Ski Apache-USA

Ski Apache: Abode of the Mountain Gods

The Sierra Blanca Peak is where you will have to come to experience the sheer magnificence of Ski Apache. Situated at an elevation of about 12,000 feet above the sea level Ski Apache is surrounded by the most beautiful (for the lack of a better word) alpine terrain in the region along with an abundance of in-house adventure and nightlife facilities.

Apache Statistics

Base Elevation: 9600 feet

Summit Elevation: 11500 feet

Vertical Drop: 1900 feet

Essentially this ski area is owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and one can quite evidently feel the existence of a confluence of Apache and Mexican cultures. It is here that you will find New Mexico’s only Gondola. Ski Apache is located at a distance of about 18 miles from Ruidoso and is just under 3 hours by car from Albuquerque or El Paso.

Filled with diverse and challenging terrains, Ski Apache has been widely recognized to be the best skiing destination in Southern New Mexico region.

About the Mountain

Ski Apache, the southernmost skiing destination in the New Mexico region along with the graciousness of the soothingly warm weather – it is here that you will also witness the greatest powder in the whole world. Nearly a third of the mountain has been so to speak retrofitted with snowmaking machines. These units help in maintaining the abilities of the resort to provide its customers with everything they had come anticipating and expecting – to near perfection and for their pleasures only. If you go on and consider the slopes on the mountain – they have been well-crafted to accommodate the needs and requirements of all varied skill types. In addition, more attention has been put to use for people at the beginners level. However, folks on the intermediate and advanced skill levels will also find runs with tougher bumps. There is a huge bowl and beautifully streamlined runs for cursing purposes. There is also a terrain park which has jumps, tubes and rails so you can explore and indeed flaunt as widely as possible.

Now, for your convenience a brief list of highlights can be accessed below:

  • Sierra Blanca, the alpine peak – the mountain of Ski Apache, its summit is at a height of 12,000 feet above sea level.
  • Gazebo or the top as it is otherwise known is located at an elevation of 11,500 feet above sea level.
  • In terms of weather, Ski Apache has been blessed with dynamic conditions, decreed to be the best in North America.
  • Snowfall on an annual basis has been averaging over 15 feet.

You will find 55 of some of the most well-constructed runs and trails. They can be classified as follows:

o    Beginners: 20%

o    Intermediate: 60%

o    Expert: 20%

  • There are 11 modern lifts at the ski area. Among them is also the states only Gondola – the Gazebo.
  • Snowmaking facilities have been installed evenly throughout the mountain, right from the base all the way to the top.
  • If you are taking beginners group lessons at the snow sports school at Ski Apache then you are also eligible for free lift tickets.
  • One of the most unique features of Ski Apache’s snow sports school is the all day ski instruction program.
  • The vertical drop generated is 1,900 feet.
  • The total skiable area at Ski Apache is about 750 acres.
  • You can log on to their website or give them a call for any further information. Ski Apache’s staff and administration will be more than cordial and will assist you with all the happiness.


Back in the day, Ski Apache was known as Sierra Blanca Ski Resort. It was christened so during the opening ceremony of Christmas, 1961. At that point in time, Sierra Blanca Ski Resort was able to handle as many as 2,600 individuals and they were transported with the help of 3 T-bar lifts that were installed back then. These lifts operated between the base and the ski run crest.

A year later in 1962 the first of the mono-cable four passenger gondolas in the whole of North America were installed here. You can simply imagine the number of people flowing in since its opening just a year earlier that the administration of the ski area had to install another lift. Moreover, historically speaking this actually proved to be the most foresighted step because for the very second season as many as 25,000 individuals showed up. In an otherwise scenario it would have proved to be a disaster for the new ski areas reputation.

In the year 1963 the ownership and operational rights of the resort went to the Mescalero Apache Tribe and since then it has not changed hands. The Sierra Blanca Ski Resort was the brainchild of a certain oil man of repute and wealth, Robert O. Anderson. Further, with the change in regime it was expected that the name of the ski area would be changed, but it did not happen until the 1984-85 season. It was during this season that the resort was rechristened as – Ski Apache.

