Ruidoso, New Mexico, population about 8,000, sits in the Sierra Blanca Mountain range at an elevation of 7,800 feet. Though small, it has a big draw for travelers thanks to its history, Indigenous and Spanish culture, family-friendly atmosphere, opportunities for outdoor adventure, and central location near Carlsbad Caverns, Lincoln National Forest, White Sands National Monument, and more. It’s the type of mountain town where you can actually find relaxation unlike some of the more visited mountain towns in states like Colorado and Utah.
While its ski-town bona fides make Ruidoso a destination in the winter, trips are worthwhile year-round. In the warmer months, there’s horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and camping along with an 8,900-foot zip line down Ski Apache. Casinos, art galleries, and boutique shops can fill the down time between the action.
Here’s what you should have on your itinerary when planning a trip to Ruidoso.