Pajarito Mountain Ski Area

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area
Pajarito Mountain Ski Area (in the left background) in the Jemez Mountains

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is on the eastern edge of the Jemez Mountains just west of Los Alamos. It is comprised of about 750 acres of land privately owned by the Los Alamos Ski Club. Although some folks had been skiing in the area since the early 1900's, Pajarito was developed as a ski area in the late 1950's. The mountain has great views to the east over the Rio Grande Valley towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and from the top, to the west over Valle Grande (which is now owned by the National Park Service as Valles Caldera National Preserve).

Currently, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area has about 300 acres of cleared skiable terrain, plus some excellent tree skiing and some of the best bump skiing in New Mexico. Pajarito is rarely crowded, and is well noted for its lack of lift lines. Open to the public, selling both day tickets and season passes, Pajarito Mountain is operated as a "not-for-profit" organization.

The Pajarito Mountain base area offers a cafeteria/snack bar and equipment rental shop. The nearest lodging options are about 5 miles away in Los Alamos.

Update, 2014: Management of Pajarito Mountain was transferred to Los Alamos County and the management team that runs Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort. That same management team is negotiating to take on Durango Mountain (Purgatory) in Colorado and the Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Lodge
Pajarito Mountain Ski Lodge in summer

Quick Facts About Pajarito Mountain Ski Area

Season: Late November - End of March (Weather permitting)
Hours of operation: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, MST
Fri, Sat, Sun & Public Holidays plus 3-weeks continuous over Christmas & New Year (excluding Christmas Day)
Lifts: 6:
  • 1 quad lift
  • 1 triple chair
  • 3 double chairs
  • 1 rope tows
Base Elevation: 9,200 ft
Summit elevation: 10,400 ft
Vertical Rise: 1,200 ft
Total Ski/Board Terrain: 300 acres
Number of Trails: 40
Trail Classifications:
Beginner: 20%
Intermediate: 50%
Expert: 30%
Steepest slope: 37°
Pajarito Ski Area
Pajarito Mountain Ski Area: click on the map for a larger version
Upper photo courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
Lower photo courtesy of Wikipedia userid Chyeburashka, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
Ski Trails Maps courtesy of Pajarito Mountain Ski Area