Summer Fun On Pajarito Mountain

Pajarito Mountain festivals span the seasons, from SummerFest to Telebration. Courtesy/Pajarito Mountain

Los Alamos Daily Post

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is known for outstanding music events and festivals and is offering another summer full of them.

“With the support and help of the Los Alamos Fire Department we have been able to keep Pajarito Mountain Ski Area open through this terrible drought and Fire Restrictions,” Pajajrito General Manager Tom Long said. “We encourage people to come up and enjoy the green of the mountain, biking, hiking or dining.  Please use caution when using our facility, it is terribly dry.”

The season kicks off Saturday, June 9 with Summerfest … one of the most popular events, which includes the New Mexico Craft Brewfest noon to 6 p.m., featuring Bathtub Row, Bow and Arrow, Red Door, Tumbleroot + Distillery, Red River, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Second St, Turtle Mountain, Tractor, Sierra Blanca, The 377 and Santa Fe Brewing.

Summerfest includes music provided by the Stephanie Hatfield Band, a Strava bike race, lift-served hiking and biking, a disc golf tournament and more.

Pajarito accepts cash, checks or credit cards for entrance at the beer garden. There are no ATMs on the mountain. Atomic City Transit will provide a free shuttle bus leaving every 30 minutes, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Los Alamos High School at 1300 Diamond Dr.

Back by popular demand, Pajarito is hosting the Summer Solstice Festival Thursday, June 21 as a part of the Los Alamos County’s 100 Days of Summer promotion. Pajarito will offer lift-served biking and hiking 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. June 21.

The 2018 Pajarito Punishment is 9 a.m., to 2:30 p.m. June 24. The cross-country mountain bike race serves as the final race in the Spring Series of the New Mexico Offroad Series. This race is named the Pajarito Punishment for a reason, this challenging course has around 1,200 feet of vertical per lap!

The cozy Pajarito Mountain Café delivers an authentic on-mountain dining experience and includes bacon green chile double cheeseburger, chili cheese fries, salads, giant cookies and more. Pajarito Mountain Café is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Alcohol is available on Beer & Band and festival days. Guests may bring their own alcohol.

Mountain History:
Pajarito means “little bird” in Spanish and was first associated with the area by the archeologist Edgar Lee Hewett who was in turn inspired by Tsirege, which means “bird place” in the Tewa language. Tsirege is a prominent archaeological site on property owned by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Pajarito Mountain opened Nov. 23, 1957 with no toilets, no water, no grooming, no modern lifts and a few short slopes. The Aspen run received a T-bar for the 1962-1963 season. An additional 400 acres of land were purchased in the late 1960s and the first chairlift installed on Spruce run for the 1969-1970 season. A similar two person chairlift was installed on the Big Mother run for the 1976-1977 season. A beginners lift was installed, to replace a rope tow, for the 1981-1982 season, and a triple chairlift replaced the T-bar for the following 1982-1983 season. Construction of the new Ski Lodge began in the summer of 1987 and was finished for the 1988-1989 season. A quad chairlift was completed in 1995 for the Townsight run.


  • Base: 9,000 ft (2,700 m). / 2,743 m
  • Lodge elevation: 9,200 ft (2,800 m). / 2,804 m
  • Summit: 10,440 ft (3,180 m). / 3,182 m
  • Vertical Rise: 1,440 ft (440 m). / 439 m


  • Skiable Area: 280 acres (1.1 km2)
  • Trails: 44 total (20% beginner, 50% intermediate, 30% advanced/expert)


  • 1 quad chair lift
  • 1 triple chair lift
  • 3 double chair lifts


  • Equipment Rental
  • Retail
  • Cafe
  • Snowsports School
  • Ski Patrol: Volunteer, NSP affiliated