Over the years numerous developmental initiatives were undertaken by the ski area. The most important of them was the construction of the wood-spired Main Lodge. It was designed by an American architect, Victor Lundy in 1958. This lodge has stood the test of trade and time maintaining the statuesque at the same time being witness to the changing times and outstanding history of the region. Once you are there do take a considerable note of the wood spires. They are a reflection of the pine trees that can be found in multitudes along with the serene natural marvels that surround the Sacramento Mountains. Further, the lodge also is crucial because of the very modernist architectural tendencies it was designed keeping in mind.

At the very core of the ski area is the mountain and its features can be listed as below:

  • Elevation: The peak of Sierra Blanca is at 12,000 feet above sea level and of the top or Gazebo – it is situated at a height of 11,500 feet.
  • Snowfall: It averages at 15 feet annually.
  • Runs: There are 55 runs and trails.
  • Lifts: There are 11 lifts in total including North Americas only passenger Gondola.
  • Vertical drop: 1,900 feet.
  • Area: The total skiable area is at 750 acres.
  • Snowmaking: The snowmaking units are evenly distributed all over the mountain and occupy approximately 33% of the area.

The Gondola

The unique selling point of the resort has been the Gondola. Now, it takes you on a panoramic journey exposing the various vistas and then the peak which is at an elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level.

While being on your journey up and down the mountain you will also be able to witness the various wildlife species that live on the mountain.

Furthermore, once you are atop the Sierra Blanca stand still and feel the cold breeze gently caressing your skin. It is going to be quite cold and warmly comforting at the same time. If you happen to be in a group of 25 or more individuals then be sure to avail the 20% discount on your Gondola rides. Also, it is advisable that you preplan and make your journey while preempting the possibility of unfavorable weather conditions. There have been conditions when the Gondola was shut down because of strong wind currents. So, do call Ski Apache or be in touch with the local weather reports at all times.

Check out the price list of the Gondola tickets:

Kids (Below the age of 5 years): They are not charged anything.

Child (Between the ages of 6 and 17): They will be charged $11 per ticket.

Adults (Above the ages of 18): They will be charged $17 per ticket.

Passes and Tickets

Ski Apache has some of the most reasonably priced tickets and passes systems in the whole of United States. They also donate a portion of their collections to the National Forest Foundation. Secondly read below to have an idea about the prevailing rates, however, it is also important to state that the mentioned rates are subject to change depending upon the number of terrain accessible and weather conditions so visitors are advised to confirm the same with the office of Ski Apache:

Children (Below the ages of 5): These guys can enjoy everywhere at Ski Apache without paying a penny. Each of the rides is absolutely free for them.

Children (Below the ages of 12 but above the ages of 5): The One Day – Any Lift ticket begins at $48 and the same but extended up to 2, 3, and 4 days goes up to $96, $138, and $184 respectively. For the half-day ticket, they will have to pay $35. Gondola rides are priced at $12 for the children.

Teens (Between the ages of 13 and 17): The One Day – Any Lift ticket begins at $59 and the same but extended up to 2, 3, and 4 days goes up to $118, $168, and $224 respectively. For the half-day ticket, they will have to pay $42. Gondola rides are priced at $18 for the teens.

Adults (Above 18): The One Day – Any Lift ticket begins at $68 and the same but extended up to 2, 3, and 4 days goes up to $136, $195, and $260 respectively. For the half-day ticket they will have to pay $49. Gondola rides are priced at $18 for the adults.

Seniors (Between 60 and 69): The One Day – Any Lift ticket begins at $61 and the same but extended up to 2, 3, and 4 days goes up to $122, $174, and $232 respectively. For the half-day ticket, they will have to pay $44. Gondola rides are priced at $18 for the seniors.

Super Senior (Above 70): Super seniors do not have to pay any amount for the tickets except for the Gondola ride which is going to cost them just $6.

