Resort Review: Angel Fire, NM

Look Mom, No Coat!Most of my snowboarding trips have been to Angel Fire in New Mexico. In fact, it’s the only resort I’ve been to more than once. Obviously, my review is based on limited reference, but I’ll offer what I can.Angel Fire mountain’s base elevation is 8,600 feet and summit is 10,677 feet making for 2,077 feet of vertical drop. There are two high-speed quad lifts, one on the front of the mountain and the other on the back. Lifts run from 9am to 4:30pm (4pm on the back).The resort itself seems rather commercial. Accommodations are, for the most part, rather nice. The pool and hottub are great. The food is decent, but expensive. I’ve heard many people mention AF having the highest food prices of any resort they visited. Lift ticket prices can be a bit stiff as well. During the value seasons, we’ve been able to snag 3 days of lift tickets, lodging, and breakfast for about $300 per person (quad occupancy!). We shaved off a little more by sneaking folks in and putting them on the floor, but lift tickets alone stack up well over $100 for 3 days. Because the value rates include lift tickets, we’ve found that there’s not much money to be saved by staying at other lodging unless you’ve got a pretty big group. That is, unless you own an RV – you can get an RV hook up pretty cheap (less than $15 a night IIRC).The mountain can be fantastic when there’s snow on the ground. Unfortunately, being so far south, Angel Fire frequently has issues with lack of snow or poor quality snow. More than half the snow during a regular season is man made. The flip side of this is warmer weather, I frequently don’t need a coat while riding Angel Fire. When the snow is good, there is a wide variety of runs. There are lots of wide easy trails available for beginners along with a nice variety of blues and blacks for more advance riders. One of the nicest features of Angel Fire mountain are the snow parks. There are 4 parks total, 2 of which have been added since the last time I was there. One park features a 400 foot Olympic style half-pipe. Overall, the mountain is very snowboarder friendly.If you’re interested in night life, there is none. The resort has a bar that’s usually sparsely populated (aside from – maybe – spring break) and there’s never anything going on in town. You might be able to find something going on in a nearby town such as Red River.

If you’re planning a trip, here are my suggestions: Watch the snow report – obviously. Call and ask several times for deals, sometimes they fail to offer you the best rates. Once on the mountain, head to the back. The back of the mountain has the best runs and is usually less crowded. If possible, bring food or head into town for food. I usually pack my coat with snacks while I’m boarding to avoid having to eat in one of the high priced restaurants.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a 6.

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