As one of the southern-most major ski destinations in the U.S., Ski Apache attracts scores of visitors from the Southwest and Mexico, but riders from all over the world are drawn to this unique and sunny mountain getaway.Ski Apache is located in the picturesque Southern Rockies’ Sacramento Mountains, above Ruidoso, New Mexico, and is owned and operated by the Apache Mescalero Tribe; Ski Apache is on the Apache Mescalero Reservation and in the Lincoln National Forest. The area is only three hours southeast of Albuquerque and two and half hours from El Paso. Sierra Blanca, which soars to 12,000 ft., forms the stunning backdrop to Ski Apache; it is the Southern most peak in the US and of the Rockies in the “above 12,000 club.” The snow-producing, alpine peak of Sierra Blanca generates, on average, about 180 inches of snow per year for the slopes of Apache. The base elevation of Ski Apache is at 9,600 feet above sea level while the Gazebo – very near the top -- is at 11,500 feet.Ski Apache prides itself on catering to beginning and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. More than 100 Professional Ski Instructors of America-certified teachers provide lessons for all skill levels and for ages 4 and up. There are also separate rental shops for skiers and snowboarders. For those wishing for a day or two of off-slope recreation, there are plenty of options: history, casinos, beautiful scenery and culture.