Angel Fire Review

Angel Fire, New Mexico

We used to own a home in Angel Fire back in 2003-2004, which we never ended up using much in the winter, so we only have a few days skiing there for this review.  The runs are generally pretty easy, so it was a good place for the family, but it was just too difficult getting there for us to get much use out of it.

Update 2022

It’s been 20 years since we skied and reviewed this resort, but the lifts and trails are still the same in 2022 as they were in 2002 so it should still be the same skiing experience.

Front Side

Front Side, February 2002


Real Vertical ? 2,050′, Rank: 65
Size 445 Acres, Rank: 95
Annual Snowfall ? 210″ claimed / 210″ actual, Rank: 85
Lift Pods ? 4, Rank: 72
Distinct Trails ? 52, Rank: 80
Review Date Feb 14, 2002 (multiple visits from 2001-2004)
Number of visits 3
Our Rating
Resort Website

Angel Fire Trail Map

Angel Fire Review

Angel Fire is located in northeast New Mexico in the Moreno valley, about 23 miles east of the town of Taos.  The resort is very popular with skiers from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas because it is the one of the closest resorts to those states. And it is a much easier resort than Taos.  There is a small village at the base with restaurants and a couple of shops.  The ski hill is serviced by 2 main lifts, with a very long high-speed quad on the front side and a shorter one on the back side.  The runs on the back are shorter and a little steeper.  The pictures here were taken February 14, 2002 and the snow conditions were great with fresh powder.

The good

  • This is probably one of the top 3 resorts on our list for low intermediates and beginners.  The blue runs are mostly super easy and just about any beginner can find plenty to ski there.
  • The ungroomed blues are allowed to build up small bumps for a nice progressive experience for people learning the sport.
  • The views of the valley and the highest mountain in New Mexico Wheeler Peak are spectacular.
  • For a small resort, having 2 high speed quads serving all of the terrain is a nice surprise.

The bad

  • Lack of snowfall is the biggest problem.  Nearby Taos Ski Valley gets about 150″ more snow per year on average.  This is the main reason for the one-star rating.
  • Angel Fire claims to have 53% of the slopes covered by snowmaking, but they don’t seem to be using it fully if that is the case.  In a low snow year there are usually just 20-30 of the claimed 82 runs open.  If they used it all, the rating would be higher.
  • Angel Fire can be really cold and often has the lowest temperatures in New Mexico.
  • There is really not much to the town, so driving in to Taos for shopping and eating is something most visitors end up doing.
  • The easy trails are great for low intermediates, but there is not much there for advanced skiers.
  • Crowds can get epic on holiday weekends.

Don’t Miss…

There are a couple of black runs on the upper part of the mountain — Maxwells Grant and Silver Chute, which are quite steep and fun.  They had abnormally good coverage when we skied them.

The bottom line

This resort is just too easy and limited for us to ever want to go back — especially with the super iffy snow conditions that plague New Mexico.  For us, Taos Ski Valley is a better choice with more snow, vertical, and terrain.

Backside steeper run

Backside steeper run, February 2002


10 thoughts on “Angel Fire Review

  1. Les

    Having just discovered Angel Fire this past year, I have to say we absolutely love it. The lines are short or non-existent except for extremely peak season (and even then with all the Covid protocols I think we waited at most 10 min and the reward was 30+ minutes of skiing before having to get on a lift again. We also just love the convenience of it. We’ve skied Deer Valley among others and although the runs are good, the lines were long and it took time to get up to the resort to actually start skiing. We were surprised to find that Angel Fire has that gorgeous CO powder but is generally 5 minutes from any VRBO house to the lift. We also loved that we felt far more immersed in forested nature there (versus Park City, which felt more like a high dessert until you wound up the mountain, or even Taos or Snowbowl that are a haul to get to the actual skiing). Our internet was also way better. I guess they installed high speed fiber in all of Angel Fire a few years back. I agree that if you’re just looking for the absolute best, epic skiing and you’re willing to make the crowd and convenience concessions or pay dearly if you don’t it makes sense to head to UT or CO, but for families that want long green and blue runs and a whole lot of convenience without the wait, Angel Fire and places like it seem like they deserve a second look. It’s funny, we actually met some retirees that were ski instructors in Aspen and then chose to retire in Angel Fire. They said they still loved the skiing here, but also loved the ease of the pace and the culture much better. We agree :).

    1. Ron Thompson Post author

      Thanks for your comment and I agree that if you are looking for long greens and (easy) blues it’s hard to beat Angel Fire. People that ski there are generally happy and there is a lot of love for the place from what we saw. Remember, even though it’s low on our list, it’s still ON the list!

    2. Les

      Lol, thanks, we’re glad it made the list! It feels like an undiscovered gem in many ways, but that keeps the lift lines short! Thanks for taking the time to put together such a fun site. We’ve enjoyed it!

    3. Sidney De Bruin

      I totally concur. Park city is way overrated, crowded and expensive.! Angel fire is a true diamond in the rough! skiing , the beauty & peacefulness!

  2. Kevin Rust

    Hi there!
    We just recently bought a place in Angel Fire, NM and have enjoyed skiing here with the family. It is an easier mountain, but that has allowed our kiddos enjoyed all of it, including the sledding. My 9yr old son is so proud he skiied a black, but in Taos, that same black would be a blue. Taos is a bigger & better mountain for advanced or expert skiers, but this mountain is perfect for a family. Lines have always been manageable for us and the food pretty tasty! El Jefe margarita is something to write about, as well!


    1. Ron Thompson Post author

      Angel Fire is one of our top 3 picks for easier terrain appropriate for beginners and low intermediates. It’s a really charming and beautiful area as well. Enjoy your vacation home!

  3. Miranda Prosperie

    We just spend 4 days at Angel Fire, 2 with groomed hills and 2 with 10-18” of fresh powder! All 5 of us were first time skiers, and we enjoyed ourselves. We all did our lessons and by the time we left, I felt comfortable with the greens, and Exhibition. My husband was venturing off to the blues, the 9 and 7 year old were killing it on the greens! The 15 year old girl was over it by day 3 and stayed in the condo with grandma! Lol the staff was friendly, they even gave my 15yo private lessons when she was struggling with the group! We ate at 4 different restaurants in town and they all matched up to their reviews. Definitely happy to have a 4×4 to leave after all the snowfall. The bus route is super convenient! I believe there were 70 ish trails open this last week! Having no other experience of any other ski resort, this is my take on it. Glad we started here, and I’m happy to hear it’s one of the top on your beginner/intermediate resorts!

    1. Ron Thompson Post author

      Thanks for the excellent “mini review” from a different perspective than we have! I do honestly feel like Angel Fire is one of the best resorts we have skied for beginners and low intermediates.

  4. Jeff Ash

    I absolutely love Angel Fire ! It’s so beautiful there. I loved there 3.5 mile blue run that goes from the top down the side to the bottom Heading Home. . Nice peaceful skiing experience! I would love to live there if I could afford it.

    1. Ron Thompson Post author

      Hi Jeff, I agree: Angel Fire is one of the most beautiful places in one of the most beautiful states. We spent a lot of time there 20 years ago.


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