This winter, New Mexico is opening 6,000 acres of the new Valles Caldera National Preserve for winter sports.
The preserve is New Mexico's newest public land, a huge, stunning former private ranch that sprawls across some 89,000 acres. It is located about one hour from Santa Fe, even less from Los Alamos.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts can enjoy 35 Kilometers of X-C trails, a combination of set and flat track. Or, head off anywhere in the entire 6,000 acre area designated if you want to break your own trail.
A yurt to yurt program for overnight skiers and snowshoers will be available through a special lottery. The Valley Caldera National Park has been off-limits to all recreation for decades and holds true treasures including old-growth forest, remarkable geology, and huge views.
VCNP is the newest member of Ski New Mexico, which includes world-famous and legendary resorts like Taos Ski Valley, and also lesser-known gems such as Pajarita Mountain, Angel Fire and Ski Santa Fe, which is just outside town.