Valles Caldera National Preserve
Cross Country skiing and snowshoeing activities will be available north of New Mexico Highway 4 on Valles Caldera National Preserve on Saturdays and Sundays between December 27 and March 30. Everything north of NM 4 requires day-use permits.
Overnight skiing is a reservation-based opportunity, with 13 weekends available this winter (2008-2009). Overnights will be spent at the bunkhouse, about 2 miles from the Valle Grande staging area and within 1 mile of the South Mountain trailhead. The bunkhouse is equipped with everything you'll need except sleeping bags, clothing, food and personal effects. The cost is $480 per night for up to 13 people, plus the $10 per day per person day pass. There is also a $150 security deposit required.
The Coyote Call Trail and surrounding area south of New Mexico Highway 4 are open, free of charge, every day during daylight hours. There are two free skiing days scheduled on the trails of the Preserve, January 21 and February 18, from 9 AM to 4 PM. When there is enough snow on the ground, there's almost 24,000 acres open to skiing and snowshoeing.
This is an area where snowfall can be very heavy at times. Only 4WD or vehicles with chains can drive the 2 miles north of NM Highway 4 to the Valles Caldera Check In/Out and Staging Area. The road is plowed and snow-packed but is north-facing and can be very icy, especially during windy times. Traveling anywhere in this area you'll want water, extra food, blankets and plenty of gas in your car. In a white-out situation, stay with your car.