Angel Fire: An All-Around Destination
We recently announced Angel Fire/Taos (NM) as a new destination in the Chasing Epic lineup. With their world-class bike park and immediate access to incredible cross-country singletrack rides, Angel Fire is a perfect destination for groups looking to do a little bit of everything: knock out 25 miles on the South Boundary Trail, then ride the lifts all day, and finally finish the trip off with a 15 mile high-alpine loop on the Lost Lake Trail.
For the rest of 2016, we’re offering customized, private trips to Angel Fire through the middle of October. To book, simply contact us using any form on this website, or fill out the information on the Private Trip page and we’ll get back to you right away!
To kick things off, here’s a trip report on our scouting trip last month:
Most mountain bikers know Angel Fire for their killer bike park. Trust me, it’s amazing. By no means am I a hardcore downhiller (I can handle my own on trail rides), but I had more fun on the 60+ miles of trail at Angel Fire than I’ve had at Keystone or Winter Park. The craftsmanship that Hogan Koesis and his crew produce is quite impressive. Bermed corners, banked turns, huge table-tops… and even the “singletrack” trails were super fun with much of the same, but on a more manageable scale. It’s obvious a lot of thought went into their layout. I rode my 160mm travel Ibis HD3: I had a blast and could handle all the trails from green up to double-black. For full shit-eating-grin factor, however, I’d recommend bringing or renting a full downhill bike.
Even after hours, the bike park is a great place to explore. I’d consider their green and blue runs to be pretty spectacular downhill trails, most of them of the singletrack variety. We earned our turns after the lifts stopped spinning by climbing Enlightenment, hanging out for a bit, and then heading down with no one else in sight.
But seriously, enough about the bike park… we all know it’s awesome, and Angel Fire gets enough publicity (although they deserve more) for the build out. I personally made the trip to check out the XC and Trail riding in the area, to see if it’s a viable destination for our private 4-day trips. Spoiler alert- I came away impressed. We were lucky enough to be shown around by Hogan, and he definitely delivered the goods.
The big ticket item is the South Boundary Trail, a 20+ mile epic from Angel Fire down to Taos; one you can do with a partial shuttle that leaves you with about 2,000 feet of climbing and almost 5,000 vertical of sweet descending. I’ll put it right up there with anything I’ve ridden in Colorado. After a stiff 30-40 minute climb, you’re rewarded with huge downhills through aspens, open meadows, pine forests, and eventually down some technical rocky terrain into Taos. It’s an absolute must-ride.
After riding the South Boundary Trail (SBT), we were wondering what else is out there. Looking on Trail Forks and MTB Project, there aren’t a lot of documented trails… but apparently no one has really gotten around to mapping them, because there are certainly options. From the Lost Lake Loop (near Red River) to some of the Angel Fire Valley trails, to the sweet singletrack off the Elliott Barker Trail recently used for the Scott Enduro race), there are tons of 15-20 mile rides within shouting distance of the resort.
Hogan on their future plans: “The resort plans on increasing the flow of its existing XC network as well as adding 3-5 miles of trail connecting an interior loop from the south end of town to the north end of town. We are also working with the National Forest to increase the user experience on an already amazing epic ride from the town center. We are excited in breathing fresh life into old and forgotten back-country trails that will undoubtedly have the potential to entertain mountain bikers for several days!”
On the last day, we rode right from town and did a 15 mile loop connecting some of the “Valley Trails” with the Elliott Barker network. The terrain ranged from barely-there singletrack through grassy meadows to rowdy Enduro-worthy downhill stretches, to ripping through huge aspen forests. Not a bad way to cap off a long weekend in town.
So, my personal take on the area? It’s a lot of fun. Like, a LOT of fun. Between spending a day riding the lifts with 2-3 days of XC/Trail riding, it’s definitely somewhere I’ll recommend to my clients looking to book an off-the-radar trip with their crew. There isn’t a whole lot of nightlife in Angel Fire, so it’s more the type of trip you spend riding, eating, drinking, and then repeating. It’s certainly not like Park City or Telluride with regards to nightlife and a party scene. Everything is so accessible right from town that you can honestly leave your car parked all weekend and just take your bike everywhere.
I think it’s right up there with places like Durango, Fruita, and Sedona in terms of quality riding. It might not have the quantity yet, but according to Hogan and the folks at Angel Fire, they’re working on it.