Sandia Peak Ski Area (505/242-9052, www.sandiapeak.com , $43 full-day lift ticket) is open from mid-December through mid-March, though it takes until about February for a good base to build up; the 30 trails, serviced by four lifts, are not dramatic, but they are long. The area is open daily in the holiday season, then Wednesday through Sunday for the remainder of the winter.
Sandia Peak also has plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiing. The most popular place is the Capulin Snow Play Area ($3 parking), nine miles up Highway 536 to the crest, where there are also big hills for tubing and sledding. About six miles of trails are groomed here, or you can bushwhack—just be wary of sudden drop-offs.
Farther up on the mountain, 10K Trail is usually groomed for skiers, as is a service road heading south to the upper tramway terminal; the latter is wide and relatively level—good for beginners. You can check the status of the trails at the Sandia ranger station (505/281-3304) on Highway 337 in Tijeras .