Though New Mexico usually conjures images of an arid desert landscape, Ruidoso is a mountain resort town perched nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. This quickly growing town is a hub of outdoor recreation due to its proximity to State Parks, National Parks, and mountain ranges. There is a rich Wild West history here; Billy the Kid was a major figure in the Lincoln County War. Ruidoso is now known as one of America’s top ten “True West Towns;” evidence of this can be seen in museums and seasonal events. Come to Ruidoso for skiing, hiking, history, and art.
Things to do in Ruidoso
Experience some of Ruidoso’s best wilderness at Lincoln National Forest. This 1.1-million-acre forest is home to three major mountain ranges, allowing visitors to hike dozens of trails. There are also day-use facilities where you can enjoy a picnic after a day exploring the vast array of flora and fauna.
Since Ruidoso was founded as a resort town, there are many spas to maximize your comfort. Visit Blue Lotus Day Spa & Yoga for a relaxing afternoon—the massages are highly rated!
If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to make a trip up to Ski Apache. Skiers and snowboarders will be delighted by the views of surrounding mountains as well as the wide variety of runs. However, this ski resort is also active in the summer, offering zip lining and gondola rides!
Day Trips from Ruidoso
The quaint yet cultural town of Alamogordo is an hour southwest of Ruidoso. The residents here speak English, Spanish, and German! There are many events and festivals that honor its diversity, such as Oktoberfest and a traditional Spanish market. Alamogordo is also the site of the White Sands Balloon Invitational, where dozens of hot air balloons are launched over the White Sands National Monument.
Lovers of the supernatural can drive an hour and a half east to Roswell, the home of Area 51 and many museums that honor extraterrestrial life. The International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell explores what happened in Area 51 as well as other UFO sightings. For those in favor of more traditional museums, the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art showcases hundreds of pieces from local artists.
Out of town visitors may want to make the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Cibola National Forest. This 1.6-million-acre forest features both forest and grassland environments, so you’re sure to find a beautiful environment to spend the day. There are several scenic drives through the forest in addition to hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Take a tram to the top of Sandia’s Crest, a 10,000-foot peak for stunning panoramic views!
Accommodation in Ruidoso
Tripping.com showcases nearly 600 vacation rentals in Ruidoso. Many are cabins, which are the perfect retreat for your adventurous trip!
Transportation in Ruidoso
Though Ruidoso has its own local airport, the nearest major airports are Albuquerque and El Paso, each about 150 miles away. Ruidoso can be reached via Highway 70 from the east and the west. Look for scenic byways nearby—there are over 2,900 miles worth of scenic highways in New Mexico!