Make a getaway to the small town of Angel Fire, New Mexico, and enjoy epic hiking and biking with a side of fresh mountain air
Welcome to Angel Fire, New Mexico (Elevation: 8,406’; Population: 1,089)
A small town situated in the southern region of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Angel Fire is the adventurous hidden gem of northern New Mexico. Located 24 miles east of Taos, Angel Fire is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the crowds. Whether you’re looking to hop on the bike, stretch out the legs on a good hike or simply see the sights, here’s what you need to check out while visiting the area.
Angel Fire Bike Park
It’s no secret that Angel Fire Bike Park continues to reign as one of the best bike parks in the Southwest. With 2,000-plus vertical feet and 60-plus miles of terrain accessible via chairlift, the Angel Fire Bike Park offers trails for mountain bikers of all skill levels. Buffed-out berms, smooth singletrack, rocky drops and jump lines make this the place to improve and perfect your trail flow.
For a good beginner trail, check out Easy Street. This trail starts from the top of the lift and switchbacks across the mountain, providing chill and flowy singletrack down to the base.
For intermediate trails, we suggest checking out Lemonade, Diesel, Boulder Dash and Chutes & Ladders. Chutes & Ladders is one trail that you absolutely cannot leave the mountain without checking out. This rollercoaster-style singletrack includes wooden features that will keep you on your toes as you drop or roll into tight, high-sided berms one after the other.
For advanced and expert only trails, check out Pinball, World Cup and Candyland. These trails include everything from big tabletops to skinnies and everything in between.
The South Boundary Trail
The 22-mile South Boundary Trail is one of the best ways to experience the Carson National Forest. A multi-use, point-to-point trail that runs from Angel Fire to Taos, the South Boundary Trail is open to bike, foot and paw traffic — although dogs must be kept on a leash.
While the trail can be started from either town, both hikers and bikers prefer to start in Angel Fire. Doing so provides easier climbs and more downhill. On this trail you will traverse through aspen groves and juniper trees, ride along ridges and across scree fields and experience breathtaking views. Not only are the nearby peaks a sight to behold, but the elevation tops out at 10,688 feet, which might literally take your breath away.
The highest point in New Mexico at 13,159 feet, Wheeler Peak’s “good side” is best seen from Angel Fire. Although the main trail to summit Wheeler Peak is accessed from Taos Ski Valley, we had to mention the view of this prominent peak so you don’t forget to stop and enjoy it while visiting Angel Fire.
For a nice hike in Angel Fire that provides some of the best views of Wheeler Peak, check out the 4.6-mile Oesta Vista Trail loop.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
Take a drive on this 83-mile road that circles Wheeler Peak and connects the towns of Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Red River, Questa and Taos. Without stops, the entire loop takes roughly two hours to complete.
If you are a road cyclist, then keep the Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour on your radar. The road ride is held every September, and offers riding distances of 100, 50 and 25 miles.
Enchanted Circle Brewery
The best way to end a day of exploring Angel Fire is with a beer at Enchanted Circle Brewery. Boasting a diverse list of beers ranging from light and crisp to hoppy and full-bodied, you’re bound to find a beer that you will like. We recommend trying the Hells Bells Helles Lager, Purple Haze Sour, Angel Fire Amber or Glory Hole IPA.