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Area History


Angel Fire, a quaint little village located in the majestic Moreno Valley, has always seen a place of wonder. Surrounded by the Agua Fria and Baldy Peaks, The Moreno Valley is a scenic beauty full of plant and wild life. The area is also home to the tallest peak in New Mexico, the amazing Wheeler Peak.

The original inhabitants of the area were the Native Americans. For generations, natives came to the Moreno Valley in the Summer and Fall to enjoy the warm weather and abundant wildlife. Legend has it the Moache Utes, a nomadic group of natives, called the glow in the sky behind the Agua Fria Peak the "Fire of the God's."

With the annexation of California into the union in the 1840's, the traffic from the east to the west began to increase, and a major influx of white people came into an area almost completely run by Native Americans. When Lucien B. Maxwell acquired the 1.7 million acre grant, known as the Maxwell Grant, the area was exclusively Apache and Comanche Country (Both of which have been famously portrayed in John Wayne classics).

Two years after the end of the Civil War, in 1867, gold was discovered in Baldy Mountain. The Moreno Valley was soon flooded with people hoping to make their fortune. Seven thousand of these people created Elizabethtown, a prototypical rough and rowdy old-west town. An almost twenty-year county war was waged soon after between the cowboys and the land owners of Colfax County.

With the completion of the Eagle's Nest Dam in 1918, the Cimarron River was tamed, and water was saved for Colfax County. With the tame, fishermen began to tour into the area, as well as entrepreneurs who began building businesses and a community was born. The original name for the community was Therma, but it was always also known as "Eagle's Nest." In fact, most of the mail to the area was addressed to "Eagle's Nest."

In 1954, Texas brothers, George and Roy LeBus, bought 23,000 acres in Colfax County with the intention was creating a great resort. Ten years later they acted and began building what they called "Angel Fire," a term coined by Kit Carson when he heard the Indians describe the "Fire of the God's."

By the end of the 60's, Angel Fire Resort was being visited by people from all over the west. With additions added all through the 70's, Angel Fire's nationwide popularity began to increase. By the 90's, Angel Fire was solidified as a must visit tourist attraction. Today, summer vacations at Angel Fire offer pleasant hikes, beautiful and exhilarating biking, horseback riding, golf, and fishing in Monte Verde Lake.