Angel and Demons in New Mexico

May 8, 2014
by Margus Riga  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Header for Angel and Demons

Located in Northern New Mexico, Angel Fire Bike Park is one of the top bike parks in the Rockies. The park features over 60 miles of trails for riders of all abilities from beginner to expert riders. Angel Fire is also one of the largest lift-accessed mountains in North America and features one of the longest seasons in the West with all trails open from May 16 – mid October, offering 110 days of riding, weather permitting. At the end of last season, Kenny Smith was invited to test out the goods. This is what we found...

Kenny Smith on Ziggy.
  Kenny Smith on Ziggy.

Hogan Koesis Bike Park Director on Supreme DH
  Hogan Koesis (Bike Park Director) on Supreme DH

Kenny on Supreme DH.
  Kenny on Supreme DH.

View From Summit.
  View From Summit.

Post-ride beers at the base.
  Post-ride beers at the base.

Hogan and Kenny on Sierra.
  Hogan and Kenny on Sierra.

Kenny in Graveyard. Take the wrong line on this section and you re pin-balling through a world of hurt. Take the right line and you just might look like Kenny maybe.
  Kenny in Graveyard. Take the wrong line on this section and you're pin-balling through a world of hurt. Take the right line and you just might look like Kenny.

Kenny and Hogan on Lower Boogie.
  Kenny and Hogan on Lower Boogie.

Kenny and Hogan on Pinball.
  Kenny and Hogan on Pinball.

Smoke show compliments of the Ken on Chutes and Ladders.
  Smoke show compliments of the Ken, on Chutes and Ladders.

Kenny dropping on Chutes and Ladders.
  Kenny dropping on Chutes and Ladders.

Chutes and Ladders.
  Chutes and Ladders.

Kenny scrubbing on Boulder Dash jump trail.
  Kenny scrubbing on Boulder Dash jump trail.

Fox should consider Kenny for President.
  Rockshox should consider Kenny for President.

Zipline break with Hawk Ferenczy.
  Zipline break with Hawk Ferenczy.

Angel Fire has an extensive network of ziplines set up at the top of the mountain. They range from my grandma would hit that one easy to I d only hit that after my buddy did hard. This one here reaches 60mph.
  Angel Fire has an extensive network of ziplines set up at the top of the mountain. They range from "my grandma would hit that one" easy, to "I'd only hit that after my buddy did" hard. This one here reaches 60mph.

Kenny on Candy Land.
  Kenny on Candy Land.

View of the Wheeler Range from Angel Fire.
  View of the Wheeler Range from Angel Fire.

Kenny on Last Call.
  Kenny on Last Call.

Last ride shot of the trip. Did he make the corner or not
  Last ride shot of the trip. Did he make the corner or not?

Kalen and Mike in the rental shop service area.
  Kalen and Mike in the rental shop/service area.

Kenny loves his bike. Look at that thing. The water probably loves that bike.
  Kenny loves his bike. Look at that thing. The water probably loves that bike.

Aspen trees on Lower Candy Land. Aspens are known to have deep root systems that interconnect all the trees in a grove making them one of the worlds largest living organisms.
  Aspen trees on Lower Candy Land. Aspens are known to have deep root systems that interconnect all the trees in a grove, making them one of the worlds largest living organisms.

Zeb s after hours.
  Zeb's after hours.

Hogan Patrick and Kalen. These are the people you want to thank for the marvellous trails here.
  Hogan, Patrick, and Kalen. These are the people you want to thank for the marvellous trails here.

Angel Fire has a full-on rental fleet of bikes and gear. Just bring your courage and lungs Angel Fire sits on an alpine plateau so the air is thin and you re good to go.
  Angel Fire has a full-on rental fleet of bikes and gear. Just bring your courage and lungs (Angel Fire sits on an alpine plateau, so the air is thin), and you're good to go.

More Zeb s late night action. The lip says gnarly as are some of it s patrons. Come here if you want a true faste of New Mexico redneck spirit. Good times.
  More Zeb's late night action. The lip says "gnarly", as are some of it's patrons. Come here if you want a true taste of New Mexico redneck spirit. Good times.

There you have it, nothing but good times in New Mexico. Angelfire Bike Park opens up for the 2014 season on May 16th, so load the bikes and hit them up. For the ladies looking to improve your skills, there is a Beti AllRide clinic that weekend as well.
Must Read This Week

