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24 Amazing Things to do in Ruidoso New Mexico

Updated: Our guide to The best things to do in Ruidoso New Mexico was updated on 7/18/22.

Things to do in Ruidoso NM

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

There are lots of things to do in Ruidoso.

And since it is in Lincoln County, New Mexico, you know there is a lot of wild west fun. 

Not only is it full of wild west history. But there are incredible caves in the United States, otherworldly landscapes, and outlaw trails to follow. 

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

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

24 Amazing Things to do in Ruidoso NM

Things to do in Ruidoso

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. A lot of the trail can be seen from the highways. This scenic trail transports you back to the time when cowboys, outlaws, and Native Americans roamed these lands.

White Oaks 

One of the most beautiful places in the world is Ruidoso, New Mexico. The scenery is breathtaking, and the air is so crisp and clean. One of my favorite things about Ruidoso is the white oaks.

The white oaks are some of the prettiest trees I have ever seen. They are so big and strong, and they have such a beautiful white bark. They make the landscape even more beautiful. Ruidoso is a truly special place, and the white oaks are a big part of what makes it so special.

Explore 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 it’s boring. The city has plenty of historical museums, art galleries, and world-class places to shop and eat.

There are plenty of outdoor activities around the area. And spend time falling in love with this little village. 

It is one of the best things to do in Ruidoso NM.

Smokey Bear Historical Park in Ruidoso 

Smokey Bear Historical Park is a great place to learn about the history of Smokey Bear, the famous mascot of the United States Forest Service. The park is in Ruidoso, New Mexico. And features a variety of exhibits and programs that educate visitors about Smokey Bear’s history.

And the importance of wildfire prevention. Besides learning about the history of Smokey Bear, visitors to the park can also enjoy hiking and fishing in the nearby Ruidoso River. Smokey Bear Historical Park is a great place to learn about the history of Smokey Bear. And the importance of wildfire prevention.

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 Cove, and it like Waitomo Glowworm Caves, minus the glow worms..

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

Flying J Ranch 

If you are looking for a fun-filled vacation, the Flying J Ranch is a great place to visit. Horseback riding, hiking, and fishing are available at the ranch. The staff is friendly and always willing to help. And the accommodations are comfortable and clean.

But the Flying J Ranch is more than just a vacation destination. It’s also a place where you can learn about the history and culture of the American West. The ranch is home to several historical buildings and artifacts. The staff is knowledgeable about the area’s history. If you’re looking for a place to relax, learn, and have fun, the Flying J Ranch is the perfect spot.

Alto Lake in Ruidoso 

Ruidoso is a hidden gem in the state of New Mexico (And It is much safer than Mexico City). It is a small town nestled in the mountains with beautiful scenery and friendly people. One of the best things about Ruidoso is Alto Lake. Alto Lake is a man-made lake that was created in the early 1900s.

It is located just outside of Ruidoso and is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and boating. The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife, including ducks, geese, and turtles. If you are looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Ruidoso is the perfect place for you. And, be sure to check out Alto Lake – you won’t be disappointed!

Wingfield Park

One of the most beautiful places in Ruidoso is Wingfield park. The park is full of tall trees, a beautiful lake, and lush green grass. It’s a great place to go for a walk, have a picnic, or just relax and enjoy the scenery. But Wingfield park is more than just a pretty place.

It’s also a place with a rich history. The park was once a part of a large ranch owned by a man named Colonel William Wingfield. Colonel Wingfield was a Confederate officer during the Civil War, and he used his ranch as a base of operations for his troops.

Today, the park is a reminder of Ruidoso’s history, and it’s a place where people can come to learn about the past. There are several monuments and plaques around the park that tell the story of Colonel Wingfield and the Civil War. The park is also home to a museum that contains exhibits on the history of the area. So if you’re ever in Ruidoso, be sure to visit Wingfield park. It’s a beautiful place to spend a day, and it’s also a place where you can learn about the rich history.

Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino

There are many reasons to visit the Inn of the Mountain Gods and Casino in New Mexico. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains are one reason to visit. The casino also features a variety of gaming options, including slots, table games, and a poker room. Another reason to visit the Inn of the Mountain Gods is the variety of dining options available. The casino features a buffet, a steakhouse, and a cafe.

There is also a bar and a lounge. The Inn of the Mountain Gods resort also offers a variety of entertainment options, including live music and comedy shows. The Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino is the perfect place to visit for a weekend getaway. There is something for everyone at the casino. Whether you’re looking to gamble, eat, drink, or be entertained, the Inn of the Mountain Gods resort has it all.

Visit Midtown Ruidoso in New Mexico

There is more to midtown Ruidoso than just the main street. There are several hidden gems throughout the area that are worth exploring. With shops, markets, and a charming small town atmosphere. You will have a perfect, chill day exploring this scenic city.

Two Rivers Ruidoso park

Two Rivers Ruidoso park is a beautiful place to visit. Ruidoso park is also a great place to camp.

