Where Is Angel Fire New Mexico?
Angel Fire is located in the majestic Moreno Valley in Colfax County, New Mexico, 23 miles east of Taos via US Hwy 64 and 152 miles northeast of Albuquerque. The Moreno Valley is a 15 mile long, 3 mile wide, high alpine valley with an 8,382′ base elevation. Surrounding mountains range from 11,086′ Agua Fria Peak on the south end of the valley to 12,441′ Baldy Peak at the north end of the valley. Wheeler Peak at 13,161′, the highest mountain in the state forms the northwest boundary of the valley.
Angel Fire is a resort community located approximately 152 miles northeast of Albuquerque, 90 miles northeast of Santa Fe, 60 miles north of Las Vegas, 25 miles east of Taos, and approximately 80 miles west of Raton. Angel Fire was established in 1967. The village of Angel Fire was incorporated in 1986. We are the 99th incorporated municipality in the state of New Mexico.
There are over 7,000 residential lots and commercial tracts with over 6,000 property owners with more than 1,100 residential, commercial and multifamily structures representing almost 6,000 pillows. Of the 6,000 property owners, the majority are part-time residents and their homes and condos are either rented out through any one of our property management companies, or used by friends and family.
Angel Fire consists of a ski area with over 30 miles of trails, an 18 hole golf course, 6 tennis courts, a stocked fishing lake, stables, hiking trails, an RV park and a park with ball field and playground, and marked snowmobile trails. Over the past six years, there has been a steady increase in the skier days and rounds of golf. The 2000-01 ski season total was 165,000 skier days; rounds of golf for 2000-01 was 28,000.
Although the Village of Angel Fire has a year round population of only 1,048 residents, on any given holiday, there can be as many as 10,000 guests in the resort. During the entire year, there could be as many as 2500 guests in our town on any given day during peak seasons. Although we are a year round resort, the slower months are October and April.
Climate: Angel Fire’s climate is anyone’s dream. Winter temperatures are generally moderate, averaging mid-thirties daytime to mid-teens in the early morning. Average annual snowfall is 140″ in the valley and over 210″ in the ski area. Spring and summer offer an average annual precipitation of 7″ with moderate temperatures varying from early morning lows in the mid-forties to mid-afternoon highs of 75 degrees with very low humidity levels. Summer requires a sweater or light jacket for cool evenings and maybe an umbrella for occasional mountain showers. Fall is brisk and dry.
The Moache Utes, a nomadic people, gathered in the Moreno Valley in the summer and fall. According to legend, they called the glow against Agua Fria Peak the “fire of the gods.” When traveling Franciscan friars came through the area, they transposed the name into ” the place of the fire of angels.” Some believe in this legend. Some claim it’s a story made up by a local twentieth century mountain man.
History: 133 years ago, the narrow Moreno Valley was pasture and hunting land occupied by the Moache Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. It was part of an enormous 1.7 million acre land grant owned by one man, Lucien B. Maxwell. In 1867, however, everything changed. Gold was discovered on Baldy Mountain, overlooking the Valley. Within a year, 7000 fortune hunters flooded the area. They established Elizabethtown, a typical wild west venue salted by vigilante justice and a 17 year county war between land owners and squatters. In 1918, Charles and Frank Springer, owners of the CS Ranch, completed Eagle Nest Dam, taming the Cimarron River and conserving water for Colfax County. On the edge of the lake, the town of Therma was built, later changing its name to Eagle Nest.In 1954, Roy and George LeBus of Wichita Falls, Texas, bought the 9,000 acre Monte Verde Ranch and later added the 14,000 acre Cieneguilla Ranch to their holdings. Ten years after the initial purchase, they decided to develop the property into a resort community. They called the new development “Angel Fire”, a name which Indian lore attached to the area. Its origin is obscure, but may refer to the reddish glow sometimes seen on the winter mountains at sunset.