No crowd, good snow, close parking, cheap
Small vertical, out-of-date beginner lifts
My wife and I spent a day here in December 2008 on our way to ski Wolf Creek in Colorado. Driving from Waco, Texas, this was a nice stopping point. There really are no surprises here, and the positives and negatives are pretty straight-forward.
On the positive side, it was before Christmas, and the entire mountain was open. This is rare in New Mexico, so that's a huge plus. This place has a great atmosphere to it. It's small, but it has charm. You're driving up a winding mountain road, you come around a corner, and suddenly, there you are at the base of the mountain. You park on one side of the highway and walk across to the base lodge. It's the closest parking you'll find anywhere. There were no crowds to speak of, and we took as many runs as we desired until about two o'clock when we decided we needed to hit the road to make it to Wolf Creek at a decent hour. The blues here are all groomed, and they are fun. They aren't incredibly wide, and they are fairly short, but they definitely have some character to them.
As for the negatives, the main lift where almost all of the runs come from provides only about 900 feet of vertical. If you are an expert, there are definitely some serious glades available to you at the top of the mountain, but I wouldn't consider the other black runs very difficult. Now, for families, even though this place is super cheap, I don't recommend it. For one, it is in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing to do at night. For another, the two beginner areas are both serviced by surface Poma lifts. This is not the way I would want my beginning skier to try to get up the mountain, because they just aren't easy to ride and keep your balance. They really need to replace those with a triple chair or some better option, then I would much more highly recommend it for families.