Thursday, January 8, 2015

Visiting Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe Area for Dummies.

All the info you really need is of course on Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe Area's website However, here are some highlights of that info that you might want to review before heading up for the first time.

- TIMING/DRIVE: drive from Los Alamos to the base lodge is 2 hours (slightly under even). It is a gorgeous drive with Taos about half way. If you are doing a 1 day trip, you could stop for breakfast/dinner in Taos on your drives. Plenty of amazing places to eat there. See below for our faves.

snowshoes for kids too!
rental skis for kids, toddlers and adults!
- GEAR: EFXC has skate and classic xc ski rentals, as well as snowshoes (snowboots included). They have all gear for kids and adults including kid pulks. They also have quite a bit of merchandise, including nice socks, mittens, gloves, hats, sunglasses and more, so if you forget the small stuff, you'll be all set.

- DO I NEED 4WD?: last 400m or so to the area parking lot from the highway is a steep hill. You will need 4WD for it. If you do not have 4WD or are uncomfortable driving that part, you should park on the large pullout off the highway and call the base lodge (large EFXC sign with their number and info at the pullout). They will pick you up and drop you back off at the car as well. You can also walk that 400m if you prefer.

- FOOD: EFXC has a nice warm base lodge with tables, a microwave, cold water, hot water, coffee. They sell microwavable burritos, soups, hot chocolate and cider, bars and candy. They also usually have Nature Valley granola bars out for free as Nature Valley sponsors xc skiing and sends lots of samples out to xc ski areas. We usually bring a lunch and snacks. There is also a warming yurt out on the trails. It has a wood stove in it, a couch to sit on, some table and chairs, so it's warm and cozy. Makes for a great 'picnic' lunch or warm up stop while out skiing/snowshoeing. They also  have a fire pit outside which they get going for some days and tables outside for particularly sunny lunch times (gotta love the NM sunshine all winter long!!)

- OTHER TIPS: if you are traveling with small kids and worried about slow process of getting going, it is really helpful to either stop in Taos to eat on way up, or packing food with you and handing it to the kids just after you pass Taos so they are fueled up and ready to go as soon as you get to the area.
- There are many awesome places to eat in Taos, but in case you are really unfamiliar with Taos, here are the ones we tend to use most often (all right off the main road you'll be on, except El Gamal):
-- for burrito or other to-go breakfast: The Coffee Spot.
-- for sitdown amazing breakfast/lunch: The Taos Diner (either location is convenient off the main road and yummy).
-- famous (and awesome) dinner spot: Taos Pizza Out Back.
-- all around, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bakery, great NM style food and more: Michael's Kitchen.
-- vegetarian-only option with a spectacular kid's toy/play room and floor seating: El Gamal.

WINTER FUN: Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe Area also offers ski lessons (both classic or skate) and snowshoe tours. They hold spectacular special events including the super famous Just Desserts Eat and Ski at the end of Feb. They also have two warm yurts you can rent. Great way to winter camp or glamp (glamour+camping :), with the groomed trail access and even an additional option of having them deliver and pick up your gear, it's an easy way to try out a winter adventure!  (you can also rent the yurts in the summer and hike or mountain bike on the trails!) Make sure to check out their site for more details and don't hesitate to call them if you have any questions:

PPS if you have avid downhillers in your group, you can easily xc ski in the morning and downhill at Red River on the way back, or just drop them off at the downhill on your way up to EFXC!

No comments: