The delights of many outdoor recreational activities are given in a visit to Angel Fire, a small mountain resort town of Colfax County in northern New Mexico.
Angel fire is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the famed Rocky Mountains.
This town was incorporated in 1986 as the Village of Angel Fire, driven by the growth of its eponymous ski and golf resort, which opened in 1966.
The name that the village and the resort share came from the early Ute Native Americans in the area who called “fire of the angels” the locality’s fiery sunset and sunrise.
Angel Fire is on the cradle of the Moreno Valley, which is at an altitude of 8,382 feet above sea level and on the flanks of some of New Mexico’s tallest peaks.
Among these are the 11,086-foot-high Mount Baldy and Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s tallest mountain with an elevation of 13,161 feet.
With this setting, Angel Fire has become an alluring year-round mountain resort destination, offering a wide selection of things to do, as the following list shows.
Go Skiing at the Angel Fire Resort
Angel Fire Resort is a family-friendly skiing destination with 85% of its 560-acre skiable area classified as beginner terrain.
Chair lifts are also separate for beginners, and skiers enjoy uncrowded runs on the resort’s 74 trails.
Advanced skiers have four glades or tree trails to choose from, all in all, totaling 30 acres where the vertical drop reaches 2,077 feet.
Angel Fire Resort shares the best snow in New Mexico, where the average snowfall each year is more than 200 inches.
The resort’s varied terrain offers skiers and snowboarders magnificent views of the southern Rocky Mountains.
To open this experience to families, Angel Fire Resort provides ski and snowboard lessons for kids and adults.
Pick from Accommodations in Angel Fire
Besides the hotels and motels in Angel Fire, several property management companies offer vacation rentals, including cabins and B&B, close to the town’s mountain playground.
Some of the best choices on accommodations are available in the ski-out lodge of the Angel Fire Resort on Miller Lane.
Skiers staying in the lodge are just steps away from the main chair lift right outside the lodge’s door.
Angel Fire Resort offers suites and rooms, as well as accommodations in a condo development with studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom options.
The dining choices in Angel Fire Resort include the grill and coffee house in its lodge, the full-service restaurant in its country club, and a sandwich shop and cafeteria on the mountain.
Soar in the Angel Fire Zipline Adventure Tour
The Zipline Adventure Tour of Angel Fire Resort, which starts from a 10,600-foot peak, is the highest of its kind in the US.
The zipline run is comprised of six segments traversing from peak to peak, with the longest at 1,600 feet or a little over a mile.
Young families trying their first zipline ride have options on milder, less unnerving courses.
Before a run, participants in the Zipline Tour first undergo a short “flight school” to give them pointers on safety and how to make their ride more enjoyable.
There are also two professional guides helping the zipline tour participants who also get an all-day pass to the resort’s scenic chairlift.
Go on a Thrilling Ride at Angel Fire Bike Park
Angel Fire Resort offers mountain bikers a thrilling ride on its Bike Park, which is recognized as the best and the largest in the Rocky Mountains.
Riders access this Bike Park via the resort’s chair lift on Miller Lane, going up to the starting point at an elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level.
All told, the Bike Park provides 10 trails with more than 60 miles of mountain biking terrain, featuring jump lines, skinnies, manicured flow, and other exciting trail elements.
The resort runs a rental shop offering a wide selection of bikes and protective equipment.
Bike professionals in the shop also assist riders in practicing their gravity bike skills to foster a safe and enjoyable experience at the Angel Fire Bike Park.
Play Golf at Angel Fire Resort Country Club
This country club offers the rare opportunity to play in an 18-hole championship course at an elevation of 8,600 feet.
A round in this course plays at par 72 over 6,653 yards from the longest tees.
Set on the backdrop of the picturesque southern Rocky Mountains, this layout has a 71.1-course rating and a slope rating of 138.
The front nine of the course poses a longer-playing layout meandering through two pristine canyons of pine, aspen, and spruce.
The back nine, on the other hand, provide links-style play featuring plenty of bunkers and smaller greens.
The signature hole of the course is its No. 6, places where the tee box is 200 feet above the green 239 yards away, with its fairway flanked by towering pines and groves of aspen trees.
Wine and Dine at The Elements
The Country Club of Angel Fire Resort is open year-round to the public, and one of its prime amenities is The Elements, a fine dining restaurant on the club’s upper level.
This restaurant offers a wide selection of appetizers, seafood, and steaks, prepared using only the finest ingredients to ensure that its patrons enjoy fresh and savory meals.
Besides the Elements menu, also check its wine list, as the country club boasts a private wine room storing up to 1,800 bottles.
Downstairs of the country club, you have an option for lighter-fare and patio dining at the Par & Grill.
The other amenities in the country club include an indoor swimming pool and a modern fitness center with trainers providing lessons.
You can also buy souvenirs at the country club’s pro shop, which sells Angel Fire logo-wear items.
Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This Angel Fire landmark is located on Country Club Road and was set up by the parents of Marine Lt. David Westphall, a KIA in the Vietnam War.
When the Angel Fire Vietnam War Memorial was opened in 1971, it was one of the first of its kind in the US.
This memorial features a Visitors Center providing a place educational displays and a venue for Vietnam veterans’ reunions.
The memorial’s grounds host a Veterans Memorial Walkway, a Huey helicopter that saw action in Vietnam, a life-size sculpture, Hill of Angels marker, Flag Triad, the Gardens, and an amphitheater.
Hike Angel Fire’s Greenbelt Trails
The Greenbelt Trails constitute several free-access pathways within the Village of Angel Fire.
These trails are open to non-motorized use, including hiking, running, biking, horse riding, and snowshoeing.
The local favorites among the Greenbelt Trails are the Oeste Vista Trail, Monte Verde Trail, and Lady Slipper Trail.
For advanced trail hiking, try the Enlightenment Trail, which starts from Angel Fire Resort and tops in a peak of more than 2,000 feet above sea level.
Those who want to fully experience the great outdoors take the scenic Williams Lake Trail, which continues onward to the Wheeler Peak Trail leading to the summit of New Mexico’s tallest mountain.
Toss Disc Golf at Angel Fire’s Peak
Challenge yourself to a round of disc golf played at the mountain peak of the Angel Fire Resort.
The resort offers to players for free its 18-hole disc golf course.
They only have to purchase a ticket or season pass for its Chile Express chairlift that would take them to the course.
The Ticket Office at the base of the chairlift provides the course maps and scorecards, as well as disc rentals.
Playing in this course, which affords amazing mountain views, starts across from the resort’s mountain chapel.
Pro and amateur tee pads are available for players to choose from, with all taking them through a scenic play rising up to more than 10,000 feet of elevation above sea level.
Bring the Kids for Snow Tubing at Nordic Center
Families with kids on a winter holiday in Angel Fire Resort would typically veer toward its Nordic Center.
Located just outside the resort’s Country Club, this center is home to the four-lane Angel Fire Tubing Hill.
At 1,000 feet long, this snow tubing site is the longest of its kind in New Mexico.
After completing a run down the bottom of the hill, there’s a conveyor belt to take the tubers back to the top for another thrilling ride.
To access Tubing Hill, kids have to be accompanied by adults and at least 42 inches tall.
Those below this height, though, can still enjoy a run on the snow on the Nordic Center’s sledding hill for kids.
Explore the Waters of Monte Verde Lake
Angel Fire Resort boasts a 28-acre Monte Verde Lake, a serene spring-fed, high-mountain lake.
This lake is open daily and offers plenty of water-based recreational activities, such as fishing and boating.
The resort regularly stocks the lake with trout to help ensure enjoyable fishing on its waters, either onshore or on a boat.
Rentals of fishing gear and boats, as well as fishing permits, are available at the resort’s lakeside Boat House.
Visitors of the lake can bring their own boats and can enjoy other activities, such as paddleboarding.
Swimming is not allowed on the lake, but you can hike on the picturesque, mile-long trail along its shores.
Camp at Angel Fire RV Resort
Located off US Highway 64, Angel Fire RV Resort offers convenient camping near the base of the mountain.
This RV resort provides 102 oversized paved and level campsites with 30/50 amp full hookups.
It boasts all the amenities imaginable for campers, such as a gatehouse with a retail shop, a clubhouse, bathhouse, hot tub, and two community fire pits.
Angel Fire RV Resort also offers campers free Wi-Fi, 40-channel DirecTV, and onsite laundry.
This RV park’s horseshoe pits, pickleball courts, putting green, and onsite hiking trail ensure that its patrons’ Angel Fire stay teems with activities.
In addition, camping at Angel Fire RV Resort provides access to the Country Club swimming pool, a micro-fitness center, therapeutic massage, buddy sites, a bark park for pets, and a swing set.
Celebrate in Angel Fire Festivals
Angel Fire celebrates summer with plenty of festivals, including a hot-air balloon event traditionally held in June.
Dubbed as Balloons Over Angel Fire, this event brings the spectacle of some 40 hot-air balloons floating gracefully on the morning skies of Moreno Valley.
This balloon display is one of the highlights of the Angel Fire SummerFest, featuring live music, food market, and craft vendors.
Around August and September, the season for Music from Angel Fire unfolds, with world-class artists performing a repertoire of classical chamber music.
A mountain bike festival anchored on races and the iconic beer party Oktoberfest is also among the events to keep a tab of when planning a visit to Angel Fire.
Have a Beer at Enchanted Circle Brewing Company
This brewery on Sage Lane was established in 2015 and lays claim as Angel Fire's only award-winning brewery.
A production brewery, it distributes beers to bars and restaurants throughout New Mexico.
Enchanted Circle Brewing Company also boasts a casual taproom with outdoor seating and serving not only its craft beers but also wine and meals.
Its beer offerings include Panty Tosser Peach Wheat, a fruit wheat beer that you can pair with the ground Angus sirloin burgers from the kitchen of Enchanted Circle Brewing Company.
Pick Up a Souvenir at Sweet Shirt Co.
Repeat visitors of Angel Fire make Sweet Shirt Co. their priority stop when souvenir shopping.
Located on View Boulevard, this small countryside store gives the ski shops near Angel Fire Resort stiff competition for varied merchandise and good old customer service.
At Sweet Shirt Co., your souvenir choices not only include various picks on good-looking Angel Fire-logo jackets and T-shirts.
It also sells Angel Fire emblazoned mugs and glasses, plus sweets, stuffed toys, and other curiosities.
Angel Fire is a smart choice for family leisure trips, as its flagship resort is a four-season destination brimming with amenities for all ages.
On the whole, the points of interest and festivals that the Village of Angel Fire hosts are enticing alternatives to those offered in the more established tourist hotspots of the Rocky Mountains.