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Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico facts for kids

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Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Taos Ski Valley from Wheeler Peak
Taos Ski Valley from Wheeler Peak
Location of Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Location of Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Taos
 • Total 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)
 • Land 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 9,321 ft (2,841 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 69
 • Density 28.75/sq mi (11.31/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 87525
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-76480
GNIS feature ID 0899303

Taos Ski Valley is a village and alpine ski resort in Taos County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 69 at the 2010 census. Until March 19, 2008, it was one of four ski resorts in America to prohibit snowboarding. The Kachina lift, constructed in 2014, serves the highest elevation of any triple chair in the North American Continent, to a peak elevation of 12,481 feet (3,804 m).

The village was originally settled by a group of miners in the 1800s, but in 1955 Ernie and Rhoda Blake founded the area as a ski mountain. The village was incorporated in 1996.

In 2013, Taos Ski Valley, Inc., was sold by the founding family to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon. It has 110 trails with 24% beginner, 25% intermediate and 51% advanced/expert. The Ernie Blake Snowsports School is one of the highest rated ski schools in North America.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.

Taos Ski Valley is the highest municipality in the US, sited at an elevation of 9,207 feet (2,806 m); however, the village limits reach 12,581 feet (3,835 m) and the highest residential dwelling is at 10,350 feet (3,150 m). Kachina Village, at over 10,350 feet, houses Bavarian Restaurant and two condo complexes and accommodates six permanent residents and visitors in 30 condo units; 70–80 home sites are planned for development. Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in New Mexico at 13,161 feet (4,011 m), overlooks the village.


In the 1800s the site was the small copper mining town of Twining, later abandoned. Present day Taos Ski Valley was founded in 1955 by Ernie and Rhoda Blake. They lived in an eleven-foot camper in the absence of any buildings in the area except almost-completed Hondo Lodge (now Snakedance Condominiums). Even after moving into the lodge, they lived without power until 1963. Ernie and Rhoda had been living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ernie was managing the Santa Fe Ski Basin.

The first ski lift, a J-Bar, was installed in 1956. Until 1957, the ski resort featured only one ski slope, Snakedance. In 1957, the resort installed a second lift—a Poma (platter) lift. Blake was for a time involved in the day-to-day management of the resort, answering the phone and telling prospective visitors whether the skiing was expected to be good in advance of weekend trips.

In December 2013, the billionaire Louis Bacon purchased Taos Ski Valley from the Blake family, who had owned it since 1954.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2000 56
2010 69 23.2%
Est. 2015 69 0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 census, the Village held 69 people and 272 housing units, with only 14.3% occupied. From 2000 to 2010 population increased 23.2%. The population density was 28.75 inhabitants per square mile (11.10/km2). The racial makeup was 75.4% White and 24.6% Hispanic or Latino.

In 2000, 12.5% of 32 households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, while 59.4% were non-families. 46.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.75 and the average family size was 2.46.

Only 4.3% were under age 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 50.0% from 45 to 64, and 1.8% who were 65 years or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 166.7 males. The ratio of males to females was 1.66.

The median household income was $67,708, and the median income for a family was $103,422. Males had a median income of $65,833 versus $24,375 for females. The per capita income for the village was $43,143. None of the population were below the poverty line.

  • Beardsley, Davis Associates (1973). Taos Ski Valley: Kachina Village Master Plan
  • Carson National Forest (1981). Taos Ski Valley Master Development Plan: Environmental Impact Statement, USFS
  • Jordan, Louann C. (1978). The Legend of Taos Ski Valley
  • Needham, Richard (2006). "Ernie Over Easy" Skiing Heritage Vol 18 #4:13-17
  • Nathanson, Rick. "Taos Ski Valley Founder Happy To Add Intimate European Ambience to N.M.'s Skiing Scene". Albuquerque Journal, December 15, 2005.
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