11 Best Places and Things To Do in Ruidoso, New Mexico

Ruidoso, New Mexico is a charming mountain village nestled in the Sierra Blanca mountain range. Known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreational activities, and vibrant arts scene, Ruidoso offers a plethora of attractions and things to do for visitors. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a thrill-seeker, Ruidoso has something to offer everyone.

1. Lincoln National Forest

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Ruidoso is surrounded by the pristine wilderness of the Lincoln National Forest. Explore the forest’s numerous trails, which offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The forest is also home to wildlife, including elk, deer, and a variety of bird species.

2. Grindstone Lake

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This picturesque lake is a popular spot for outdoor activities. You can go fishing for trout, take a leisurely walk around the lake, rent a paddleboat or kayak, or have a picnic by the water’s edge. The surrounding park also has playgrounds, a disc golf course, and hiking trails.

3. Hubbard Museum of the American West

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Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the American West at the Hubbard Museum. The museum showcases an impressive collection of Western art, artifacts, and exhibits that provide insights into the heritage of the region.

4. Ruidoso River

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Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Ruidoso River Trail, a scenic pathway that follows the course of the river. The trail offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and is an ideal spot for birdwatching and enjoying nature.

5. Pillow’s Funtrackers

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Perfect for a family outing, Pillow’s Funtrackers offers an array of exciting activities. Enjoy go-kart racing, miniature golf, bumper boats, and arcade games. It’s a great place to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends.

6. Sierra Blanca Peak

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Embark on an adventure to the summit of Sierra Blanca Peak, the highest point in southern New Mexico. This challenging hike rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Be prepared with appropriate gear and check weather conditions before attempting the hike.

7. Ruidoso River Museum

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Discover the local heritage and history of the Ruidoso area at the Ruidoso River Museum. The museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and displays that highlight the region’s past, including its Native American roots, logging industry, and early settlers.

8. Ruidoso Winter Park

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Ruidoso Winter Park is a popular destination in Ruidoso, New Mexico, especially during the winter months. This family-friendly winter park offers a range of exciting snow activities for visitors of all ages. The main attraction at Ruidoso Winter Park is its tubing hill, which provides an exhilarating experience for both kids and adults. Grab a tube, ride the conveyor lift to the top of the hill, and slide down the well-groomed lanes, speeding through the snow. It’s a thrilling activity that guarantees laughter and fun.

9. Monjeau Lookout

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Monjeau Lookout offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and the Ruidoso Valley. From the top, you can take in the beauty of the Sierra Blanca Mountains, the Capitan Mountains, and the vast expanse of the valley below. The sweeping vistas provide a picturesque backdrop for photography and an opportunity to connect with nature.

10. Fort Stanton

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Fort Stanton was established in 1855 as a military post to protect settlers and travelers in the region. It played a significant role in the settlement of the American Southwest, serving as a base during conflicts with Native American tribes and as a training ground for the Buffalo Soldiers. The fort also served as a tuberculosis sanatorium during the early 20th century.

11. Bonito Lake

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Bonito Lake is known for its stunning natural beauty. Surrounded by towering pine trees and nestled in a picturesque mountain valley, the lake offers a tranquil and idyllic setting. The crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the surrounding landscape, creating a serene atmosphere.

Ruidoso, New Mexico, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to different interests. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, shopping, or simply a relaxing time, Ruidoso has something for everyone to enjoy.