Military: The One Day – Any Lift ticket begins at $57 and the same but extended up to 2, 3, and 4 days goes up to $114, $162, and $216 respectively. For the half-day ticket, they will have to pay $41. Gondola rides are priced at $18 for the personnel.

Military child: The One Day – Any Lift ticket begins at $43 and the same but extended up to 2, 3, and 4 days goes up to $86, $123, and $164 respectively. For the half-day ticket, they will have to pay $31. Gondola rides are priced at $12 for the military children.

The rates for the season’s passes are mentioned below:

  • Adults (any day): $700
  • Adults (weekdays): $365
  • Children (below the ages of 12): $350
  • Teens (between the ages of 13 and 17): $474
  • Seniors (above the ages of 60): $305
  • Students (full-time college): $550
  • Military (active or retired personnel): $475

The Passes which you get at Ski Apache are not just any ordinary pieces of paper. They are indeed the best in the region. With each of their passes, you will be eligible for the all new Pass Holder Perks. This implies that you will have access for up to 3 days at any of their partner resorts and at the same time avail exclusive discounts. These discounts are listed below:

  • 10% off tune-ups at Ski Apache Snowboard or Ski Shop
  • 10% off logo items in Ski Apache Summit Sport Shop
  • 10% off Food and Beverage at Elk Lodge and Eagle Cafe
  • 10% off ski and snowboard rentals
  • 10% off ski and snowboard demos
  • 10% off midweek ski lesson

Stay Packages

If one is to enquire about all the best things that New Mexico offers on top of it would indeed be Ski Apache. The Ski Apache and Inn of the Mountain gods Resort & Casino is a premier destination in the region.

You can enjoy the 750 acres of terrain and its 50 + terrain system by the day and then go on and witness the fantastical nightlife. There are a full functioning casino and a much-awarded dining facility. You can take time off sitting by the fireplace and glance through the gorgeous night time alpine views.

The various packages offered by Ski Apache can be listed below:

Deep Freeze Weekday Package

This package costs $529 and offers one full day on the slopes for two individuals. Its features are as follows:

o    Ski or snowboard rentals

o    2 lift tickets

o    Transportation for 2 to and from Ski Apache

o    2-night stay in a Standard or Superior room (based on availability)

o    Breakfast Buffet for one day at Gathering of Nations Buffet

o    Lunch for 2, up to $30 for one day

o    Dinner for 2, up to $75 for one day

Captain Weekend Package

It costs $639 and offers one full day on the slopes for 2 individuals the following:

Ski or snowboard rentals

2 lift tickets

Transportation for 2 to and from Ski Apache

2-night stay in a Standard or Superior room (based on availability)

Breakfast Buffet for 2 for two days at Gathering of Nations Buffet

Lunch for 2, up to $30 for one day

Dinner for 2, up to $75 for one day

Apache Bowl Three Day Package for 4

It costs $1,699 and offers 2 days on the slopes for 4 individuals the following:

Ski or snowboard rentals (4 people for 2 days)

4 lift tickets (4 people for 2 days)

Transportation for 4 to and from Ski Apache (4 people for 2 days)

3-night stay in a Standard or Superior room (Based on availability. Two weekend nights and one weekday night.)

Breakfast Buffet for 4, for two days at Gathering of Nations Buffet

Lunch for 4, up to $120 for two days

Dinner for 4, up to $300 for two evenings

You will have to make your bookings at the earliest and in any case if you require more information give them a call or write to them. They will be much obliged in making your stay here a memorable one.


Oh, it is unbelievable as to how just one area can be both, an amazing powder destination and secondly, a foodies paradise. You can find elements of fine dining and the good old rustic pubs here. Every budget can find

The rental store at Ski Apache is exquisite and offers top notch products. Now, there are a few conditions which each user must satisfy, for instance, something like a valid driver’s license. Ski Apache is well equipped in terms of payment methods as well, so if even if you don’t have cash and on the other hand just have traveller’s checks, and or credit cards none of that should be a problem. However, another matter of concern is that the Ski Apache rental and retail shops do not rent clothing items so you are requested to at least come prepared in that respect.

