Ruidoso Travel Guide

A refreshing altitude of 6,900 feet and stunning location in the heart of the White Mountains of southern New Mexico make Ruidoso one of the most popular getaways in the region. This year-round destination combines outdoor recreation with a solid arts scene and the cultural wealth of the neighboring Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation to keep visitors coming back again and again.

High above the pounding heat of the desert, Ruidoso is an oasis of cool amid the barren scrub of southern New Mexico. This small mountain hamlet is loaded with art galleries and an energetic artist community to match. Strolling the quiet streets of town is a pleasure, as it’s decidedly geared towards tourists with plenty of caf├ęs, bars, shops and hotels.

Ruidoso is also well-known for its horse racing at the Ruidoso Downs and a vibrant nightlife to keep visitors entertained after dark. Although there is lots of excellent accommodation in town, rooms are often booked during holidays and big race day weekends. Dining is also a treat in Ruidoso, with everything from rustic affordable diners to five-star restaurants.

Highlights

Ruidoso Downs: one of America’s most popular horse racing grounds brings a lot of business to this mountain town during the racing season.

Ski Apache: one of the only ski resorts in southern New Mexico is small but fun, and located near the Apache Indian Reservation.

Cloudcroft: this neighboring mountain town is another gem, set amid the Sacramento Mountains and loaded with outdoor recreation opportunities without nearly as much hype as Ruidoso.

National Solar Observatory: anyone with an interest in the cosmos will want to visit this mountaintop observatory which welcomes visitors during the daylight hours.

Hubbard Museum of American West: equestrian fiends can ogle over Wild West stage coaches, Russian sleighs and other horse-drawn carriages.