 3 hours with no stops.

Santa Fe has a tiny airport with a few flights. Car rental options are limited at Santa Fe.

As for lodging, the selection is limited at the resort. Just very little private land near the main base. So prices are relatively high. Alpine Village Suites has become "Diva central" in recent years for assorted reasons.

Plenty of lodging options in the town of Taos. Staying there requires having a car. The drive is about 30 minutes on mostly mountain road. Snow on the road is rarely that much of a problem. AWD is useful but not required.

VRBO/AirBnB has listings for all the areas near TSV. Arroyo Seco and Arroyo Hondo are slightly closer to TSV than the town. Many of the roads in that area are not paved so can be icy or muddy, depending on the weather.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Have you looked at any of the Taos trip reports? Some are listed in the thread about Taos Ski Weeks from 2022. Note that some lodging options that existed several years ago that were a couple miles from TSV are no longer available. They were bought by the resort for employee housing.

 

lisamamot

Angel Diva
Snow on the road is rarely that much of a problem. AWD is useful but not required
Experiences clearly vary, but after having our rental vehicle quite unsuited to even getting up our driveway at Diva West last season at Taos, I will only do AWD/4WD, and going forward will be inspecting tire tread before leaving the airport. We rented a behemoth full size SUV 4WD that proceeded to get dramatically stuck on a side road after a wrong turn, and then after unstuck could barely get up the short incline of a driveway. The tire tread was crap. A 2nd rental vehicle at the same house also had issues getting up the driveway and stayed put where it landed until the end of the stay.

The rental house we had was right off the mountain road and just a few minutes away, but all the driveways of similar houses were much like ours, and not well cleared/maintained.
 

DebbieSue

Angel Diva
I think the hotels and condos attend to access for their customers. Alpine Village Suites has access to the mountain's "overnight lot" and the parking attendant helped dig and push me out when my AWD vehicle got snowed in. He declined a tip, but I insisted. The tires were iffy, so if you can inspect and reject vehicle based on tires at the airport, not a bad idea. Parking guy said they even will help by towing vehicles out if there is a hitch. Alpine Village Suites loaned me a shovel from the office. If you are an individually rented house, you won't get that support.
 

JaniceO

Diva in Training
I want to ski at Taos- what airport is the best to use and any ideas on lodging close by?
I fly into Santa Fe and drive the 2 hours to Taos ski valley where I stay. Many people stay outside of the ski valley because it's much cheaper. I'm at Alpine Suites Inn and like it. Room has a kitchenette so I can bring breakfast.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The rental house we had was right off the mountain road and just a few minutes away, but all the driveways of similar houses were much like ours, and not well cleared/maintained.
Agree that for a house outside of the town, AWD/4WD is much more likely to be necessary.

Only time I rented a house was the first trip in 2017 when we started in Arroyo Seco before moving much closer to TSV. The roads to the house were very muddy that trip. After that experience, I've either stay in town or at Alpine Village Suites.

Travel logistics for TSV are a bit more complicated than for other Ikon/Epic resorts. But the Taos Ski Week makes it worth the effort.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I think the hotels and condos attend to access for their customers.
I know Kandahar Condos will shuttle guests up if they can't get up the hill. Since you and I had a chance to check it out last year, I definitely wouldn't want to drive up that road without AWD.

One advantage of Alpine Village Suites is that it's possible to call and get help figuring out which type of room makes the most sense. The other condo complexes near the base are a mix of units that are privately owned. Each unit is set up a little differently. Can take a while to decide which one is best.

The condo complexes at the TSV base that are walk in/out include the following:

Snakedance
Edelweiss
Alpine Village Suites
Sierra Del Sol
Powderhorn
Twining

Snakedance is the closest to Lift 1. They cater to groups. I have the impression that ski clubs usually book up most of the rooms at Snakedance by late summer.

Kandahar and Snow Bear are not really in walking distance of the base. They are ski in/out when the lifts are running. Rio Hondo is close to the Children's Ski School so it's possible to ride the gondolita to the base of Lift 1. Not sure when that stops running in the late afternoon.
 

lisamamot

Angel Diva
After that experience, I've either stay in town or at Alpine Village Suites.
What does "in town" mean at Taos, in the village? We were very close to TSV.1709037055891.png
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
What does "in town" mean at Taos, in the village? We were very close to TSV.View attachment 22589
Good question.