Ruidoso park is in the southern part of the state of New Mexico (Which has many of the attractions of Route 66). The park is in the Sierra Blanca mountain range. The park covers an area of 141,671 acres. Ruidoso park is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Visitors can go hiking, camping, fishing, and horseback riding. There are also several scenic drives and lookouts that visitors can take advantage of. Ruidoso park is a great place to spend a weekend or an extended vacation. The park has something to offer everyone.

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 outside 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 speeds 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. You take on a guided horse’s back adventure through the thick forest down trails and give 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.

Ruidoso winter park in New Mexico

Ruidoso Winter Park is a great place to enjoy winter. The park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. However, the park is also a great place to enjoy the scenery and take in the winter’s beautiful landscape. Ruidoso Winter Park is a great place to enjoy winter.

The park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. However, the park is also a great place to enjoy the scenery and take in the winter’s beautiful landscape.

The park is also a great place to take advantage of the many restaurants and shops that are available in the area. If you are looking for a place to enjoy winter, Ruidoso Winter Park is the perfect place for you.

White Sands National Monument in Ruidoso 

While the White Sands National Monument is best known for its beautiful white dunes, there is much more to this fascinating place.

The Monument is home to a variety of plant and animal life, as well as a unique history. White Sands National Monument is in the state of New Mexico, in the southern part of the United States. White Sands Monument is in the Chihuahuan Desert. Which is one of the largest deserts in North America.

The Chihuahuan Desert covers an area of approximately 200,000 square miles. And extends into the states of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. They established the White Sands National Monument in 1933, and cover an area of approximately 275 square miles. White Sands Monument is home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field, which covers an area of approximately 150 square miles.

The sand at the White Sands National Monument is not white but is instead composed of gypsum, which is a white mineral. And the gypsum dunes at the Monument are some of the tallest in the world, reaching heights of up to 60 feet. The Monument is also home to a variety of plant and animal life.

The plants that grow at the White Sands National are also amazing! And a day at White sand’s National Park is a day well spent. it’s almost as unique as a Volcano National Park in Hawaii.

Hubbard Museum in Ruidoso NM

The Hubbard Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Ruidoso, NM. The museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the Mescalero Apache people. They named the museum after the late anthropologist and historian, Dr. Frank Hubbard. He dedicated his life to studying the Apache people, a Native American tribe. The Hubbard Museum is more than just a museum; it is a center for education and cultural enrichment. And the museum offers a variety of programs and events that are open to the public.

The programs are designed to educate and entertain. While promoting an understanding and appreciation of the Apache culture. The museum is also home to the Mescalero Apache Tribal Archives. And the archives contain a wealth of information about the history and culture of the Apache people.

The archives are open to the public. And are a valuable resource for researchers and students. The Hubbard Museum is a testament to the rich history and culture of the Mescalero Apache people. The museum is a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about the Apache people.

Discover the Best Hiking Trails in Ruidoso

As you can imagine, outside the town, there are some fantastic opportunities for hiking and wildlife encounters. Spending your vacation hiking is one of the best things to do in Ruidoso NM. The hiking here is just as good as some of the hiking in San Diego.

Here are some of the best trails to explore in Ruidoso.

Perk Ridge Trail

Perk Ridge Trail in Ruidoso, New Mexico, is a great place to hike and explore the local area. The trail is fairly easy to follow and is well marked. And the views from the trail are amazing, especially in the surrounding mountains. The Perk Ridge Trail is a great place to hike for all levels of hikers.

Besides the fabulous views, the Perk Ridge Trail is also home to a variety of wildlife. I was lucky enough to see a deer while I was hiking the trail. 

The deer was so tame that it allowed me to take a picture. I also saw a variety of birds, including a hawk and a woodpecker. The bird watching on the Perk Ridge Trail is just one more reason to hike it. If you are looking for a great place to hike in Ruidoso, New Mexico, I highly recommend the 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. And an amazing outdoor activity to do.

The Valley of Fires

The Valley of Fires is an ancient lava field making for an otherworldly landscape. 

It is a 40-minute drive from Ruidoso (You can plan a trip with Google Maps) and worth 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.

More Fun Things to do in Ruidoso NM

Things to do in Ruidoso

The American West is one of the most beautiful spots, and one of the cheapest places to visit in the United States. And Ruidoso embodies that charm. There is also horseback riding, a racetrack of Ruidoso Downs, mountain biking, Lincoln National Forest, Fort Stanton, and much more. Here are a few more things to do in the area. 

Sierra Blanca Peak

Sierra Blanca Peak is the tallest mountain in New Mexico and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The hike to the top is moderate in difficulty and takes about three hours round the trip.

Lake Mescalero

Lake Mescalero is a serene spot located just outside of Ruidoso. The lake is surrounded by forests and is a great place to go for a peaceful hike or picnic.

Grindstone Lake

Grindstone Lake is another brilliant spot for hiking and picnicking. The lake is in the middle of a forest and is a great place to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area.

Lincoln National Forest

Lincoln National Forest is a large forest that covers a significant portion of New Mexico. The forest offers many activities, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. 

This is why you should discover Ruidoso. So whether you are spending your time camping on nature’s doorstep in an RV park, road tripping to El Paso or Santa Fe, or visiting the Spencer Theater. There is something for you to do. And there is no shortage of things to do in Ruidoso.

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