A right turn up Highway 434 leads to this tiny ski village. The mountain here looks like a molehill in comparison with Taos Ski Valley ; Angel Fire Resort (800/633-7463, www.angelfireresort.com , $52 full-day lift ticket) has a summit elevation of 10,677 and a vertical drop of 2,077 feet, but a large share of the runs are devoted to snowboarding, including four terrain parks and a half-pipe designed by Chris Gunnarson.
For those with no snow skills at all, the three-lane, 1,000-foot-long tubing hill provides an easy adrenaline rush.
Otherwise, there are few independent attractions in the cluster of timber condos at the base of the mountain. If you’re around in the winter, book a sleigh ride with Roadrunner Tours (Hwy. 434 in town, 575/377-6416, www.rtours.com , $25 for 35 minutes); the experienced equestrian team can also arrange trail rides into the high mountains—a great summer trip.
In the summer, in addition to the small, trout-stocked Monte Verde Lake, managed by the ski resort, the main diversion here is mountain biking.
On the mountain itself, the resort maintains about 30 miles of trails. But the real challenge is the storied South Boundary Trail, which runs from a trailhead off Forest Road 76 south of Angel Fire.
The route to Taos is about five vertical-seeming miles up and over the pass, then another 22 or so back to El Nogal trailhead on U.S. 64, a couple of miles east of Taos. (Only the truly masochistic would go the other direction—which doesn’t mean it’s not done.)
Maps are a must; contact Native Sons Adventures in Taos (1033-A Paseo del Pueblo Sur, 575/758-9342, www.nativesonsadventures.com ).
For a lunch of burgers or brisket, stop off at Zebadiah’s (Hwy. 434, 575/377-6358, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, $8), a big wood-paneled room that caters to hungry snowboarders in the winter and folks fishing at Eagle Nest  in the summer. The bar, which is open till about 2 a.m., is the main hangout in the area.
The Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce maintains a visitors center (Centro Plaza, Hwy. 434, 575/377-6661, www.angelfirechamber.org , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.); the lobby is open 24 hours, so you can load up on glossy brochures even when the office is closed.