Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Ruidoso, NM

New Mexico

By Sarah Anderson

Welcome to Ruidoso, NM, a charming mountain town nestled in the picturesque Sierra Blanca range. Known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, Ruidoso offers a wide range of attractions and activities that are sure to satisfy any traveler’s wanderlust. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an avid skier, or a fan of arts and culture, Ruidoso has something for everyone.

One of the top attractions in Ruidoso is the Ruidoso Downs Race Track, home to the renowned All American Futurity horse race. Experience the thrill of watching these majestic animals thunder down the track as you cheer on your favorite horse. If you’re feeling lucky, you can even place a bet and try your hand at horse racing.

If you prefer a slower pace, Ruidoso is also home to the Lincoln National Forest, a pristine wilderness area that offers endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Explore the forest’s scenic trails, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Keep an eye out for native wildlife such as elk, deer, and birds.

No visit to Ruidoso would be complete without a trip to the iconic Sierra Blanca Peak, the highest summit in the state of New Mexico. Strap on your hiking boots and embark on a challenging but rewarding hike to the top, where panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests await. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas.

If you’re looking for a dose of culture, Ruidoso also boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene. Explore the local galleries and art studios, where you’ll find a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and crafts created by talented local artists. Be sure to visit the Hubbard Museum of the American West, which showcases the rich history and heritage of the American West through engaging exhibits and interactive displays.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, thrilling horse races, or a cultural immersion, Ruidoso has it all. Plan your trip to this enchanting mountain town and discover why it’s one of the top-rated destinations in New Mexico.

Top-Rated Attractions in Ruidoso, NM

Ruidoso, New Mexico, is a charming mountain town known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or history buff, Ruidoso has something for everyone. Here are some of the top-rated attractions in Ruidoso that you shouldn’t miss:

  • 1. Ski Apache: Experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding on the slopes of Ski Apache, New Mexico’s premier ski resort. With over 750 acres of skiable terrain and breathtaking views, it’s a must-visit for any winter sports enthusiast.
  • 2. Grindstone Lake: Enjoy a day of fishing, boating, or hiking at Grindstone Lake. The lake is surrounded by lush forests and offers stunning views of the mountains. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.
  • 3. Lincoln National Forest: Explore the natural beauty of Lincoln National Forest, which covers over 1.1 million acres. Hike through scenic trails, have a picnic in the shade of towering pines, or go camping under the starry sky.
  • 4. Hubbard Museum of the American West: Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the American West at the Hubbard Museum. Discover exhibits on Native American art, Western artifacts, and the history of the region.
  • 5. Ruidoso Downs Race Track: Place your bets and cheer on the horses at Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Known as the “Home of the $3 Million Futurity,” this iconic race track offers thrilling races and a lively atmosphere.
  • 6. The Links at Sierra Blanca: Tee off at The Links, a championship golf course nestled in the picturesque mountains of Ruidoso. With its challenging fairways and stunning views, it’s a golfer’s paradise.
  • 7. Pillow’s Funtrackers: Have a fun-filled day with the family at Pillow’s Funtrackers. This amusement park offers go-karts, mini-golf, bumper boats, and an arcade. It’s guaranteed to be a hit with kids of all ages.
  • 8. Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts: Catch a live performance at the Spencer Theater, a state-of-the-art venue that hosts a variety of shows, including concerts, plays, and ballet performances. Don’t miss the chance to be entertained by world-class artists.

These top-rated attractions in Ruidoso are just a taste of what this delightful mountain town has to offer. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, a peaceful retreat in nature, or a cultural experience, Ruidoso has it all.

Ski Apache Resort

Ski Apache Resort is a popular winter destination in Ruidoso, NM, offering world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Located on the slopes of Sierra Blanca, the resort boasts breathtaking views and extensive terrain suitable for all skill levels.

With an elevation of over 12,000 feet, Ski Apache Resort is renowned for its excellent snow conditions and long ski season, which typically lasts from November to April. The resort has 55 trails covering 750 acres of skiable terrain, offering a variety of slopes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers.