With that settled, read below to familiarize yourselves with the Ski Rental Rates:

  • Adults (Single day – ski, boots, and poles): $24
  • Children (Single day – ski, boots and poles): $15
  • Adults (Each additional day – ski, boots, and poles): $21
  • Children (Each additional day – ski, boots, and poles): $13
  • Demo skiers (Prices per day): $37
  • Complete Demo Package (Price per day): $45
  • Demo skies (Regular boots priced per day): $40

It is important to note that the boot sizes available with them for children begin at 7.5 and for adults 16.5.

Snowboard rental rates can be found below:

  • Adults (Single day – snowboard and snowboard boots): $33
  • Children (Single day – snowboard and snowboard boots): $22
  • Adults (Each additional day): $27
  • Children (Each additional day): $20
  • Adult (Only snowboard boots): $14
  • Children (Only snowboard boots): $12
  • Adults (Only snowboard): $22
  • Children (Only snowboard): $17

than enough here. Usually, the breakfast menu begins at around CAD $10 and dinners might vary between CAD $15 and CAD $20.


The Ski + Ride School at Ski Apache observe all the necessary standards and is among the best in the industry. Each of their instructors carries the necessary certifications and are well versed in the unique training techniques adopted by the ski area.

Secondly, when it comes to availing the various lessons one must know that beginners or novice lessons cannot be purchased online. For this purpose, you will have to call the School Desk and make the reservations at – 575-464-3643. You can find the brief rate list below:

Adults: For skiing lessons, they will have to pay $92 and the same for snowboarding will cost them $101.

Children: For skiing lessons, they will have to pay $83 and the same for snowboarding will cost them $90

These packages include – one all day lift ticket along with one lesson and equipment rentals. Each lesson lasts for about 90 minutes and sessions are held in batches usually beginning in the morning hours.

Additionally, there are also available all day ski instructions which include lunches and lift tickets for children between the ages of 4 and 12. It is important to note that this particular package is only available for children and not adults. Mentioned below is the price list:

Without skiing equipment: $165

With skiing equipment: $175

Half day – AM/PM with ski equipment: $110

Half day – AM/PM without ski equipment: $100

Furthermore, visitors can also avail private lessons that are available for individuals of all age groups. Children below the ages of 6 are eligible for receiving free lift tickets. Read on for pricing details:

One hour –One person: Adults pay $85 and children pay $85.

One hour – With additional individuals: Charges per individuals are – Adults pay $65 and children pay $65.

1.5 hours – One person: Adults pay $127 and children pay $127.

1.5 hours – With each additional person: Adults pay $100 and children pay $100.

Furthermore, you will also find here dedicated packages for families and other unique ones as well. To first begin with the families – together they are eligible for the following:

You will be the only people in the group

It is priced between privates and group lessons

The group sizes depend on how many family members you have up to 6

We will take age 6 and up

We will teach you and your children how to ski or snowboard

You will learn how to ride safely on lifts with your small children

You will learn how to move around the mountain safely

You will learn how to get your children down slopes they shouldn’t be on and how to rebuild their confidence

Lift ticket included

And much, much more! (rentals not included)

The rates offered to families are as follows:

Comprising of 2 individuals: $290

Comprising of 3 individuals: $ 340

Comprising of 4 individuals: $390

Comprising of 5 individuals: $450

Comprising of 6 individuals: $525


Eagle Café: Located in the Main Lodge the Eagle Café has been stylized to resemble the traditional cafeteria. It is the best place where you the hungry skier or snowboarder can come in grab a quick bite while warming yourselves and then again heading back to the slope. Among the must-try items is the Apache Indian Taco and the Green Chili Burger.

Arrowhead Express: It is located on the lower levels of the main lodge and is a grill and snack bar by design. They offer speedy and some of the spiciest Mexican delicacies. They will definitely make your day with the mouthwatering food items that they offer.

