With deep Native American roots in the heart of Billy the Kid country, Ruidoso is located in the high Sierra Blanca Mountain Range of southeastern New Mexico. Its mountainous setting feature cool pine tree trails and towering nearby mountains including Sierra Blanca and the Ski Apache Resort. In the summer months, visitors will love getting outdoors in Lincoln National Forest and enjoying a huge network of mountain bike trails, golf courses, horseback riding, hiking, and camping. Ski Apache features one of the longest ziplines around. In the winter, the local ski resort draws in many skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Winter visitors will also enjoy sleigh rides and a tubing park. The town of Ruidoso is filled with restaurants, art galleries, museums, and unique shops selling Native American jewelry, or take the afternoon to stroll along Rio Ruidoso, the town’s namesake. Historic sites like Fort Stanton and the Lincoln Historic Site draw in history buffs and a few nearby casinos are popular pastimes.
The quaint mountain town of Ruidoso has many traveler focused amenities with tons of lodging options, primarily cabin and vacation rentals. Peak travel time is typically in the heart of winter, in December and January, as well as in the hot summer months of June, July, and August. There are a few options for flying into Ruidoso, but all require having your own rental car once you arrive. Roswell has the closest airport but with limited flight options. El Paso and Albuquerque are good alternative airports and only a few hours from Ruidoso.
Things to Do
Ruidoso Downs Race Track: This horse racing track hosts Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing and is a fun and unique activity for visitors.
Ski Apache: The southern most ski resort in the United States, Ski Apache is great for all level skiers and boarders.
Inn of the Mountain Gods: Located on reservation land, two nearby casinos draw in large crowds that want to test their luck.
Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts: This world class performance hall is located right in town and features a variety of events and shows.
Hubbard Museum of the Mountain West: Experience the West through iconic exhibits on mountain men and Native Americans.
Bonito Lake: This alpine reservoir is located just northwest of Ruidoso in the high Sierra Blanca mountains. It features camping, fishing, and hiking.
Fort Stanton: Located within the Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area, Fort Stanton Historic Site is a U.S. military fort established to protect settlements along the Rio Bonito during the Apache Wars.
White Sands National Monument: Located an hour southwest of Ruidoso, the White Sands National Monument offers a unique and dramatic landscape of sand dunes. It has a boardwalk and nature trail and is worth a day visit.