by: Jason Buchta - 3rd February 2012

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 5Family Friendly
  • 3Nightlife
  • Terrain Park
  • Value
Terrain, Lack of crowds, family friendly
Parking, day facilities at the base

Full review

Angel Fire is sometimes overshadowed by Taos, but actually serves the less experienced skiier much better than its nearby, better known neighbor. First off, Angel Fire has the only two high speed detachable lifts in the state of New Mexico. With the Chile Express lift being over 2 miles long, this makes a huge difference. The runs at Angel Fire serve the beginner, up to the advanced intermediate very well. Heading home is a great run for beginners to start on, and allows them to take the main lift all the way to the top. Intermediates are well served by a variety of blue runs, a couple which are left ungroomed, and have a few black runs to step up to when they are ready. Hells Bells, Nice Day, and Glory Hole are all great advanced runs that challenge the advanced skiier, and the hike-to trails can't be missed when they are open. The base area is the sore spot for this mountain. There is no main base lodge, so all the facilities are spread out in their own buildings around the deck, with lots of stairs separating the different facilities. This is not very pleasant when it is snowing, and the resort would be well served adding a true day lodge at the base. With the recent improvements to the country club, Angel Fire has shown they can put up great facilities. It's time to improve the base of the ski area to these standards as well. For those staying in the Angel Fire hotel, the rooms are very lodge, and the connection to the base deck is good. As long as your group doesn't have a lot of expert skiiers, Angel Fire will serve you well. If the snow on the front side doesn't look good, just stay on the back side, as the back is a great north facing slope. Also, if you can, avoid the holiday periods. As long as you visit outside the holidays, there will be very few lift lines and uncrowded slopes!
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