One of the highlights of Ski Apache Resort is the Apache Bowl, a challenging and thrilling run that is perfect for expert skiers looking for an adrenaline rush. The resort also features a terrain park with jumps, rails, and other exciting features for freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Ski Apache Resort offers other activities for visitors to enjoy. The resort has a tubing area, where guests can slide down the slopes on inflatable tubes for some fun-filled adventure. There are also opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful winter landscape.

Ski Apache Resort provides excellent amenities and services to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for guests. The resort has a ski school, offering lessons for individuals of all ages and skill levels. There are also rental shops where visitors can hire equipment and gear for their skiing or snowboarding adventures.

After a day on the slopes, visitors can relax and unwind at the resort’s cozy lodge, featuring restaurants, a bar, and a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. The lodge also offers accommodation options for those who wish to stay overnight.

Whether you are a seasoned skier or a beginner looking to try out a new winter sport, Ski Apache Resort is a must-visit destination in Ruidoso. With its beautiful scenery, top-notch facilities, and exciting activities, the resort provides a memorable winter adventure for all.

Lincoln National Forest

The Lincoln National Forest is a vast natural wonder located in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Covering over 1.1 million acres, the forest offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities and stunning natural beauty.

One of the most popular attractions in the Lincoln National Forest is the Ski Apache, which boasts the highest peak in Southern New Mexico. Visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tubing during the winter months, and hiking, mountain biking, and zip-lining during the summer months. The breathtaking panoramic views from the mountain are a must-see.

For those who prefer a more relaxed outdoor experience, there are numerous picnic areas and campgrounds throughout the forest. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful picnic surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife, or set up campsites to spend a night under the starry sky.

The forest is also home to several hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes for experienced adventurers. One iconic trail is the Crest Trail, which stretches for 16 miles along the Sierra Blanca mountain range and offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and peaks.

The Lincoln National Forest is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a protected habitat for various plant and animal species. Keep an eye out for mule deer, elk, bears, and a variety of bird species as you explore the forest.

Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities or a peaceful escape in nature, the Lincoln National Forest has something to offer for everyone. With its diverse landscape and abundant recreational opportunities, it’s truly a natural gem that should not be missed.

Ruidoso Downs Racetrack

The Ruidoso Downs Racetrack is a popular destination for horse racing enthusiasts in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Known as the “Home of the All American Futurity,” it is one of the premier racetracks in the region.

The racetrack boasts a rich history and has been a staple in Ruidoso since it first opened in 1947. It has since become a renowned venue for quarter horse racing, attracting fans and competitors from all over the country. The track is known for its challenging layout and fast times, making it a thrilling experience for both jockeys and spectators.

The highlight of the racing season at Ruidoso Downs is the All American Futurity, which is the richest race for two-year-old quarter horses in the world. The stakes are high, with a large purse and the opportunity for young horses to make a name for themselves in the racing industry. Thousands of people gather at the racetrack to witness this prestigious event every year.

In addition to the All American Futurity, Ruidoso Downs Racetrack hosts several other major races throughout the year, including the Ruidoso Derby and the Rainbow Futurity. These races attract top-tier horses, jockeys, and trainers, making for exciting and competitive competitions.

Aside from live horse racing, the racetrack also offers other amenities and entertainment options. Visitors can enjoy onsite dining options, such as traditional track fare and sit-down restaurants, or try their luck at the located at the racetrack.

For those looking to learn more about the world of horse racing, Ruidoso Downs Racetrack offers guided tours where visitors can get a behind-the-scenes look at the track and learn about the history of the sport. There is also a museum on-site that showcases racing memorabilia and artifacts.

Address 26225 US-70, Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346
Phone (575) 378-4431

Whether you’re a seasoned horse racing fan or simply looking for an exciting and unique experience in Ruidoso, the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack is a must-visit attraction. The combination of thrilling races, beautiful surroundings, and a rich racing tradition make it a destination that should not be missed.

Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts

The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts in Ruidoso, New Mexico is a premier venue for world-class entertainment. This state-of-the-art facility offers a diverse range of performances, ranging from theater and music to dance and comedy.

