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Your guide to Ruidoso
All About Ruidoso
Taking its name from the Rio Ruidoso, which translates from Spanish as “noisy river,” this New Mexican village among the pines is quite the opposite: peaceful and abundant in natural beauty. Originally settled by the Mescalero Apaches — the reservation is nestled under the majestic Sierra Blanca Peak — Ruidoso is small in size and big in spirit. Although it’s a sought-after spot for winter sports, there’s plenty to occupy active visitors away from the slopes, from mountain golf courses with vistas to remember to non-profit yoga studios, from an epic zipline to high-octane cycling trails. Sitting between Alamogordo and Roswell, Ruidoso is a handy jumping-off point for adventures all over New Mexico. Spend an afternoon winding your way around the multiple local wineries and tap rooms. For those staying in town, Hubbard Museum of the American West provides an insight into local history with a collection of Native American pieces.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Ruidoso
With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, sun protection is a must in Ruidoso, even as the skiers and boarders head to the slopes for another action-packed winter season. Springtime brings pleasant temperatures and the start of the new year’s floral displays. If you’re not here for the powder, staying in Ruidoso cabins is recommended in the summer, with late July’s Ruidoso Art Festival gathering over 100 artists and their work, from acrylics to glass. When the temperatures start to rise, locals and visitors alike hitch a sunset gondola ride to the summit of Sierra Blanca to look out over Lincoln National Forest. If you’re looking for a way to cool off, make your way to Grindstone Lake for a stint at Wibit Water Park — catch the inflatable fun from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Top things to do in Ruidoso
Hondo Iris Farm and Gallery
A half hour drive from town lies Hondo Iris Farm and Gallery, home to a hummingbird porch, a picnic area, and an explosion of color throughout the month of May. Hundreds of iris varieties create a patchwork of vibrant flora in the gardens, carefully tended by New Mexico artist Alice Warder Seely.
Located on the slopes of the Sierra Blanca Mountains, Ski Apache is a popular ski and snowboard resort with a variety of terrain for all levels. Having opened its doors — or slopes — in 1963, this Mescalero Apache Tribe-owned and run operation also has plenty to entice the adventurous once the snow has melted, with one of the longest ziplines in the world.
Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts
Less than 20 minutes from Ruidoso, the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts boasts striking angular architecture contrasting with its rural New Mexico surroundings, as well as a non-profit ethos. Head here for a variety of artistic, theater, and dance events, from touring Broadway shows to thought-provoking art installations.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in Ruidoso?
Ruidoso experiences a mild climate year-round, with average summer temperatures of 77°F (25°C) and winter temperatures around 45°F (7°C). The town enjoys frequent snowfall in winter, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
What are some of the best things to do in Ruidoso?
In Ruidoso, guests can explore the Lincoln National Forest, engage in winter sports at Ski Apache, or enjoy horse racing at Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Other activities include exploring local art galleries, golfing, and shopping at unique boutiques.
What is the best time of year to visit Ruidoso?
The most popular time to visit Ruidoso is in the summer, from June to August. During this period, the town hosts the Ruidoso Art Festival and the All American Futurity horse race. The winter season is also popular for skiing and snowboarding at Ski Apache.
What are the best places to stay in Ruidoso?
Ruidoso's central area is a favorite among visitors, providing easy access to local attractions, shops, and restaurants. For those seeking tranquility and stunning mountain views, accommodations in Upper Canyon or Alto are often recommended.
What are the best places to visit in Ruidoso?
Popular places to visit in Ruidoso include the Lincoln National Forest, Ski Apache, and the Smokey Bear Historical Park. Other frequently visited spots are the Hubbard Museum of the American West and the Noisy Water Winery.
What are some hiking trails in Ruidoso?
Ruidoso has several hiking trails to enjoy. The Grindstone Lake Trail offers a beautiful view of the lake, while the Perk Ridge Trail provides panoramic views of the town and surrounding mountains. For bird watchers, the Cedar Creek Trails are a frequent choice.
What are some family activities to do in Ruidoso?
Families visiting Ruidoso can enjoy a picnic at Grindstone Lake, explore the Hubbard Museum of the American West, or visit the Ruidoso Winter Park for tubing fun. The town also has a variety of parks and playgrounds suitable for children.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in Ruidoso?
Day trip ideas in Ruidoso include visiting the nearby town of Lincoln, a historical old west town, exploring the Valley of Fires Recreation Area for its vast lava fields, or spending the day at the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation learning about their culture and history.
Are there vacation rentals with a dedicated workspace in Ruidoso?
Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 570 vacation rentals in Ruidoso featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.
Are there pet-friendly vacation rentals in Ruidoso?
Four-legged friends are welcome in Ruidoso. Choose from more than 600 vacation rentals for guests traveling with pets.