Ruidoso is a village in Lincoln County New Mexico next to the Lincoln National Forest. It is a mountain resort town located in the rugged Sierra Blanca mountain range that merges with the Sacramento Mountains in South Central New Mexico. The village got its name from the Rio Ruidoso (Spanish for Noisy River), a stream that winds its way through the town.
The 12,000 foot Sierra Blanca peak has attracted human beings for thousands of years making a rich history of Ruidoso. There are pit houses and petroglyphs in the area that date back between 900 and 1400 AD. The Mescalero Apaches consider the mountain to be the home of their protectors, the mountain gods, and there is a large reservation in the area that is home to many Mescalero Apache Native Americans. The tribe runs a wonderful venue called Inn of the Mountain Gods which is a resort overlooking a beautiful mountain lake. The resort includes several restaurants, a casino, a golf course, 2 zip lines, hunting, fishing, and various entertainment venues including concerts.
Sierra Blanca, which means white mountain, is also home to Ski Apache, New Mexico’s premiere ski and snowboard destination. There are dozens of trails for all levels. The resort has been in operation since 1961 and has been recently updated and includes New Mexico’s only gondola which non skiers and summer visitors can ride to the top to see White Sands National Monument and the black lava rock of the Valley of Fires.
Not only is this a beautiful winter wonderland with skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, and cozy cabins with fireplaces and hot tubs, but it is also a virtual playground for the southwest, allowing an escape from the summer heat to enjoy the cool pines.
The summer kicks off on Memorial Day with the opening of the Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day the ponies have been running since 1946. It is thrilling to watch these quarter horses thundering down the track. Ruidoso Downs is home to the world’s richest quarter horse race, the All American Futurity, that culminates the racing season on Labor Day every year. It, along with the Rainbow Futurity and the Ruidoso Futurity, make up the quarter horse triple crown.
Besides horse racing, the summer activities in the area are abundant, including picnicking, hiking, mountain bike riding, golfing, fishing, tennis, horseback riding, art galleries, outdoor cafes, and quaint shopping in midtown.
Ruidoso is mountain beauty that boasts something for everyone, from simple pleasures of relaxing in a family cabin on a deck barbecuing, to adventures like skiing, zip lining, and horse racing. Come once and try a few things this mountain town has to offer, and we guarantee you will be back again and again to discover more adventures and make wonderful memories with family and friends in this scenic mountain town that is surrounded by pine trees and a noisy river.