Ruidoso, New Mexico

Ruidoso, New Mexico

Ruidoso, New Mexico

Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts.
Photo courtesy Spencer Theater.

Set in the shadow of Sierra Blanca Peak and the Lincoln National Forest, Ruidoso offers skiing, horse racing, and Wild West history.

Ruidoso nods to its Western roots at Ruidoso Downs, which hosts live horse racing May through September and the All-American Futurity, the richest quarter-horse race in the country. Nearby, Hubbard Museum of the American West celebrates the people and vehicles that settled the West. In neighboring Alto, Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts welcomes regional touring acts and is an architectural landmark.

Most of the town of Lincoln is composed of buildings protected by the Lincoln Historic Site, including the courthouse where Billy the Kid once escaped (the walls are still marked with bullet holes from that famous day). Mountain trails are a boon to bikers who pedal the Grindstone Trail system and the recently completed Cedar Creek Downhill Flow Trail.

Hikers head to the Lincoln National Forest, which spans more than a million acres of forested peaks and wildflower meadows. Smokey Bear, the living embodiment of the forest-fire prevention campaign, was rescued in these mountains, home to two wilderness areas suited to backcountry exploration.

Ski Apache is the state's second-largest ski area and the southernmost continuously operated ski area in the U.S. An eight-passenger gondola — the only in the state — carries skiers to prime slopes. Its zip line tours are another adrenaline-inducing way to experience the mountain. The Mescalero Apache tribe owns the ski area, along with Inn of the Mountain Gods resort, home to casino gambling, a golf course, and nightly entertainment.

Don't Miss: 2018 Ruidoso Happenings

Tour de Ruidoso Century Ride, Sept. 22
Cycle 100 miles through high country.
tourderuidoso.itsyourrace.com

Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium, Oct. 12–14
Learn the cowboy way with poetry, Dutch-oven cook-offs, and more.
cowboysymposium.org

Ruidoso, New Mexico

Photo by thinkstockphotos.com