For me, "in town" means in the town limits of Taos (pop about 7000), so about 20 miles from Taos Ski Valley (TSV, pop about 100) where the main base is for Lift 1. Being in town means that while it's a 30 minute drive in the morning for a ski day, there are far more options for eating out for dinner. More importantly for some people, Taos is about 2000 ft lower than TSV. I usually stay in Taos for the first few nights even when I move to Alpine Village Suites for most of the time when I'm doing a Ski Week. Taos is around 7000 ft while TSV is just over 9000 ft.

We used to stay at the Columbine Inn or the Austing Haus, which are about 2 miles from TSV. The buildings are still there, but they are owned by the resort for employee housing.

From what I can tell from descriptions of VRBO/AirBnB lodging past Arroyo Seco and Valdez, AWD is required for access. That's definitely true for the houses on Twining Road, which is the way to drive to the Bavarian and Lift 4.

While the "village" of Taos Ski Valley is bigger and has far more private homes and beds for travelers than the village of Alta (pop 250), access driving a car is similar. Although the TSV road rarely closes completely because of snowfall. Also it's not as steep as the road into Little Cottonwood Canyon, nor does it have the same sort of heavy traffic. Another difference is that the SLC airport is about 45 minutes from Alta, versus a 2.5 hour drive from ABQ to Taos, with another 30 minutes to TSV. SLC airport shuttles run hourly. The ABQ airport shuttle services run once or twice a day.
 

lisamamot

Angel Diva
That is what I expected. We were 1.6 miles away from TSV; one full size 4WD SUV, albeit with crappy tires, and the other I believe was an AWD (potentially also with crappy tires that are fine in ABQ) and both the vehicles were unsuited to the driveway conditions, lol.

Tire quality is something to keep in mind no matter where you travel out west. One rental vehicle on a trip to Big Sky, the agency did not provide us the vehicle we reserved and instead gave us an AWD that was unable to make it up the road to the rental house; once pushed the rest of the way to the driveway, it sat in the garage for the entirety of the trip.

For our upcoming trip to Big Sky, we have a full size SUV 4WD through Turo and the hostess has verified tire quality. Wish us luck!!
 

Susan L

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Staying at Taos ski valley is “at the base”. “In town” is anywhere outside of TSV base, could be 2 miles to 30 miles. That’s what we use with the locals.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
In my experience, I've usually found that "in town" refers to the town of Taos, as @marzNC described, while "at the base" or "on the mountain" usually refers to lodging in and around the resort of TSV. Most people refer to Arroyo Seco, Valdez, and surrounding villages by name. Any lodging that's not on a good road will usually mention that you need AWD/4WD in their listing -- I definitely look for that, and if it's unclear, I ask. Some roads turn into mudslides during warm winter weather, and some are just too steep to navigate in snowy weather w/o good tires and AWD. I checked my tires before driving out here this yr, and they were iffy, so I bought 4 new AW/Snow tires -- glad I did.
 

Rainbow Jenny

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
From ABQ in January, I took the Taos Ride LLC to the base of TSV. The service requires multiple passengers booking together or random folks happen to be traveling around the same time. Unfortunately, Peter, the super nice owner from the UK who use to run TSV shuttle services, didn't have other passenger on my departure day to make it a worthwhile trip for his business. But he suggested I try the free Taos County bus from Taos to Santa Fe and then take Groome shuttle across the bus stop to ABQ.

The trip worked out beautifully with a fun people watching bus ride with all the locals for a 1/5 of the car service cost. I stayed at the base for 6 nights then moved to a friend's airbnb in Arroyo Seco for another 4 nights. Thanks to her for the rides to TSV daily, then to the town of Taos 20 minutes away on my departure day.

For our group of 6, half from back East flew into Santa Fe, those of us from the west Coast all flew into ABQ. So it just depends on where you're traveling from and what's available. JSX which flies into Taos is enticing but I don't live near its airports.

Attached is the local transport services The Blake Hotel provided me upon request.
 

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