The theater is located in a stunning mountain setting, providing a beautiful backdrop for the performances. Its elegant architecture and modern amenities make it a popular choice for both artists and audience members alike.

One of the highlights of the Spencer Theater is its acoustics. The venue is renowned for its exceptional sound quality, ensuring that every note can be heard with clarity and precision. Whether you’re watching a symphony performance or a Broadway musical, the theater’s acoustics enhance the experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the performance.

In addition to its top-notch performances, the Spencer Theater also offers educational programs for the community. They host workshops, masterclasses, and outreach events that aim to inspire and engage young artists. The theater is committed to fostering a love for the performing arts and nurturing the talents of the next generation.

If you’re visiting Ruidoso, a trip to the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is a must. Check their schedule and secure your tickets in advance to witness a memorable performance in a stunning venue. Whether you’re a fan of theater, music, or dance, the Spencer Theater has something to offer everyone.

Experience the magic of live performances at the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts and create lasting memories in the heart of New Mexico’s scenic beauty.

Grindstone Lake

Grindstone Lake is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Ruidoso, offering a wide range of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. This beautiful lake is located just a few minutes from downtown and provides a stunning backdrop for a day of fun and relaxation.

The lake is perfect for fishing enthusiasts, with a variety of fish species including trout, bass, and catfish. Visitors can bring their own fishing gear or rent equipment from the nearby boat rental shop. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, Grindstone Lake offers a great opportunity to catch some fish and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

In addition to fishing, Grindstone Lake is also a great place for boating and kayaking. You can rent a paddleboat, canoe, or kayak and explore the calm waters of the lake. There are several boat ramps and docks available for visitors, making it easy to launch your watercraft and start your adventure.

If you prefer to stay dry, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy around the lake. The surrounding area offers several hiking and biking trails, providing a scenic and challenging experience for outdoor enthusiasts. You can take a leisurely walk along the lakeside trail or explore the more rugged terrain further away from the water.

Grindstone Lake is also a popular spot for bird watching, with a variety of bird species calling the area home. You can bring your binoculars and camera to capture some amazing photos of the local wildlife, including eagles, herons, and waterfowl.

For families with children, Grindstone Lake has a playground and picnic area, making it a perfect destination for a day trip. You can enjoy a picnic by the lake, play on the playground, and soak up the sunshine.

Overall, Grindstone Lake is a must-visit attraction in Ruidoso, offering a wide range of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re into fishing, boating, hiking, or simply taking in the beautiful scenery, this lake has something for everyone.

Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and

The Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and is a premier destination in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Nestled high in the mountains, this luxurious resort offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and a wide range of amenities and activities for guests to enjoy.

With its modern and spacious rooms, guests can relax in comfort and style. Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The resort also offers a variety of dining options, from casual to fine dining, where guests can indulge in delicious cuisine prepared by talented chefs.

One of the main attractions of the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and is its . With over 45,000 square feet of gaming space, guests can try their luck at a variety of gaming machines, table games, and . The also hosts regular tournaments and events, giving guests even more opportunities to win big.

For those looking for outdoor activities, the resort has plenty to offer. Guests can explore the beautiful hiking trails that wind through the surrounding mountains, or take a dip in the resort’s swimming pool. The resort also has a golf course, tennis courts, and a fitness center, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, the resort’s spa offers a range of treatments and services. Guests can book a massage, facial, or body treatment, and unwind in the serene and tranquil surroundings.

Whether you’re looking for excitement, relaxation, or a combination of both, the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and has it all. With its breathtaking views, luxurious accommodations, and plethora of amenities, it truly is a top-rated destination in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Flying J Ranch

The Flying J Ranch is a popular attraction in Ruidoso, NM that offers a taste of the Old West. This working cattle ranch provides visitors with a fun and interactive experience that showcases the history and culture of the area.

One of the main attractions at the Flying J Ranch is the Chuckwagon Dinner Show. Guests can enjoy a delicious old-fashioned chuckwagon dinner, which includes items such as steak, chicken, beans, and homemade biscuits. The dinner is served in a rustic outdoor setting, and live entertainment is provided throughout the meal.

