Agua Fria Peak is the mountain that Angel Fire Ski Resort is located on. Agua Fria is probably one of the most used mountains in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains when you take into account all of the mountain bikers, skiers, snowboarders, hikers, and disc golfers. This being said I am willing to bet that very few people have actually made their way to the summit of this broad mountain. Unfortunately the actual summit of this mountain is heavily forested and does not offer up great views but from most of the ski runs this is a different story as the views are tremendous. The whole Moreno Valley opens up before you and there are great views of the Wheeler Peak area, the Latir Peak, State Line Peak, and even mountains into Colorado.
Angel Fire Ski Resort
Agua Fria Peak is a very easily accessible mountain, first just find the town of Angel Fire which is located on the scenic Enchanted Circle route of Northern New Mexico. From town you will easily be able to spot the ski area and find the parking lots at the base of it. Depending on the season and dates that you arrive, the mountain will either be very crowded or at times practically empty. For skiing, the mountain is very crowded from Christmas through New Years and for both Texas and Oklahoma's spring breaks as well as most holiday weekends. In the summer the mountain is typically crowded around July 4th and most holiday weekends. Part of the ease of accessibility of this mountain is the fact that during most of the year you can ride a chairlift(Chile Express) all the way up to 10,677 feet.
skiing at AF
The route that was used when I climbed Agua Fria was an approach straight up under the Chile Express, the route can easily be shortened by riding up the chairlift. There is also another actual hiking trail that leads up the mountain. It is probably not a good idea to follow any of the other ski runs as they also contain parts of the mountain biking trails. Once you get to the top of the ski area there are several trails that lead towards the actual summit including their disc golf course that winds it way towards the top. From the farthest east reaches of the disc golf course you can find what looks like 4 wheeler roads that continue east until you find a long straight clearing that I believe is a fire stop. Follow this further east and eventually a smaller road continue east when the fire stop turns south. Follow the smaller road to the actual summit.
This is on Angel Fire Resort property so inquire with them about permission to climb this mountain so you do not interfere with building projects or maintenance that they are performing.
When to Climb
This mountain can be climbed in any season however, deep snow will make it harder during winter. Also you are not allowed to walk up the ski runs in winter so you would have to ride the lift up
No over-night access is allowed on this mountain.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."