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.  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.

Front Side

Front Side, February 2002


Vertical Drop 2050′
Size 445 Acres
Annual Snowfall 210 inches Claimed / 175 Actual: Rank 78
Lifts 3
Trails 76
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 much easier than Taos.  The town’s business district is very small and spread-out along the main road, but there are seemingly endless roads laid out in lots for real estate that has either been developed or will be developed in the future.  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

  • For the average skier, Angel Fire has lots of easy blue cruisers.
  • 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 100″ more snow per year on average.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and 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


3 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!


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