If you are looking for your next getaway, plan a trip to this mountain town in the Southwest! Angel Fire sits at 8,406' elevation with a summit elevation of 10,677' at the resort. This gem has an abundance of outdoor recreation, cultural cuisine, and endless fuel for your next adventure! Within 30 minutes of every direction, you will find treasures like hiking trails to the tallest peak of New Mexico and a mecca of stucco architecture leading to the artsy town of Taos. Add these 8 items to your Angel Fire Bucket List.
#1 Stop by the Visitor Center
When our family passed the Angel Fire sign for the first time, we didn't know where to begin. With the Angel Fire Visitor Center nestled right beside the local grocery store, we were able to pop in and have all of our questions answered by a very friendly face. There are brochures offered on local events and things to do from Taos to Albuquerque. There is a plethora of info on hiking, biking, skiing, and real estate right in the Moreno Valley so no need to venture too far off from town if you're looking to get cozy.
#2 Hike Oeste Vista Loop
If you are looking for a casual walk in the woods, consider checking out the Angel Fire Greenbelt Trail. Otherwise, if it is a burning in your thighs you seek with stellar views of the Wheeler Peak wilderness- do the Oeste Vista Long Loop. You will arrive at an intersection for Short Loop or Long Loop, I suggest the Long Loop. It is a great 2.5 mile hike to burn off that pizza from dinner. Bring the kiddos along in a backpack or a rough terrain trailer like this one and the dogs, too!
#3 Check out AF Ski Resort for biking/skiing
Depending on what season you plan your visit, make sure to bring your favorite outdoor gear and hit up Angel Fire Ski Resort! Angel Fire boasts some of the country's best mountain biking terrain with flow, technical singletrack, and clean jumps! And if it's the snow you're after, well they've already received 54% of the snow compared to last season with 34" and counting!
#4 Learn How to Throw a Tomahawk
Stop by the Gateway Museum/ Trading Post in Eagle Nest. Ask for Lisa and prepare to spend a relaxing afternoon learning how to chuck a tomahawk into wood posts. She is a wonderful teacher and makes safety a priority by first teaching you how to properly carry the wooden ax. Children of a reasonable age are invited to participate also!
#5 Drive the Enchanted Circle
Take a scenic drive along the 83-mile loop that circles the highest point of New Mexico- Wheeler Peak. There are plenty of hikes, breweries, and museums that branch off of the scenic byway. So take it easy by the seat of your pants, or get out and explore the local culture of the southwest!
#6 Buzz around the Farmer's Market
If you plan a visit during spring or summer, make sure to reserve a Sunday morning for the local farmer's market between the visitor center and Lowe's Market at Frontier Park. And eat a small breakfast, because you have to try the fresh produce from local farmers and a green chile cheeseburger is a MUST for lunch! You can get a whole bag of fresh green chiles while you're there and freeze them. If you like them as much as our family, you'll be dousing them in chili, stew, burgers, and pretty much everything you eat for the rest of the season.
#7 Observe the Local Wildlife
Views like this are not uncommon in the Moreno Valley. Families of deer and gangs of elk roam the woods they call home, too. Elk are seen often grazing in the golf course and nearby woods in the early morning and late evenings. Doe and their young can be seen cuddling for warmth and playing in the afternoon. Other wildlife like black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions live in these mountains but do not come out as often. That doesn't mean you won't see them!
#8 Picnic in Cimarron Canyon
Take a hike to Clear Creek Falls in Cimarron Canyon State Park, 15 minutes from Eagle Nest. Pack a light lunch and picnic on top of the first waterfall. The trail is dog-friendly and [easy to moderate] with a slight climb in elevation. You can climb down a trail to the bottom of the waterfall and let the dogs or kids splash around. The hike is 2.5 miles but can be made as long or short as you like. Great for families and beginners!
With or without a plan, your family will not be short of fun things to do in the Moreno Valley. Angel Fire is as unique as the name itself and full of surprises- the good kind.
Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all through the house, all creatures were stirring to get out and chase the pow. It snowed the big flakes Sunday afternoon here in Angel Fire, New Mexico! Collin, Olin, and I couldn't contain our cheek to cheek grins as the white stuff stuck on the ground below our living room window. I took the big brown van out to get some essentials (gingerbread cookies & milk) before the roads were covered.
It's beginning to look a lot like Ski Season, everywhere we go. Take a look at the trees at Lowe's, they're covered in lights and snow. With snow guns on the slopes and elk ❄️beside the roads.❄️
We all have our favorite gear from that all season pair of Chacos (socks or not) to our dearest base layer that hugs close to our hearts. After traveling over 7,000 miles living in a van this summer and now settling in for ski season with over 30" of fresh pow in Angel Fire, our family put together this list of favorite gear we used in 2018.
#1 The Burton Throwback Snowboard
On those days where the big flakes just keep falling, when you're too excited to strap in before running out the door, no worries. Just grab your Snurfboard on the hustle out, slap it down in the snow, and hop on for the best ride of your life.
#2 The Burton Riglet
Who said you get to have all the fun? Bundle up your little one in her warm layers and strap her in the Riglet so she can get in some pow-time, too. This was how we spent our most recent snow day in the backyard with the whole fam using their favorite gear.
#3 Burley Solo Trailer with Attachments
Here's the thing. Before the Burley, I didn't know how we were going to keep doing things we love outside with our precious cargo. After the Burley, that question has never arisen again. With the We-Ski kit, we can pull her behind us in the snow hiking, snowshoeing, and fat biking- which we can't wait to try this winter! On days she feels extra heavy in the backpack, I load up the Solo with the mountain bike tires popped on and hit the trail. Hiking or biking, we bring the Burley. Even on this snowy hike, when it was 11' F out, we brought the baby and on this 8 mile bike ride on the Creeper Trail.. On our road trip across the country, we were glad it collapsed down to a pack-able size. The rough terrain wheels, ski attachment, and jogger are all super easy to set-up/ tear-down and will make outdoor parent-life so much more enjoyable!