59 Comments

  • + 21
 Amazing photos! I lived in NM and the sky is even more amazing then the photos could do justice. The PNW has great trails but nothing can come close to the sky's of the South West. Oh yeah, the riding is pretty unreal! AF is a great park!!!
  • + 8
 I absolutely can't wait for Opening weekend! And they have built 3 new trails this year with some major remodeling of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. I love the attention the mountain is getting too. Red Bull Dreamline and USA Nationals last year.
  • + 2
 great photos, and dank bike!
[Reply]
  • + 25
 Kennys bike is just straight pornographic
  • + 0
 Yup, that S-Works is a nice piece of hardware. But, I'll stick with my Enduro rig, probably safer for me in the long run.
  • + 1
 Can has fasts?
  • + 2
 I rode his old black/orange one at Silverstar two years back; not carbon, but still pretty incredible! Super cool guy
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Kenny would have to be one of my favourite riders for sure, such a legend! and that demo!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Best downhill bike park in the states by far. I never saw a trail crew so excited to see people ride their trails. Great people and great vibes, and oh yah...put your game face on because these trails are no joke ladies and gents...and they do not like to shut down. They keep the trails going until you break down...or your bike does. Ha!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 So stoked to get back to AF. Started riding there in 2008-09, then raced the MSC: Chili Challenge in 2010 and loved it. This season will mark my return after 3 years absence from the sport. Just gotta finish building my Corsair Crown and then make the 13 hour drive from Austin.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Cant wait to try this place out , making a move out to Texas from NJ and im glad to have something the next state over. Had a blast on the east coast but now its time to shred on the south west Smile .
[Reply]
  • + 2
 can anyone compare Bike Parks:The Canyons vs. Mammoth Mountain vs. Angel Fire? I am driving from Las Vegas, Nevada so drive to Angel Fire would be at least twice as long. I have ridden MM only. Thanks!
  • + 5
 Angel fire all the way!!! Mammoth has some great features like Flow drop etc. but Angelfire doesn't have the volcanic, loose pummice and flows way better. I'm not a fan of all the pavers at Mammoth. Trail maintenance at Angelfire is much better.
  • + 3
 The Canyons doesn't offer much yet. Most of it is contained to a short, slow lift with four short trails - 2 beginner, one intermediate and an expert berm and jump. Then there is another section with a strange down, then up chairlift that has one or two better trails - one expert, one intermediate. That's about it so far. Mammoth does all it can with the volcanic moon dust they call soil. Lots of pavers. Definitely some challenging trails. From the looks of things, I would say Angel Fire is superior to the other two.
  • + 3
 canyons is only a very small amount of the riding in park city. As a town we have something like 8 chair lifts that run all summer and 2 free bus lines that you can shuttle off of (june-august). Good riding here for sure, that's why I live here. The freeride and DH stuff is all kind of spread out there is some stuff built by the city, some stuff by the resorts, and some stuff is built by the locals. So yeah we don't have the best bike park, but you can find a bunch of good riding here. I think a trail bike is a way better weapon here though.

Can anyone speak to how a stout 150mm travel bike would fair at Angel fire? I don't have a DH bike anymore and I know some parks I wouldn't want to revisit without it.
  • + 5
 Winter Park is probably the best in CO but Angel Fire kicks WP's butt when it comes to the number of trails and types of terrain. I get bored after a couple days at WP but am glad I have a season pass to AF. Fortunately you get your couple of WP days included with an AF pass.
  • + 3
 Having ridden and raced at all three extensively, I would say that Angel Fire is the best one.

I lived in PC (Park City) for almost 7 years and rode Canyons the first three years they had designated 'bike only' trails and the park, and while they've come a very long way, I wouldn't choose it over Mammoth or Angel Fire. They have a bit more growing and refining to do, but keep an eye out -- big things are happening! Smile

As for Mammoth compared to Angel fire, you really can't -- nothing compares. The trails, the dirt, the turns, etc. Mammoth is basically kitty litter with rocks and trees thrown in, where they've used pavers to solidify turns and maintain landings... And it's some of the best shit ever. Seriously. If you want a rowdy, surprising, skill-building adventure in CA, head for Mammoth. It'll test your skills and strength in so many different ways, just because the terrain is so alien and awesome. They have the Kamikaze games in September with the legendary Kamikaze fire road race, as well as the last stop of the national DH tour, the ProGRT, and some really sick Style and Speed stuff. Seriously. If you can make it out there, it's one hell of a weekend. Mammoth is such a rad place.
  • + 2
 Last (but not least) is Angelfire ... Oh, lord. How do you describe AF without sounding like a sales pitch for MTB heaven? Beautiful dirt, wild rocks, huge altitude, crazy amazing weather, an insane network of trails, the nicest people ever, massive vertical drop (the largest in the US that will REALLY test those legs!), rock gardens that will rock you (if you're wiling to try) and jumps and drops and berms of all sorts of types. The amazing thing about Angelfire is that you can have all sorts of conditions and terrain in one top-to-bottom run, or you can go for the consistency of a single type of dirt or feature (jumps, trees, berms, loam, wooden features, etc). Angelfire hosted the US Gravity championships last year in August, as they're hosting again this year in June (the 22nd, if I'm correct), as well as the RedBull Joy Ride event and TONS of other rad events. Go for the riding, stay for the views, the people, the cheap drunk (at 10,00 feet, the beer packs a punch -- trust me on that), the good food and more amazing dirt. Seriously. It's a bit of a drive from ABQ or Santa Fe, but it's a drive that's completely worth it. If there's a place you need to ride, it's Angelfire.

