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Sipapu Free Fly Fishing Clinics

If you’re interested in learning the basics of fly fishing, Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort holds a series of free fly fishing clinics this summer 2012.

The Sipapu free fly fishing clinics take place weekly on Saturdays from 10 am – 12 noon, with lessons by Taos professional fly fishing instructor and guide Dan Holden. The clinics are open to all, and will cover the basics of fly fishing, including how to use the equipment and how to cast.

Take your own equipment, or fly rods and reels will be available to borrow free of charge, thanks to Taos Fly Shop.

Although the clinics are free, participants aged 12 years or older WILL need a New Mexico fishing license. Current fees for NM fishing licenses start at $12 for one day for adults (whether New Mexico residents or not), or $5 for New Mexico resident juniors aged 12-17 for an annual licence, $8 for New Mexico resident seniors aged 65 – 69 for an annual license. Licenses are available for purchase at Sipapu’s store, which is probably the easiest option, or you can buy them online from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

If you want to stay over, a number of third night free lodging deals at Sipapu are available through October 17, 2012 , including the hotel, cabins, suites, and lodge.

Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort is located  20 miles southeast of Taos, about a 90-minute drive north of Santa Fe, 2.5 hours from Albuquerque.


Taos Ski Valley Free Torchlight Parade

They’re commemorating the birthday of Taos Ski Valley’s founder Ernie Blake with a free Taos Ski Valley Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Saturday March 24, 2012.  The action starts at 8 pm, but arrive early because traffic can be slow winding up the ski valley road, and you’ll need time to scope out your spot to watch!

This is a great free show with torchlight parade skiers descending down the mountain, followed by a fireworks display.  Kids love it! My own favorite place to watch is from the deck at the St Bernard Hotel, and I can attest to the comforting glow of their spiked hot chocolate. But you’ll get excellent views from Rhoda’s Deck or just about anywhere in the ski valley… unless you deliberately hide yourself behind a tree.


Santa Fe Trail Discount Golf for NM Residents

This is a super-discounted golf package for New Mexico residents to play all eight of the Santa Fe Trail courses for only $200. That’s 25 bucks per round, a very low par for these courses, and a saving of over $150.

Buy your  discounted Santa Fe Trail golf Twilight Pass for $200, and you can play all the courses once, on Monday to Thursday from 2 pm. The pass is valid for one year.

Participating golf courses are: Black MesaTowa, Paa-Ko Ridge, Twin Warriors, Sandia, UNM Championship, Santa Ana, and Isleta Eagle.

The Santa Fe Trail Golf deal conditions are very reasonable: You can only play each course once, and the pass is only valid on Monday to Thursday, for groups of no more than four players, and for tee times starting from 2 pm. Which still gives you plenty of time for a leisurely game.  Book tee times up to seven days in advance.

This golf deal really IS only for New Mexico Residents. Everyone else, you’ll just have to move here…  But green fees on the Santa Fe Trail courses are extremely competitive even at rack rate, compared to other national courses of similar quality, so check ‘em out anyway.

The eight Golf on the Santa Fe Trail courses are all in Northern New Mexico, and accessible from locations including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Espanola, and Los Alamos.


Inn of the Mountain Gods Lodging Deals

The Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino near Ruidoso is a pretty spectacular place to stay, set on a lake with great views of Sierra Blanca. The AAA Four Diamond resort is owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, which also runs Ski Apache.

Current Inn of the Mountain Gods lodging deals include:  

  • Valentines Packages are available for stays throughout the month of February, 2012, but they must be booked by February 8. The packages start at $149 for one night on Sunday to Thursday in a superior or luxury room, including champagne and six red roses.
  • A Great Escape $99 package for stays through April 30, 2012. The package includes a one night stay, breakfast buffet for two people, and two free margaritas in Wendell’s Lounge.
  • A Ski Apache package until March 1, 2012. When you book a three night stay, you get the fourth night free, plus two free adult lift tickets. Use the promo code SEASON when booking and note there are some blackout dates.

Book online at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort or call 1-800-545-9011.

Inn of the Mountain Gods is located on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, just a few minutes outside Ruidoso, New Mexico.


National Parks Free: January 14 – 16

National Parks that usually charge admission fees are free for all visitors for this weekend, from January 14 – 16 2012.

The free entry to National Parks offers the chance to enjoy the great New Mexico outdoors over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.

New Mexico National Parks that usually charge fees but are free on January 14-16 are:

If you’ll be out-of-state for the holiday weekend, find more than 100 US National Parks with free admission, listed by state or name.

For readers in northern New Mexico, note that Mesa Verde National Park, just over the border in Southwestern Colorado, is currently waiving its admission fee until March 3, 2012. After this period of free admission, the regular rate of $10 or $15 per vehicle applies, depending when you visit.