We were stoked to be able to try out a couple Nirvana Self-Bailers through Kokopelli's loaner program this summer. Packrafts are an essential for every adventure family. They are an investment but well worth it. For living in a van or any vehicle, these are a must. They pack down to a few pounds each and are easy cargo in your backpack to hit up any off-grid body of water. We rafted the Nolichucky River, Boone Lake, Icicle River in Leavenworth, Teton Creek, and Colter Bay. Anytime we ended up camping beside a river, we busted out the packrafts from the sky box on top of the van and inflated them in under 5 minutes. On the mountain-fed lakes, we were able to buckle our daughter in her lifejacket and sit her between our legs to come along for the ride.
#5 Balancing Bike for the Kiddo
Strider Bike for the win! Every child needs one of these balancing bikes to kick-start their adventurous lifestyle. Our daughter has been learning to balance on her Strider Bike before she can even walk. It helps her build confidence while encouraging her to stand and pull herself up. She gets stoked when she sees us loading up her bike- it's gonna be a good day!
#6 Nikwax Products
Before gearing up on any adventure, we waterproof our gear with Nikwax. Here's how you can waterproof your favorite Patagonia fleece so it keeps you nice and dry in the heaviest of downpours. We always give our tent a good coating of Solarproof which lasts a while before the next coat.
#7 Sit Means Sit Collars & Training
We saved this one for last, because it's a big one, unless you don't own one of these beasts. If you do own one of these beasts that make exceptional travel companions and loyal trail buddies, then this one is for you. Invest in a Sit Means Sit Collar with Remote and dedicate a portion of everyday to your pup. It is so worth their time and yours and will make life more enjoyable for you both! I can't imagine traveling the country, parking the van in unpredictable spots overnight, taking hikes outside of our pup's familiar areas without having these collars on at all times. They are waterproof, fence-proof, pretty much dog-proof. If you start training them before a big trip and work with them daily, just having this collar on will make all the difference in the world. However it is also reassuring if you are in an unfamiliar state and your dog takes off after an alpine squirrel, zap & command- and they are back to their safe zone with the fam.
For a full list of gear that we do and don't recommend, Click Here.
One More Cup Of Coffee
It's the little things that happen every day that build up a good soul and a happy heart. This morning, we went out for coffee while the realtor showed our rental house that's up for sale. We swung by the local ski shop to have Olin sized up for snowboarding boots. While we were there, a pair of infant-sized mittens caught our eye. A glimmering gray of Orcas and Sperm Whales pulled us to the mitten rack and had Olin's name all over them. She loves whales. We stepped next door into the quaint coffee shop and soothed our scratchy throats with a Costa Rican blend cup of joe.
This is why it's called a Cup of Joe for the curious minded.
Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
We drove back to the house and met up with our neighbors to take a morning hike. It was nice to have both fams out in the woods for some fresh air together. Collin and I took turns pulling the Burley up an icy climb with Olin in tow. Some snow and ice lay hidden in the shade of the woods from last week's melting snow. It's always nice to go for a hike and hunt out the white stuff. The dogs lapped us all back and forth chasing their own breath. I stopped to catch my own a few times as the chill air ran in through my nose and iced my lungs on the exit. It was a great reminder of feeling alive with two healthy working lungs and a set of legs to climb.
The Times They Are A Changin'
It is so nice to make friends who have a daughter the same age as Olin! And they are always down to get outside and adventure with us. I asked our friend the night before to join us on a hike, and with zero hesitation, she said, "Let's do it!" It was a perfect way to start the day for us and the pups!
Mr. Tambourine Man
Blowin' in the Wind
It's a great day for Bob Dylan songs on Solar Radio. There is truly no better way to start the day than with a workout that comes from enjoying a walk in the woods. It's an extra special day when the whole fam can join and even better with friends. Now to relax and sip hot cocoa in anticipation of snow in the forecast for tomorrow.
We welcomed our 2nd snow last week with over 14 inches of powdery fluff. Olin and I reveled outside building a snowman, strolling around with the Burley We-Ski, and practicing balance on her snowboard. Thank goodness for the Solo trailer, because I was able to steal a few laps right in our backyard and jump logs in the snow-covered driveway. I made sure we got outside every day before the snow melted. I am so thankful we have the trailer to be able to get outside, even on the chilly days, and share the stuff we love with Olin! Here is a video from our first Burley winter hike with Olin in the single digits up at Roan Mountain! I can't wait to pull her behind on snowshoe hikes this year and skijouring dates!!!
Dobby and Taco ran circles around us in the snow. They were stoked about our new white yard.
It has been a very relaxing end to October with homemade pies and snowfall. We celebrated Day of the Dead to welcome in November and remember our loved ones who have passed away.
Adventures exist every day, you just have to go out and seek them. We took a drive out to Eagle Nest about 15 minutes from Angel Fire. We went thrifting and picked Olin up some old Disney VHS tapes which she absolutely loves, along with a pair of Smith Youth Goggles for a solid buck! Score! We drove to the end of Eagle Nest to embrace getting out of the house and ended up in the parking lot of the Enchanted Circle Gateway Museum where we met Lisa. She taught us how to properly toss a tomahawk into a chunk of wood. Lisa made our day, and she helped Olin spell her name with crayons by a crackling wooden fire. I was captivated by the large 3-ring binder of hiking trails in the greater Northern New Mexico area. The museum was a hidden gem, and we were pumped to have stumbled across it. You never know what diamonds are hidden in your backyard! Go 'splore!
Dogs & Diapers