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Taos Experience

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I’m trying to figure out how frequently the road to Taos Ski Valley gets chain/4X4 restricted.  I am very comfortable driving in the snow with front wheel drive so I only want to spend the big bucks on a 4X4 rental if it happens frequently.  I typically skip the 4X4 for CO and Banff skiing but get one for Tahoe or Utah.  Anyone have experience with the road to Taos Ski Valley?

post #2 of 24

In the times I've been there it isn't an issue. I mean, if you get pounded with a storm the thing will be a mess but the rental 4X4 won't do you much good. I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is the only road from Taos to TSV and they have to take care of it else you have a bunch of tourists stranded at a base area that couldn't handle Ms. Frenetti's 4th grade class overnight. Okay, it isn't that small...

 

When are you going anyhow?

post #3 of 24

Taos is one of my favorite places in the world, and I've never had an issue. They do a fantastic job keeping the road clear all the way from town to the ski valley. If it's snowing, they'll have plows running up and down the road all day. I've done it with both front-wheel and rear-wheel drive, and never had an issue. Even with regular all-season tires. I don't think you should have anything to worry about...unless it dumps unbelievably hard, and in that case you'll hopefully be "stuck" slopeside. wink.gif

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Sounds like a front wheel drive will work.  A few of the hotels in TSV mentioned 4X4 required but it sounds like that's rarely needed.

 

I'll be there in Mid Feb and hoping for good early snow so that all the hike to stuff will be. 

post #5 of 24

The biggest asset when driving in the snow is common sense, and patience.

post #6 of 24

80% of the time it shouldnt be a problem without 4x4 unless you are staying above TSV at the Bavarian or Wheeler Peak Condos (that is a steep and slippery drive up to the Bavarian/Kachina Area). Otherwise, front wheel drive would be prefered but most times not necessary.  As others have said, they maintain the only road up to TSV very well and the drive from the town of Taos up to the TSV parking lot is usually not a problem unless you time it right after or during a massive storm.

post #7 of 24

Yeah I have a jeep and drive it up there all the time. I have never had any issues, but I know others that share similar stories about having a tough time getting up there.  I agree that they do a pretty good job of keeping the roads clear. I hope to make another trip back up there soon.

 

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post #8 of 24

Worst comes to worst, I'm sure you could bum a ride off someone who can make it up there. Especially if you offer them a few bucks. I'd imagine that in the worst times, someone might run a pay based shuttle of sorts. I wouldn't know, though.

post #9 of 24

The last time I went up to Taos there was about a foot of fresh up top, less on the way.  We made it fine in my friend's Fort Tarus.  Any mountain resort road can be shut down to a chain law/rule on a bad. (or good ) day.  Pick up some chains/cables.  You're pretty bullet proof with front wheel drive and chains.as long as the road has been plowed, and they usually do plow them.  If it is a one trip deal, save the receipt,  keep them in the box, and return them if you don't end up using them. 

post #10 of 24

Taos has a shuttle that stops a few places in town and only costs a buck or so each way.

We always stay in town and jump on the shuttle. Much easier than driving.

 

post #11 of 24

When was the last time you were there? I've been going to Taos for years and never saw or heard of a shuttle from town to TSV. Maybe I've been  oblivious.  

post #12 of 24
post #13 of 24

Been to Taos since '87. Sometimes twice a year.

Have family @ TSV. Can't beat the free room on the hill.  

 

The rental cars from ABQ have some really bad tires.

But, still never needed chains even on the cheap rental car tires.

 

The road to TSV from Taos doesn't really get much snow until the very end part.

So just go with the cheap rental and save a few buck.

 

BTW, You're gonna to have great time and don't forget to sign up for a ski week. It'll put your skiing in perspective. 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 
BTW, You're gonna to have great time and don't forget to sign up for a ski week. It'll put your skiing in perspective. 


I've never participated in that before. Looks like I'll be signing up this season, then. That would be a blast.

post #15 of 24

I'm trying to get out here in Jan for a ski week too...but trying to keep costs down since I'll be by myself and I'm also active military so that helps with lift tickets.  Anyone have any suggestions for cheap places to stay/eat? Flying out from the east coast for this trip smile.gif

 

 

 

 

post #16 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr1m3 View Post

I'm trying to get out here in Jan for a ski week too...but trying to keep costs down since I'll be by myself and I'm also active military so that helps with lift tickets.  Anyone have any suggestions for cheap places to stay/eat? Flying out from the east coast for this trip smile.gif

 


http://www.snowmansion.com/aboutus.html

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 


http://www.snowmansion.com/aboutus.html



SWEET! That's perfect! Last time I went to TSV, I stayed at this awesome little B&B in town, it was cheap, included lift tickets + rentals, and a great breakfast. I think I spent like a TOTAL of 4 or 5 hundred for me AND my ex-wife for 3 days of skiing. Freaking awesome deals around there if you shop around.

post #18 of 24

The ski week at Taos is an awesome experience.  The instruction is outstanding, and you will see parts of the mountain you wouldn't necessarily see otherwise.  I have done two ski weeks and my skiing has improved immensely because of it. 

post #19 of 24

Never had a problem getting up the hill to Taos.  I drive my 36 foot motor home there most of the time.

post #20 of 24

Snow must be different in Taos. I have been skiing/living in Whistler for a couple o decades and much of the snow here is deep and just below freezing - the real greasy stuff. Here is what you need to know about SUV's and 4x4's... THEY ARE DITCH FINDERS.

The weight to tire contact patch is scary/disfunctional. If you accelerate they slide and if you brake they under-steer. Put four gobby snows on a front wheel drive and learn how to drift it. One of my favourite rides was a Chev Lumina...yes that's right a lowly Lumina with new Nokian snows... A 6:00 am trip to the airport in a blizzard in snow that would almost lift the car on its suspension... past trucks and suv's after suv's and truck's in the ditch...sipping coffee and cruising at 60-70 kph that's 45 mph... It was so quiet in the car because of the soft snow.

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 Any mountain resort road can be shut down to a chain law/rule on a bad. (or good ) day.  Pick up some chains/cables.  You're pretty bullet proof with front wheel drive and chains.as long as the road has been plowed, and they usually do plow them.  If it is a one trip deal, save the receipt,  keep them in the box, and return them if you don't end up using them. 

Most auto parts stores won't let you return cables anymore, too many have done what you suggest. Don't bother with them, road crews there do a great job.

 

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 


http://www.snowmansion.com/aboutus.html



Sungod Motel, new and older sections, hot tub, close to restaurants which are all over town. Nice bakery on the way to the resort in Arroyo Seco.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr1m3 View Post

I'm trying to get out here in Jan for a ski week too...but trying to keep costs down since I'll be by myself and I'm also active military so that helps with lift tickets.  Anyone have any suggestions for cheap places to stay/eat? Flying out from the east coast for this trip smile.gif

 

 

 

 

post #23 of 24

I love Taos but only go on good snow years. GREAT terrain. I could easly live in beautiful Taos. If snow's not deep check Wolf Creek Ski, most snow in the southwest.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeee View Post

I love Taos but only go on good snow years. GREAT terrain. I could easly live in beautiful Taos. If snow's not deep check Wolf Creek Ski, most snow in the southwest.



All snow years are good; however, some are better than others.  For the poster considering snow chains, if it snows so much that the ski valley road is closed or you need snow chains, you won't be skiing anyway because there will be too much avalanche work going on to open.  I've driven the ski valley road hundreds and hundreds of times and never needed chains.  I have chains for my old Ford pickup but I don't drive it to TSV.  I rarely need the 4-wheel drive in my 4Runner.

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