Home | travel blog | 13 Absolutely Awesome Things to do in Ruidoso New Mexico


Lying in the Sierra Blanca mountain range of New Mexico is the sleepy little village of Ruidoso.

Set in Lincoln County, there are lots of things to do in Ruidoso New Mexico

It is is full of wild west history, incredible caves in the United States, otherworldly landscape, and outlaw trails to follow. 

Venture south west of the village, and you’ll find National Forest filled with lush hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls.

Go northeast; to find 19th-century churches, building, and shops. Ruidoso is packed with adventure, history, and landscape. 

Let’s hop on the trail and discover some of the things to do in Ruidoso New Mexico.

13 Things to do in Ruidoso NM

Follow the Billy the Kid Trail

I’m a big wild west fan, so one of the first things I think you should do when visiting Ruidoso is following the trail of Billy the Kid. Don’t worry you don’t need to hop on a horse to follow in “the kids” footsteps, although, horseback riding is available.
However, a lot of the trail can be seen by making a loop on the highways. This scenic trail transports you back to the time when cowboys, outlaws, and native Americans roamed these land.

Spend Time Exploring Ruidoso

Ruidoso is a charming little village. It is a perfect getaway to escape city life and enjoy the peace and serenity the village offers. 

Ruidoso is small but that doesn’t mean its boring. The city has plenty of historical museums, art galleries, and world class places to shop and eat.

While there are plenty of outdoor activities around area make sure to spend some time to fall in love with this little village. It is one of the best things to do in Ruidoso NM.

Wander in Fox Cave

With Ruidoso being home to some famous outlaws it is easy to imagine the landscape is filled with caves perfect for hiding out. The best cave to visit is Fox Cave.

The landscape surrounding the cave is stunning, but the real beauty is found in the goodies lie in the depths of the cave. Inside Fox Cave, visitors can see everything from a Tyrannosaurus Rex head to Indian artifacts. Nearby, there are places to try and get lucky panning gold or gems.

Venture into the Nature of Ruidoso New Mexico

As you can tell Ruidoso has some incredible nature to explore. It is easy to get swept up in the landscape, forest, and adventures that await just out side town. 

If you are looking to get out of town and into the wild here are a few of the best adventure activities to discover in Ruidoso.

Apache Eagle ZipRider – This exciting zip line reaches speed up to 30 miles an hour. It last 3 minutes which is insanely long for a zip line and showcases magnificent views of Lake Mescalero.

Grindstone Stables  This horseback adventure is fun year round. It takes you on a guided horse back adventure through the thick forest down trails and gives you an epic view above Grindstone Lake.

Ski Apache Gondola See a bird’s eye view of southern New Mexico as this gondola takes you 12,000 feet above sea level. This adventure offers some of the grandest views in the area.

Discover the Best Hiking Trails in Ruidoso

As you can imagine outside the town there are some fantastic opportunities hiking and wildlife encounters  In fact, spending your vacation hiking is one of the best things to do in Ruidoso NM). Here are some of the best trails to explore in Ruidoso.

Perk Ridge Trail This 5-mile loop is a great hike for trekkers at a moderate hiking level. The trail isn’t packed with visitors. It and a pleasant trail that lets you enjoy nature.

Cedar Creek Trail This beautiful hiking trail is only 3 1/2 miles.

South Fork of the Rio Bonito Trail This popular 11-mile trail showcases a gushing river and some fun adventure activities. The best time for hiking this trail is between March and November.

Willie White and Wills Canyon Loop Trail Famous for its waterfall this 10 trail is also a moderate challenge, but worth it.

The Valley of Fires

The Valley of Fires, are ancient lava fields making for a otherworldly landscape. 

It is a 40 minute drive from Ruidoso and worth a the trip to hike through the strange landscape. It is one of the top Ruidoso New Mexico things to do. Although, it is a little out of the Ruidoso area.

These are just some of the fun things to do in Ruidoso NM.

Venture to the village yourself and discover the western beauty this little slice of earth holds.

The American West is one of the most beautiful spots in United States and Ruidoso embodies that charm.  There is also horseback riding, a race track, mountain biking, lincoln national forest, fort stanton, and much more. 

But try all these things to do in Ruidoso for yourself and let me know that you think in the comments below. 

About Me

Chaing Mai Backpacking

Hi, I’m Stephen Schreck (pronounced like Shrek; but don’t worry, I’m not green.)

At 21 I fell in love with travel. Since then my adventures have taken me to over 80 countries in 8 years.

Now my biggest passion is helping people just like you, reach their travel dreams!

Read 101 Fun and Interesting Facts About Me


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