ANGEL FIRE & TAOS, NM

Physical Exertion: Intermediate+   /   Technical Ability: Intermediate

 

Angel Fire and Taos sit about 30 minutes apart from each other in northern New Mexico and offer an un-paralleled combination of high-desert and high-alpine riding.  Angel Fire is the main focus of our destination with its world-class bike park, which offers incredibly fun downhill mountain biking served by an “effortless” 2,000 vertical foot lift ride.  Nothing like enjoying the downhill without having to work for the climb!  That being said, the area also offers some of the best high-elevation riding in the region, with 20+ mile classics that take you through aspen and pine forests, wide open meadows and screaming 3,000 foot descents.  Yep, all in one ride.

Angel Fire sits off the beaten path (but still only 3.5 hours from Denver and even closer to Albuquerque), so expect the scene to be quiet and understated… this is truly a place for a full-blown mountain biking experience.  We’ll combine long rides in the high alpine with some fun lift-served downhill on the most fun bike park in the country, which is a perfect recipe for an awesome 4-day trip.  When riding in this area, it isn’t unusual to go a full day without seeing another biker on the trails.  To make sure we’re riding the best trails on each trip, we partner with Turquoise Tours to guide all of our rides.  With the combination of Angel Fire at almost 9,000 feet and Taos down at 6500 feet, we’re able run our trips in this area from late May all the way into mid-October!

 

Note: For 4-day trips, we will plan on spending a full day ripping the downhill bike park at Angel Fire Resort… trust us, it’s as much fun as you can have on two wheels, and it’s a great “rest” day activity!  (you’ll have much more fun renting a full-suspension DH bike for the day, which is not included in the price)

 

Airport Options:  Albuquerque (2.5 hrs)  –  Denver (4 hrs)

INTERACTIVE ANGEL FIRE TRAIL MAP


WHAT TO EXPECT

Day One:  We’ll meet at 1:00pm in the lobby of the Angel Fire Lodge to make introductions and hand out goodies, before giving everyone a little time to unload bags and gear up.  Angel Fire is a small town in northern New Mexico, and everything is very close by.  We’ll take a quick shuttle to towards the top of the Elliot Barker trails, which were used as a main venue for the 2016 Scott Enduro race.  With some quick climbs, this trail network offers quite a few short downhills, some amazing singletrack, and not a soul in sight.  We’ll knock out about 12 miles before riding some of the valley trails back to the hotel.  After showering and relaxing for a bit, we’ll walk down to dinner at one of the handful of restaurants just minutes from our hotel.

Day Two:  It’s time for the South Boundary Trail, one of the all-time classics anywhere in the Rocky Mountains.  But first, let’s head down to breakfast to fuel up for today’s adventure.  After eating a hearty meal (your choice, of course), we’ll hop in the shuttle and head to the drop-point, which still requires a grunt of a climb.  Expect about 30-40 minutes of stiff climbing before we top out on the ridge: from here, it’s (almost) all downhill.  The South Boundary Trail is on every must-ride list, and we promise it won’t disappoint.  We’ll experience gigantic aspen forests, endless pine forests, open meadows, and some rocky descents as we near Taos.  This trail has it all, and we’ll descend over 4500 feet while riding about 25 miles.

 

The last few miles drop into Taos, and as we get near our shuttle driver will be waiting (with beer, of course) to pick us up and drive the 30 minutes back to Angel Fire.  A ride like that deserves some R&R, so you can take a nap before we do dinner in the hotel restaurant tonight.

Day Three: And now for something totally different and unique to any location Chasing Epic serves… a bike park day!  That’s right- after we grab a hearty breakfast, we’ll gear up and hit the bike park from open to close.  Trust us, it’s so much fun you’ll want to keep riding long after the lifts stop running at 5:00.  The trails at Angel Fire offer a little bit of something for everyone- flow trails, true downhill trails, rock gardens, and XC-style singletrack that weaves through huge aspen forests. If it wasn’t this much fun, we wouldn’t bother… but it’s worth a full day of exploring!

 

Lift tickets for today are included in our all-inclusive package price, but if you want to rent a true downhill bike (which we recommend) it’ll be extra.  You’re welcome to ride our killer demo bikes on the trails, but to truly experience the fun of a lift-served bike park, we recommend riding an 8″ travel machine!   The lifts close around 5:00 today, so we’ll plan on doing dinner at 7:00 in town.

Day Four:  Last day of the trip, it’s time to get up early to make sure we get one last epic ride in!  We’ll have breakfast for you in the rooms, and we’ll catch the shuttle by 7:30 this morning.  It’s an early morning because we’re driving about 30 minutes down the road- to the backside of Wheeler Peak and the Taos Ski Area– to ride the Lost Lake Loop.  We don’t slouch at Chasing Epic- even though it’s the last day, we’re going to ride about 14 miles and climb over 2,000 feet.  The Lost Lake Loop is a true backcountry experience- lots of high-elevation singletrack and we’re willing to bet you won’t see another soul all morning long.

 

After the 3-hour ride, we’ll head back to the hotel to shower, pack, and check out.  We always try to have things wrapped up by 1:00pm on the last day, and this will be no different: plenty of time to head home and call it an epic weekend of riding!  NOTE: This itinerary is for example only, to give customers an idea of what to expect on a standard Chasing Epic trip.  Mileage and actual trail choices may differ due to riding ability, weather and trail conditions.