- Ruidoso Department of Parks and Recreation
- 535 Resort Drive
- [email protected]
Ruidoso is a village located in Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA. It is situated in the southern part of the state's Rocky Mountains region and is known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and rich history. Here's an overview of Ruidoso's history:
Native American Presence: The area around Ruidoso has a long history of Native American presence, with various tribes, including the Mescalero Apache, occupying the region for centuries. The Mescalero Apache Reservation is located nearby and continues to be an important part of the area's cultural heritage.
Early Settlement: European settlers began arriving in the Ruidoso area in the late 1800s. The name "Ruidoso" is Spanish for "noisy," referring to the sound of the Rio Ruidoso, a nearby river known for its rushing waters. The early settlers engaged in logging, farming, and ranching activities.
Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War: Ruidoso is close to the town of Lincoln, which gained notoriety due to the Lincoln County War in the late 1870s. This conflict involved a series of disputes over land, business, and political power. The infamous outlaw Billy the Kid was associated with the events, and several historic buildings in the area are connected to this turbulent period.
Development and Tourism: In the early 20th century, the expansion of transportation, including the arrival of the railroad, helped spur the growth of Ruidoso as a tourist destination. The area's picturesque landscapes, mild climate, and proximity to other attractions like the nearby Mescalero Apache Reservation and the Lincoln Historic Site attracted visitors seeking recreation and relaxation.
Skiing and Horse Racing: In the mid-20th century, Ruidoso further developed as a tourist destination with the establishment of the Ski Apache resort on Sierra Blanca Mountain. Skiing and snowboarding became popular activities in the winter months. Additionally, Ruidoso Downs Race Track, located in the village, has a rich tradition of horse racing and hosts prestigious races like the All American Futurity.
Cultural and Natural Heritage: Ruidoso is known for its commitment to preserving its natural surroundings and cultural heritage. The Hubbard Museum of the American West showcases the area's history, art, and artifacts related to the American West. The Flying J Ranch, a historic working cattle ranch, offers visitors a glimpse into the area's cowboy culture and traditions.
Today, Ruidoso continues to attract tourists with its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, cultural events, and various recreational opportunities. The village is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, and exploring the nearby Lincoln National Forest.
Top Tourist Attractions
Ruidoso offers a range of tourist attractions that cater to outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking relaxation and natural beauty. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Ruidoso:
- Ski Apache: Located on Sierra Blanca Mountain, Ski Apache is a popular winter destination offering excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. With its breathtaking mountain views and well-groomed slopes, it attracts visitors of all skill levels.
- Ruidoso Downs Race Track: Known as the "Home of the World's Richest Quarter Horse Race," Ruidoso Downs Race Track is a premier destination for horse racing enthusiasts. It hosts a series of exciting races throughout the year, including the All American Futurity, a prestigious event in the Quarter Horse racing world.
- Lincoln Historic Site: Just a short drive from Ruidoso, the Lincoln Historic Site preserves the history of the Lincoln County War and offers a glimpse into the Wild West era. Visitors can explore numerous historic buildings, including the Old Lincoln County Courthouse and the Tunstall Store, which are tied to the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid.
- Grindstone Lake: Grindstone Lake is a serene mountain lake located within the village of Ruidoso. It offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and hiking along the scenic trails surrounding the lake. The area is also equipped with picnic areas and a disc golf course.
- Hubbard Museum of the American West: This museum showcases the history, art, and cultural heritage of the American West. Visitors can explore exhibits featuring Native American artifacts, Western art, cowboy memorabilia, and learn about the region's history and wildlife.
- Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino: Situated in a stunning mountain setting, the Inn of the Mountain Gods offers a luxury resort experience with a casino, golf course, spa, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including gaming, dining, outdoor recreation, and live performances.
- Mescalero Apache Reservation: Adjacent to Ruidoso, the Mescalero Apache Reservation offers a unique cultural experience. Visitors can learn about the Mescalero Apache Tribe's traditions, attend powwows, explore their museum, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the reservation, including the Ski Apache resort.
- Pillow's Funtrackers: This family-friendly amusement park features go-kart racing, miniature golf, bumper boats, arcade games, and more. It's a great place for families and groups to enjoy recreational activities and entertainment.
These are just a few examples of the many attractions Ruidoso has to offer. The area is also known for its outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and golfing, with numerous trails, courses, and fishing spots to explore in the surrounding natural beauty of the Lincoln National Forest and nearby lakes and rivers.
Ruidoso has a pleasant and mild climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Here's an overview of the climate in Ruidoso:
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Ruidoso are generally warm and enjoyable. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (24-28 degrees Celsius). However, temperatures can occasionally reach the 90s Fahrenheit (32-35 degrees Celsius). It's a popular time for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Evenings tend to be cooler, with temperatures dropping into the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius).
- Fall (September to November): Fall in Ruidoso brings cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage as the leaves change colors. September and October still see mild temperatures, with average highs in the 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius), while November experiences cooler weather with highs in the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (10-20 degrees Celsius). Nights can be chilly, with temperatures dropping into the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (0-5 degrees Celsius).
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Ruidoso are generally mild, but the area receives occasional snowfall. Average daytime temperatures range from the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit (4-10 degrees Celsius), while nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing, averaging in the 20s to 30s Fahrenheit (-4 to 0 degrees Celsius). Ski Apache, located nearby, offers winter sports enthusiasts opportunities for skiing and snowboarding during this time.
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Ruidoso is characterized by mild temperatures and blooming wildflowers. High temperatures gradually increase from the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius) in March to the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (15-25 degrees Celsius) in May. Spring nights can still be cool, ranging from the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (0-5 degrees Celsius).
It's important to note that weather conditions can vary, and sudden temperature changes are possible, particularly during transitional seasons. It's a good idea to check the local forecast before your visit and pack appropriate clothing layers to accommodate potential fluctuations in temperature.
Ruidoso is a village located in Lincoln County, in the southern part of the state of New Mexico, USA. It is situated in the southern Rocky Mountains region, offering picturesque landscapes and a variety of geographical features. Here's an overview of the geography of Ruidoso:
- Mountainous Terrain: Ruidoso is nestled within the Sacramento Mountains, a subrange of the larger Rocky Mountains. The village is surrounded by scenic peaks and ridges, with Sierra Blanca being the prominent mountain in the area. Sierra Blanca reaches an elevation of 12,003 feet (3,659 meters) and provides a stunning backdrop to the village.
- Forested Areas: Ruidoso is located in the midst of the Lincoln National Forest, which covers a significant portion of the surrounding area. The forest is characterized by dense woodlands comprising various types of trees, including Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, aspen, and spruce. The forested areas offer numerous recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Waterways: The Rio Ruidoso, after which the village is named ("Ruidoso" means "noisy" in Spanish), flows through the area. The river is known for its rushing waters and provides a scenic element to the village's landscape. Additionally, there are several lakes and reservoirs in the vicinity, including Grindstone Lake, which offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and outdoor recreation.
- High Desert Climate: Ruidoso experiences a high desert climate due to its elevation and geographical location. Summers are generally warm and pleasant, while winters are mild with occasional snowfall. The area enjoys moderate precipitation throughout the year, with the majority of rainfall occurring during the summer monsoon season.
- Wildlife and Natural Beauty: The geography of Ruidoso attracts a diverse array of wildlife. Visitors may encounter deer, elk, black bears, mountain lions, and various bird species. The natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes, including forests, mountains, and waterways, provides a scenic setting for outdoor activities and exploration.
The unique geography of Ruidoso offers visitors and residents alike the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, appreciate the natural surroundings, and experience the beauty of the southern Rocky Mountains region in New Mexico.