Sipapu Ski Deals and Free Lodging

Sipapu Ski Resort deals for this 2012 season include:

  • Parents Ski Free Week this week through January 13, 2012. A parent gets a free lift ticket with each purchase of a teen or child full price lift ticket.
  • Car Load Days Deal Everyone in one car skis for $50 on January 11, 18, and 25, plus later dates in February through April. Up to 6 skiers can ride in one vehicle.
  • Two for One Tuesdays  Purchase a full price lift ticket and get one lift ticket free on Tuesdays to February 28,  and also for one day on March 20. (Check the current dates at the link, in case they change.)
  • Get one night’s free lodging at Sipapu when you buy a $44 lift ticket.  You and up to three ski buddies can get a free room with two queen beds at Sipapu’s motel, lwhether or not the other people in your party ski. The offer is valid on specific dates: find details of the Sipapu free motel dates.
  • Free lodging in Taos at the Sagebrush Inn, El Pueblo Lodge, Quality Inn, or Indian Hills Inn, or free lodging in Las Vegas, NM at the Super 8.  To get a free room, you need to make a minimum purchase of two $44 adult lift tickets, valid on specific dates. Check the links for details.

Military, kids, and skiers and snowboarders of a certain (exact) age also get free ski privileges.

Mention the relevant offer when purchasing.  Sipapu is about 20 miles southeast of Taos. Get directions to Sipapu Ski Resort.


New Mexico Ski Card

The New Mexico Ski Card for the 2011/2012 ski season costs $125 for 10 adult lift tickets to ski resorts in New Mexico and Colorado.

The New Mexico Ski Card is a deal from The American Lung Association in New Mexico, and for $125 you get one adult lift ticket for each of these ten Colorado or New Mexico ski areas:

  • Angel Fire Resort
  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
  • Taos Ski Valley (this is actually a two for one offer – buy one lift ticket at $75 and get another lift ticket free)
  • Red River Ski Area
  • Sipapu Ski Resort
  • Ski Cooper
  • Ski Apache
  • Sunlight Mountain Resort
  • Enchanted Forest Cross-Country
  • Monarch Mountain Ski Area

All the ski resorts have various blackout dates, with the exception of Enchanted Forest and Ski Cooper, neither of which (thank goodness) has any date restrictions.

You can only ski each destination once with the card, but even if the card is only used at a few of the New Mexico ski resorts, the savings are worth it. As an example, adult lift tickets at Angel Fire usually cost $64, and at Red River it’s $64.  Those two alone total $128, so by using the $125 New Mexico Ski Card to ski both, you save $3, and any other New Mexico ski resorts you get to are free icing on the cake!

Plus, it’s for a good cause as a fundraiser for The American Lung Association in New Mexico. There is a limit of 1,000 New Mexico Ski Cards for sale.

If you only plan to take to the slopes at a couple of NM ski resorts and ski those more frequently, it’s probably better to check their websites for ski deals.


Ski Deals: Angel Fire, Sipapu, Red River

New Mexico ski fans will no doubt already be gearing up for the 2011/2012 season. If you’re purchasing passes to New Mexico ski resorts, it makes sense to buy in advance and take advantage of early bird specials on lift tickets.

It’s the last chance to get a $100 discount on Angel Fire season pass for adults, good on purchases through November 6, 2011.  The Angel Fire pass is discounted to $399 (usually $499) for adults. Passes for kids, students, and active duty military also get a $50 price break, reduced to $249 from $299. But you have to buy fast as the deal is only until Sunday November 6.

Sipapu Ski Resort also has its season passes on sale until November 6, at $349 for adults, that’s a $50 discount. A ski pass for students costs $249, and for kids and seniors it’s $109. Sipapu’s season passes also include three free days of skiing at partner ski resorts, including Angel Fire, Pajarito Mountain near Los Alamos, Red River, Ski Apache, and several Colorado resorts.

Finally, Red River Ski Area offers 10% off lift tickets until November 18, using the Red River Ski promo code: EARLY2011

Sipapu Ski Resort is 20 miles southeast of Taos, about a 90 minute drive north of Santa Fe.  Angel Fire and Red River are both on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. Angel Fire is 24 miles east of Taos, and Red River is either about 36 or 48 miles northeast of Taos, depending which way you go around the Enchanted Circle!


National Parks Free: November 11-13

National Parks that usually charge admission fees are free for all visitors for Veterans Day weekend, from November 11 – 13, 2011.

The Veterans Day Weekend free entry to National Parks offers the chance to enjoy the great New Mexico outdoors, or perhaps take a day trip on the last of these beautiful fall days!

New Mexico National Parks that usually charge fees but are free on November 11-13 are:

If you’ll be out-of-state for Veterans Day weekend, find more than 100 US National Parks with free admission for Veterans Day weekend, listed by state or name.


Try Hockey for Free Day: Taos & El Paso

Try Hockey for Free Day is a wonderful idea from USA Hockey, with the aim of introducing kids aged 4 – 9 years to youth hockey, through a bunch of free events on Saturday, November 5, 2011.  Unfortunately, the only Try Hockey for Free Day event in New Mexico at time of writing is in Taos, although readers south of Las Cruces might also be interested in the El Paso Try Hockey for Free event. You need to register in advance at these links for:

Maybe more locations will come on board by the weekend – check at the Hockey for Free Day website and plug in your zip code on the map.