Daily Grind Café: It is the most popular coffee bar at Ski Apache. Daily Grind Café is located adjacent to the Eagle Café and now serves Starbucks coffee.

Pizza Grill: It is an outdoor dining facility which offers delicacies from around the world. You can enjoy your food while gazing at the endless powder that adorns the magnificent alpine terrain.

Spirit Bar: It is a good place to relax later in the evening and can be reached at the Main Lodge. This place offers a full-service bar, television and friendly gaming facilities. Here you will find a complete kicking back and relaxed atmosphere.

Safety Concerns

Skiing and other sporting activities – all have certain precautionary safety measures that are required to be undertaken by the actor and the institution. On the same grounds, the Ski Apache Ski Area prescribes and maintains certain standards. These are not only meant for the resort but for the various tourists who come here and are definitely a matter of serious consideration. Keeping this in mind the ski area has created the Ski Apache National Ski Patrol’s mission. The aim of this mission is to preserve safety conditions at the resort while keeping the skiers and snowboarders safe. They also assist in fast-forwarding medical emergencies and provide essential customer service right on the mountain. Moreover, being safe is also a matter of personal conduction and responsibility of every individual at least more importantly on the slope of Ski Apache.

Irrespective of you being a black diamond rider capable of seasoned manoeuvres or just a beginner – it is mandatory on your part to follow all the necessary safety measures. Now, so much of the emphasis is laid on to these diktats because one has come this far just to have fun and create some memories whether along families or friends. Therefore it takes precedence over everything else. Furthermore, there are at least 80 volunteers staff members who are at any given day associated with the National Ski Patrol.

All the employees of the Ski Apache along with the members of National Ski Patrol are qualified in EMT and in Emergency Care. You will also find many of them to be qualified nurses, paramedics and doctors in their otherwise regular career practices.

Following is a 4 point safety measure that Ski Apache dictates. One is required to follow them at all times:

We strive to provide detailed guidelines and rules to adhere to on and off the mountain.

We actively monitor slow zones on the mountain and other high traffic areas across the resort.

Continually educate our employees and our guests of things to be constantly aware of in order to ensure safety.

Continual safety training with Ski School instructors and lift operators. *Note: All employees in uniform are able to assist with safety questions and are encouraged to enforce safety regulations at the resort.

The responsibility to be safe, however, is at all times your decree. Now, because all the precautionary measures can only do so much Ski Apache has in place the following 7 points which each of their customers is required to observe while being on the slopes:

Stay in Control. Always be ready to stop or avoid objects ahead of you.

Skiers and boarders ahead of you have the right of way.

Do not stop in the middle of a trail or in a blind spot on the mountain.

Always look uphill and yield to others when starting down the mountain.

Always use straps to avoid runaway gear.

Obey all signs posted. Do not enter closed zones.

Before using a lift, understand how to load, ride and unload safely.

Skiers and snowboarders are also responsible for others who are around them. Ski Apache advises them to keep in mind the Zero Tolerance Policy that the resort observes when it comes to boundaries and closed areas. These obstructions are there to protect you and if by chance you happen to go overboard and are unreasonable with your actions you could lose your seasons pass for a minimum period of 2 weeks at the very least.

It is also important that one is able to identify the sake skiable areas at Ski Apache. So for this purpose the ski area has designated such turfs as – Slow Zones. Furthermore, these areas are constantly monitored by the Ski Patrol. Also, there are certain signposts installed that you should be aware of and also required to observe.

Since skiing at an elevation of 11,500 feet is quite a common occurrence at Ski Apache there could be visitors who are unable to acclimatise with the change in elevation and cold weather conditions. If you are suffering from – headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, restless sleep, coughing and difficulty breathing, the best thing to do would be to sit down and let your body adjust. Drinking plenty of water will also help. Ski Apache does discourage the usage of electronic devices or equipment that particularly covers your ears.

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