You know what? Writing all of this makes me want to get in the car and go right now. Damn. Smile
  • + 3
 nekmtb Angel Fire is one of the roughest mountains around, eyeball shaking out of your head rough in places. Of course there are smoother areas, but its a Downhillers kind of place, steep, rocky and rooty. Personally, I ride a lot on some pretty rough terrain in CO, but a day at AF is hard on the body on a full DH bike.
  • + 3
 I am close to Park City and The Canyons isn't a destination resort, same with Deer Valley. As mentioned there are really only two or three trails worth doing at the Canyons, and they are very, very short. After half a day of riding there I am usually done, but not because I am worn out. Between The Canyons, Deer Valley, and other local trails there is a lot of riding there. The riding wouldn't compare to say Mammoth, or Angel Fire, but you'd still have fun. Have you been to Northstar, the riding there makes our resorts look like paved trails?
  • + 3
 Which one of these places has held a World Cup DH event? That should answer it for you.

hint - It's AF.
  • + 2
 Angel Fire is sick had a blast riding there! If I had to choose one resort it would probably be Northstar.
  • + 2
 Ahhhh, I forgot about that one! I wish they'd bring it back, too... It would be such a sick WC venue!
  • + 2
 Some said Mammoth and Angelfire are not really comperable... I'd agree. And given the option, I'd choose Angelfire. NOT that Mammoth is bad, no - it's a pretty kick ass place, but it's huge. HUGE. Better plan a couple days getting to know your way around. Angelfire is not quite so spread out, has a better variety of terrain from smooth to rough and great people/staff. Can't go wrong there.
  • + 2
 I love living three hour away, it's amzing. I wonder if they'll expand more to the back side of the mountain like they did with angels plunge.
  • + 2
 Depends... do you have at least 12 hours to drive(17 hours at least for me from mammoth) for 3 hours to see All the trails or do you want to go to Mammoth(not as far for anybody) and it will take you at least 3 days to check SOME of the trails. and Mammoth History: 8 national championships, 5 UCI World Cups and 3 World Champs, AND 2015-2016 Nationals.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Will we get to see the Red Bull Finale Descent make it back to Angel Fire? I cannot believe that they decided to not have it there this past year, that was my most anticipated race to race all season .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There are 7 of us traveling for opening weekend from Houston. That says something to how awesome this place is and just how much work they have done in the last couple of years.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Those are the first really unique MTB photos I've seen in a while, good job. Was trying to think of the last really unique ones I saw... and they were also Margus. Ha!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love this place! The vibe in town and on the mountain is one any visitor or resident will never forget. Not to leave out that the trails are absurdly fun!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Did he make the corner? haha. What a stupid question. Kenny Smith IS the corner.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Looks spectacular. I knew I wanted to live in North NM!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Gorgeous shots, Margus!!!
  • + 1
 he always stands out, amazing photos!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I just have one question: Why there is no DH racing in this awesome place?
  • + 1
 They hosted a WC a few years back and national champs are at Angel Fire this June. That's not enough racing though!
  • + 1
 Yup! but what I meant is the fact they have a beautiful mountain with so many awesome trails, all the infrastructure to host a regional series or at least their annual Chile Challenge. It sucks they dropped it for this year. I'm sure they will have their reasons but I think that was a wrong decision.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was digging this article up until the piercing/tattoo photo. WTF? Nice, not.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Please tell me that's gonna be a production color.....please?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Dat Demo!
  • + 1
 took the words right out of my mouth
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The Demo has come a longgg way.. remember the first gen. demo? what a tank, 50+ lbs.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What's with all the filters?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looking forward to opening day, and the rest of the summer for that matter!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 I am surprised no one has mentioned the Fox president comment and then confusion about the Rockshox fork, not knowing that Fox (head) clothing and Fox (tail) suspension are different companies. Ooops, spoiled it... Oh, and no talk about wheel size? Is this Pinkbike? Angel Fire looks sick. Time to visit.
  • + 2
 Have you heard about the new Fox (paw) grips?!?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Angel Fire is the truth, it will put your skills to the test.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 wooow so many poooddssss *-*
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great work Hogan, Patrick, and Kalen! Patrick- We're missing you out East buddy!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gonna be there for opening this year. Super stoked!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Kenny Smith! (Tippie voice) need a video of that
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So excited! working an hour from here, will be hitting it all season long
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That has to be the baddest looking DH bike on planet earth
  • + 1
 The thing just looks fast. Just sitting there. . . . ZOOOMMMMM!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Oh my god, they killed Kenny!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Kenny Smith on Ziggy for POY
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome photos....
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Error...Rockshox not fox. (All black so sic)
[Reply]

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv15 0.045328
Mobile Version of Website