We are driving in to Sipapu from Texas- looks like coming in on 518. Where is the closest grocery store and rental shop (not on the mountain) on our way in?
Best bet to stock up on groceries on 518 before Sipapu (assuming you're coming from Las Vegas, NM on 518) may be the Lowes in Las Vegas. You would also drive through Mora, a small town between Las Vegas and Sipapu, which should have at least a convenience store. Past Sipapu, the closest groceries may be convenience store in Penasco. Frankly, I'm not sure you will find any rental shops not on the mountain anywhere near Sipapu. Sipapu is my favorite small ski area for families. You probably won't have a crowd at all; I don't know what the conditions are (sometimes better than anywhere else; other times...) but looks like the mountain is open for skiing still. The rentals there are very inexpensive, as well as some of the best bargains for lift tickets and children. The equipment is okay, but maybe not top notch at the end of the season. Still, the small crowds should work to your advantage for availability and choice. The operation is small and rustic in a good way. But I liked that. Easy to get your equipment. Never seen a line anywhere. One big lodge room with a fireplace and couches where you can change into your boots, etc. The cafeteria upstairs is very good for breakfast, and hopefully they will still be operating the outdoor grill on the back porch for lunch. There's a small bridge off the back crossing the narrow river to the chairs on the other side, where there are about a half dozen picnic tables in the snow (near the "Magic Carpet" for toddlers and older beginners) that we've used as our base on sunny days to watch the kids. The staff is very helpful and especially attentive to children. The ski classes can also turn out to be a real bargain for individual attention if you happen to sign up for group and luck into a handful or less in the group. The bunny hill has a poma lift. (I don't think that's changed since I've been.) The accommodations are slight at Sipapu. It's really the only thing there and nothing else close by. You'll notice that if you get there early enough and can literally park at the front door. There is a small but I recall well-stocked grocery store inside. Taos IS a ski town in its own right because of the Taos Ski Valley north of there. About an hour away, or less. Las Vegas, NM is good hour's drive but not a ski town. Santa Fe is closer to 1 1/2 hour's drive (also has a ski area nearby but, like Taos, a good drive from town). The casino resort Buffalo Thunder north of Santa Fe would be about an hour. I consider Sipapu to be near Tres Ritos, although there's really not a community there with any services whatsoever.