Angel Fire Resort
Left: An overview of Angel Fire's front mountain
Right: Angel Fire's backside
Resort History:
Another Front Overview
Current Resort Stats: *
The Chile Express
* Elevations:  Top: 10,677' Base: 8,600'  Vertical Drop: 2,077'
* Ski Runs: 70;  Beginner: 26% Intermediate: 50% Expert: 24%
* Skiable Acres: 450
* Lifts: Total: 7; Types: 2 Express Quads, 3 Doubles, and 2 surface lifts
*Lift Capacity: 5,770 people/hour
* Average Snowfall: 210"
* Hours of Operation: 9-4 pm daily
* Typical Season Dates: December - Early April
* Snowmaking: 52% of terrain
* New This Season: New gladed terrain on Fat City and El Sol
* Resort Contact:  Website:
* Area Owner: N/A
Angel Fire's Terrain Park
Pros and Cons to Skiing Here:
+ Fastest chairlifts in New Mexico
- Often does not see and much
snow as Taos
+ Varied terrain on each mountain
- Village area is small
+ Close to Taos and highways
- No bowl terrain
+ Set in a picturesque valley
- The mountain has flat spots
+ Has NM's only half pipe
The Trail: Fat City
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All Rights Reserved.

*Resort Stats Current for 2007-2008

Angel Fire Resort

Picture Credits:
Brad C.
Awesome views and bumps!
The LeBus family moved to Angel Fire, NM from Wichita Falls, TX in
1954 spurred by the purchase of a 10,000 acre parcel known as the
Monte Verde Ranch.  In 1956 Roy LeBus and brother G.F. expanded
their stake in New Mexico with the purchase of the Cieneguilla Tract.   
This 15,000 acres parcel was part of the original Maxwell land grant and
increased their holdings to 25,000 acres.  It was at this time they became
one of the leading cattle ranches in New Mexico and an integral part of
the development and expansion of the Moreno Valley.

How’d they make the transition from Ranchers to Resort Developers?  
According to George, Roy’s four children, it happened over Sunday
dinner.  The family was sitting around the dinner table for a traditional
Sunday supper when George made the comment that they should put a
tow rope on their ranch so they wouldn’t have to drive so far to ski.  At
that point his father responded that he was thinking on a slightly larger
scale than a tow rope.  He removed himself from the table for a matter of
minutes and came back with detailed plans for a full scale resort, including
ski operations, golf course, country club, fishing lake, airport and day
house.  They both shared the sentiment that their ranch comprised the
most beautiful land in New Mexico and would lend itself to a resort

The next day they got to work to make their vision a reality.  They
immediately proceeded to hire a prominent engineer from Albuquerque by
the name of Jim Woods as their general manager.  Woods was well
known at the time for his creation of the Sandia Tram.

The family, along with Woods, traveled throughout the western United
States researching resorts and preparing their plans for Angel Fire.    They
worked collaboratively with Ernie Blake from Taos Ski Area and Don
Carmichael if Red River Ski Area.  Vail, CO was the pinnacle of their

In 1965 George LeBus and Jim Woods walked the entirety of their
mountain ranch to lay out ski trails.  From 1965-1967 three chair lifts
were added by Riblet Corp and the first slopes were groomed.  Angel
Fire Resort opened to the public in the winter of 1967 for skiing and other
winter activities and has been a leader in year-round outdoor recreation
ever since.  

In those first few years, they also established a 9 hole golf course which is
now a fully ranked PGA 18 hole course, created Monte Verde Lake, built
what was then called the Day Lodge and created a dirt airstrip known
today as Ross Airport, one of the top 5 high altitude airports in North

The project was primarily funded by the family’s cattle ranching business,
along with a few outside investors.    Over the course of its development
Angel Fire Resort has employed workers and subcontractors from
throughout the state, particularly the northern areas such as Cimarron,
Mora, Taos, Raton and Las Vegas.   Currently the resort employs an
average 250 people each summer-- increasing to over 750 for the winter

Angel Fire Resort currently hosts over 150,000 ski visits per year.  It is
home to the first and only half-pipe in the state and boasts a number of
special feature terrain parks.  The Resort has established itself as the
snowboard destination of Northern New Mexico.

The LeBus Family sold the business in 1972.  George LeBus remained in
Northern New Mexico up until a few years ago when health reasons
forced him to return to Wichita Falls.  Most of the LeBus offspring still
reside in New Mexico in both the Moreno Valley and Albuquerque.

* Write up courtesy of Angel Fire Resort
Insider Tips to Skiing Here:
Angel Fire is one of New Mexico's hidden gems.  The ski area is located
to the south and east of Taos and is easily accessible from US 64.  There
are two main chairlifts at Angel Fire, one servicing the front side and the
other on the back.  Both sides offer everything from steep mogul trails to
gentle groomers.  With the addition of the Southwest Flyer a few seasons
ago, Angel Fire also has the most detachable ski lifts New Mexico.  This
allows skiers to spend less time riding chairs and more skiing.

Some of the best fall lines can be found off of the Southwest Flyer on the
back.  Expert runs like Nice Day, Hell's Bells, Hari Kari, and Charisma
offer expert skiers a chance to test their mogul skills.  Angel Fire also is in
the process of adding additional terrain on the back.  Right now, runs like
Nitro, Detonator, and Baa-Da-Bing are only accessible by hiking but
future plans call for another lift.

Beginner skiers will also enjoy Angel Fire's designated learning areas.  The
area recently invested in two magic carpet lifts to help beginners gain their
balance.  The area also operates two double chairs at the base solely for
Riding up the Chile Express
Groomers on the backside
Challenging Terrain
Overlooking Angel Fire's Base Area
A fast ride to the summit!
Trail Maps: