About: Ruidoso, New Mexico
Situated in the rugged Sierra Blanca mountain range, Ruidoso, New Mexico is a sleepy, all-season resort town that beckons to vacationers from near and far. Known as the “year-round” playground of the southwest, it is the perfect mountain destination for hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, or simply relaxing. With so many Ruidoso vacation rentals located in the heart of the mountains, enjoy all the natural beauty of south central New Mexico during your stay.
Ruidoso is a town steeped in history and rich in Mescalero Apache roots. Its early history begins with the majestic Sierra Blanca Peak, which towers at 12,000 feet and has attracted settlers for years. This mountain is considered to be the home of the Mescalero Apaches’ protectors, the mountain gods, and these tribes of nomadic warriors, hunters, and guerilla fighters, inhabited what is present-day Ruidoso long before the Europeans arrived to settle the Southwest. As early visitors were drawn to the area near the Rio Ruidoso that flows down from the mountain, the area slowly began to develop into what is today the village of Ruidoso.
Recent years of explosive growth have transformed Ruidoso into one of New Mexico’s fastest growing cities. Today, the Mescalero Apache Tribe continues to remain present and operates both the Ski Apache Ski Resort and the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino. As a result of these newer developments, lots of housing and retail establishments have sprung up transforming the town of Ruidoso into a popular destination for tourists.
Things to do
Surrounded by the cool mountain pines of Southern New Mexico and located at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet, Ruidoso has a lot to offer visitors with a sense of adventure. It is also a place that offers something unique to do year-round, so visitors can plan a trip to Ruidoso during any month.
During the winter months, the slopes of Ski Apache in the Sierra Blanca Mountains are the place to be. Owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, this ski and snowboard resort is the country’s southernmost ski area and a premier spot for warm-weather powder skiing. It is also New Mexico’s only ski resort with an 8-person high speed gondola. Ski Apache offers pristine, powdery trails and skiers can enjoy 11 lifts, 55 runs and trails that vary in difficulty, group lessons, and a vertical drop of 1,900 feet at this cool mountain resort.
Warmer temperatures, abundant sunshine, and low humidity during the remainder of the year invite visitors to enjoy the great outdoors in Ruidoso. There are 1.1 million-acres of forest in the area scattered throughout the southern Rocky Mountains that are perfect for exploring. Hike or bike the trails of Lincoln National Forest, a breathtaking wilderness region that offers the very best Ruidoso camping sites and horseback riding areas. Along the way, look for southwestern wildlife, birds, and native plants. Spend your days enjoying the fresh air before retreating to the comfort of one of the many spacious Ruidoso vacation rentals.
For the less adventurous, play a hand at the casino at Inn of the Mountain Gods resort, which also includes a hotel, and golf course. The casino here is popular with visitors and draws gambling enthusiasts from across the border. At Ruidoso Downs Racetrack, enjoy playing the ponies. Put money down on your favorite horses and enjoy the thrill of watching the world’s fastest quarter horses lap the racetrack every weekend during the summer.
Champion-caliber Ruidoso golf courses also beckon to visitors looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors. There are four spectacular golf courses in Ruidoso, including Cree Meadows Country Club, Inn of the Mountain Gods Championship Golf Course, The Links at Sierra Blanca, and Rainmakers. Each boasts stunning scenery and a beautiful mountain backdrop. They are some of the best-maintained and well-designed courses in the state.
If you’re traveling to Ruidoso from nearby, fly into Sierra Blanca Regional Airport. This airport serves Ruidoso and the surrounding towns within Lincoln County, New Mexico. If you’re coming from a different part of the country, Roswell International Air Center and Albuquerque International Sunport are the most accessible airports to Ruidoso, with Roswell being the closer airport.
Like many parts of New Mexico, it is easiest to get around the Ruidoso area via car. Rent one at the airport and drive to town or pick one up from Ruidoso Rent A Car or Enterprise Car Rental in town. If you prefer to ride in style or are planning a fancy night out at the Inn of the Mountain Gods casino, hire a limo service from High Mountain Limo Service, LLC to get the party started. In addition to taxi services from Dollar Cab and Alto Taxi Service, Shuttle Ruidoso is another great option for getting around town. The service provides safe and reliable transportation around Ruidoso as well as the option for charter airport service to and from Roswell, El Paso, and Albuquerque airports.