Taos Ski Valley's location in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Taos County, New Mexico. The resort's steep terrain largely faces north, which makes it a good location for spring skiing despite its southernly latitude. In addition the base elevation of 9,207 feet (2,805 m) and summit elevation of 12,481 feet (3,805 m), which are among the highest of any ski mountain in North America, also help extend the ski season and keep snow cold in March.
With its high elevations, Taos Ski Valley is also great destination for those who like to ski or snowboard off-piste, with plenty of options for backcountry and sidecountry adventures. There's also a variety of terrain options, from beginner to expert runs, as well as many on-mountain amenities like dining, shopping, and ski-in/ski-out accommodations.
Taos Ski Valley is a ski resort located in New Mexico, known for its beautiful and challenging terrain. One of the unique features of the resort is its high proportion of north-facing slopes, which make up 60% of its terrain. This is significant because north-facing slopes tend to receive less direct sunlight than other aspects, which means that the snow on these slopes is less likely to melt or become slushy during the day. This is especially beneficial in the spring, when the warm sun can quickly melt snow on other parts of the mountain.
Another advantage of Taos Ski Valley is its high elevation. The base of the mountain is at 9,207 feet, and the highest lift-served point is at 12,481 feet. This high elevation provides a consistent snowpack that is protected from the warm spring sun and allows for great spring skiing experience. Even in the latter part of the ski season, the high elevations of Taos Ski Valley typically still have deep snow pack and great skiing conditions.
All of these factors contribute to Taos Ski Valley being a great destination for skiers and snowboarders who want to extend their ski season into the spring. The combination of north-facing terrain and high elevations ensures that there is always a good amount of snow on the mountain, even as the weather warms up. This is especially appealing for those looking for a ski vacation during the spring break period, when other resorts may have inferior snow or have closed for the season.
What matters when it comes to snow for March skiing:
Ski areas with higher elevations and more northerly latitudes can keep snow colder when thawing temperatures in March or during warming events degrade other resorts' snowpacks. Aspects have the same affect, so the snow at a ski resort with more east or south-facing slopes will suffer more quickly as the sun grows stronger into March and the later spring.
For that reason, ski resorts with more north-facing terrain will be able to shelter snow more thoroughly into and through March. The most important factors for good snow preservation in spring tend to be elevation and north aspects, so the ski resorts with the highest elevations and the highest percentage of north-facing slopes tend to be those that preserve their snow best. More explanation on this topic can be found on our snow rankings page.
Lots of east and south exposures coupled with cold temperatures at night can put ski slopes into a nasty freeze-thaw process, wherein the ski resort becomes an ice rink overnight and doesn't revert to being skiable until the sun thaws things out. If the sun doesn't come out, however, skiers can be stuck with terrible conditions for days on end.
So, quite simply, in March, look for resorts with high elevations and high percentages of north-facing terrain (~50%+).