Summer Alpine Recreation on Angel Fire Mountain
No matter the season, you'll find someone making use of the trails on Angel Fire Mountain. From late spring through early fall, Angel Fire Resort—located at the base of the peak—attracts a slew of mountain bikers, with more than 40 miles of trails suited to all skill levels. The main lodge is just steps from the Chile Express chairlift, which whisks passengers up to the summit at 10,650 feet. From there, bikers choose their path of descent; some trails are littered with berms and jumps, whereas others are designed for cross-country biking.
There's plenty to do on the mountain that doesn't involve balancing on two wheels or using it as a metaphor for life, including an 18-hole disc-golf course at the peak, a zipline that opens July 1, and groomed hiking trails. At the Angel Fire Resort Golf Course, 18 holes weave through two canyons dotted with aspen and spruce trees. Revel in the awe-inspiring view from the tee box at the signature sixth hole, which sits 200 vertical feet above the green.
The resort has a handful of onsite dining options to fuel long days of recreation. Views of the mountains surround both indoor and outdoor seating at the upscale Elements restaurant, which serves entrees such as new york strip steak ($28) and blue-corn-flour-encrusted ruby red trout ($28). Complement your dinner with a bottle of vino from the restaurant's private wine room, which is stocked with 1,800 bottles. Legends Grill keeps it casual with pizza and burgers and an extensive beer selection, including 11 craft microbrews on draught.
The indoor pool and hot tub, located beneath the lodge's atrium, relieve worn out muscles. Afterwards, retreat to a 500-square-foot standard room, outfitted with two queen beds, to get a restful night's sleep.
Angel Fire, New Mexico: Stunning Scenery in the Southern Rockies
According to local legend, a tribe of Native Americans first called the mountainous Angel Fire area "fire of the gods," referring to the region's spectacular sunsets. As friars meandered through, the name evolved into "the place of the fire angels," and 19th-century frontiersman Kit Carson was the first to dub the town Angel Fire. The unusual moniker stuck. Today, in New Mexico's northeast corner, at an elevation of 8,400 feet, fiery reds, oranges, and yellows still light the sky ablaze above the mountains.
Angel Fire is also known for its Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The angular, all-white memorial was erected in 1968 to pay tribute to a young soldier and son of a local doctor killed in battle. It’s home to a museum, visitors' center, chapel, and a Huey helicopter, which was in use in Vietnam during the war.
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