The very name Angel Fire evokes mystery, adventure and a longing for the spirit of times past. From the early pioneer days, to master-planning stages of the LeBus purchase of the original Monte Verde Ranch and Cieneguilla Ranch in 1954 and the cutting of the first ski runs in 1966, this mountain village has been the home of many memories.
The idea of settling into the home of what the Ute called “the fire of the gods”, started when they and nearby Apache tribes would gather here in the summer and fall seasons.
When the Franciscans came through the area, heard of the Natives’ legends and beheld the glow of the sun on the mountaintops, they dubbed it “the place of the fire of angels.”
A rush of activity flooded Northern New Mexico during the 1800s. Lucien B. Maxwell, well-known frontiersman, came to be the largest land grant owner in U.S. History with the 1864 Maxwell Land Grant. Christopher “Kit” Carson aptly shortened the name to “Angel Fire” in 1845. In 1867, a gold fever swept the area when they found the precious metal on Mt. Baldy. The settlement of Elizabethtown (near and including present-day Eagle Nest) swelled quickly with the rush of miners, misfits and fortune seekers. Continual development spurred Charles and Frank Springer, owners of the CS Ranch, to complete Eagle Nest Dam in 1918. The dam that still stands today tamed the Cimarron River and continues to conserve water for Colfax County.
Angel Fire became a resort destination with the advent of property development throughout the years. Ski trails, a nine-hole golf course and Monte Verde Lake were completed for the enjoyment of locals and visitors in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The budding resort drew in many from the surrounding areas statewide and the nearby neighboring states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Through the mid and late 1970s, development continued with new construction of condominiums, utility installation for homes, a county club, lodge, new roads and the clearing of new ski trails. The 1990s and 2000s saw many improvements and changes to support the Enchanted Circle’s best kept secret.
Today, you’ll find the Village of Angel Fire continues to bustle with activity. Hidden in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at 8,420 feet and part of the Southern Rockies, this spot still hosts some of the best skiing in Northern New Mexico. Our winter activities have expanded to cross-country skiing, tubing, snowshoeing and ice-fishing at Eagle Nest Lake. Not only home to winter sports and festivities, Angel Fire also has much to do in the summer season as well with horseback riding, ATV-riding, fishing, fly-fishing, mountain biking and hiking. Come and enjoy the best Northern New Mexico has to offer in an Angel Fire