- Hiking at Ruidoso River
- Lincoln National Forest
- Aspenfest Festival
- Skiing at Ski Apache Resort
- Smokey Bear Museum
- Friendly resorts at Grindstone Lake
- Downs Race Track
Ruidoso features a beautiful Alpine habitat and is located in the heart of the Sierra Blanca mountain range, in New Mexico. This mountain resort town is home to a delightful winter ski resort, the Lincoln National Forest, with its trails and waterfalls and the popular Downs Race Track with summer horse racing events. Vacation rentals are plentiful in the forest, ski resorts, city center and mountains. Homes are fully-equipped and located in serene locations surrounded by numerous animal and bird species.Peaceful Retreats and Holiday Villages
There are dozens of comfortable, fully equipped places to stay while on vacation in Ruidoso. You can rent a cottage, cabin or A-Frame house on the relaxing shores of Grindstone Lake, in the Fort Stanton area and cottages and cabins in the Ski Apache Resort and Ruidoso Downs. There are many private cottages to rent in the Forest Reserve or in town. Vacation rentals are often located in rustic, undisturbed areas with great mountain views, proximity to trails and a quiet, peaceful aspect.
Ruidoso is situated in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountain range. This Alpine mountain range is dominated by the Sierra Blanca Peak which can be seen from a distance from many regions but especially within the valley of the Tularosa Basin. The region is an alpine ecosystem towering more than 8,000 feet above the Tularosa Basin. Ruidoso is located at an elevation of 6,920 feet and is a mountainous region. Ruidoso's vegetation ranges from stark and upright or low growing semi-desert plants, large pinyon pine, juniper and spruce or fir trees also occur in the mountains. You will also find high-elevation forbs and grasses and forbs. Ruidoso rock types include limestone, andesite and the area is made up of moderate to steep slopes.
Ruidos is home to an abundance of forest life and much wildlife can be found even in the center of town. More than 200 species of birds live in or migrate through the area. Elk, deer and wild horses are frequently seen in the area. Visitors can see bald eagles at Grindstone Lake and wild horse herds in Alto. The area is also home to bears and mountain lions. So there are many opportunities for nature photography.The Ideal Hiking Destination
There are numerous hiking trails in the area, from easy walks and strolls to strenuous hikes for the experienced hiker. The Lincoln National Forest offers avid hikers a number of different hikes and it is a favorite area for locals and tourists to enjoy. Many visitors come to the area for the sole purposes of mountain hiking activities, spelunking, abseiling and canyoning.
Ruidoso was named for the Rio Ruidoso, or the "noisy river". The village was once called Dowling's Mill. The alpine scenery made the area popular as a resort town. Apache Indian tribes inhabited the area.
Site of the Lincoln County War and the town where Billy the Kid shot his way out of the Lincoln County Courthouse, the town is a living museum, open to the public for tours. Here you will find Dr. Woods House, the Anderson-Freeman Visitors' Center and Tunstall Store. The first fort built in Lincoln, the El Torreon is still evident in the center of town.2. Mescalero Apache Culture Center
Located to the southwest of Ruidoso is the Mescalero Apache Reservation. The Cultural Center displays traditional Apache clothing and basketry of the Chiricahua, White Mountain, and Mescalero Apache tribes. You will also find a great selection of artifacts and photographs.3. Fox Cave
Fox Cave houses large dinosaur statues and various exhibits including those about Paul Bunyan. There are artifacts from the Titanic, gemstones, information and photographs detailing Native American history, jewelry, and displays about ancient and far-away cultures. At the gift shop visitors can buy memorabilia, precious stones, toys, gems and jewelry. Fox Cave is a favorite of kids who visit Ruidoso.4. Smokey Bear Museum
Smokey Bear is the mascot for wildfire prevention. The real Smokey Bear was a black bear cub that was badly burned in a forest fire in 1950 in the Capitan Mountains near the town of Ruidoso. After the bear was healed, he was moved to a zoo where his story soon became famous and a symbol of the dangers of wildfires for nature and habitat loss. At the museum you can view firefighting exhibits, displays and photos about the bear and view Smokey's grave in a beautiful memorial garden behind the museum.5. Visit the Hubbard Museum of the American West
It is not unusual to see herds of wild horses grazing or running in the mountain areas or even along roadways in Ruidoso. Why not learn more about them by spending a morning at this fascinating museum, once called the Museum of the Horse. Apart from horse-related content, the museum showcases carriages, saddles and wagons among other intriguing artifacts and implements from the old west.
Each year several exciting festivals can be enjoyed in Ruidoso. Visitors can visit the Art Loop, AspenFest, Wind Rider Music Festival or Cowboy Symposium and the Festival of Lights. Whether you love food, art, music or just want to spend time being social in a picturesque setting, you will find something to satisfy the whole family.