In addition to the Chuckwagon Dinner Show, the Flying J Ranch also offers a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy. Guests can participate in horseback riding, hiking, and fishing on the ranch’s scenic grounds. The ranch also hosts special events and rodeos throughout the year.

For those who want to learn more about the history of the area, the Flying J Ranch features a museum that displays artifacts and exhibits related to the Old West. Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the cowboys, outlaws, and pioneers who helped shape the region.

Overall, the Flying J Ranch is a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Ruidoso, NM. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious chuckwagon dinner, exploring the scenic grounds, or learning about the history of the Old West, a visit to the Flying J Ranch is sure to be a memorable experience.

Hubbard Museum of the American West

Located in Ruidoso, New Mexico, the Hubbard Museum of the American West is a must-visit attraction for those interested in the history and culture of the American West. The museum showcases a wide range of exhibits and artifacts that highlight the rich heritage of the region.

One of the main highlights of the Hubbard Museum is its extensive collection of Native American art and artifacts. Visitors can explore exhibits that feature Navajo weavings, pottery, and beadwork, as well as Pueblo pottery and Apache baskets. These artworks provide a unique insight into the Native American cultures that have shaped the history of the American West.

In addition to its Native American collection, the Hubbard Museum also features exhibits that focus on the cowboys, ranching, and the western lifestyle. Visitors can learn about the history of the cattle industry, see authentic cowboy gear and saddles, and even step into a replica of an old Western town. The museum also offers interactive displays and educational programs that bring the history and culture of the American West to life.

For those interested in the wildlife of the American West, the Hubbard Museum has a large display of mounted animals native to the region. From elk and deer to wolves and bears, visitors can get an up-close look at the diverse wildlife that roams the West. There is also a section dedicated to the history of the horse in the American West, showcasing the importance of these noble animals in the development of the region.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply curious about the American West, a visit to the Hubbard Museum of the American West is sure to be a memorable experience. With its wide range of exhibits and interactive displays, there is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from at this top-rated attraction in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Pillow’s Funtrackers

Pillow’s Funtrackers is a must-visit attraction in Ruidoso, New Mexico. It is a family-friendly destination that offers a wide range of fun activities for all ages.

The main highlight of Pillow’s Funtrackers is its go-kart track, which is one of the largest and fastest in the area. Visitors can race against their friends and family members on the track, experiencing the thrill and excitement of high-speed karting.

In addition to go-karting, Pillow’s Funtrackers also offers a variety of other attractions. You can test your skills in the arcade, where you will find a wide selection of video games and classic arcade games. There is also a mini-golf course, perfect for a friendly competition with your loved ones.

If you are looking for a bit of adrenaline, Pillow’s Funtrackers has something for you too. The attraction features bumper boats, where you can enjoy splashing and bumping into others in a safe and fun environment. There is also a rock climbing wall, where you can challenge yourself and see how high you can climb.

Pillow’s Funtrackers is not only about fun and games – it also has a snack bar where you can grab a bite to eat between all the activities. The attraction is known for its delicious food offerings, including burgers, hot dogs, and other classic amusement park snacks.

Overall, Pillow’s Funtrackers is a wonderful place to spend a day with your family or friends. With its wide range of attractions and activities, it is no wonder why it is one of the top-rated attractions in Ruidoso, NM. So next time you are in the area, make sure to visit Pillow’s Funtrackers for a day of fun and entertainment.

Mountain Annie’s Old Time Photos

Mountain Annie’s Old Time Photos is a unique and fun attraction in Ruidoso, NM. This popular spot allows visitors to step back in time and dress up in vintage costumes to have their pictures taken.

Whether you want to be a cowboy, saloon girl, Victorian lady, or gangster, Mountain Annie’s has a wide selection of costumes to choose from. The friendly and talented staff will make sure you look your best and capture the perfect shot.

The photos make for great souvenirs or gifts for friends and family. You can choose from color or black and white prints, and there are also digital options available. The professional photographers at Mountain Annie’s will work with you to create a photo that captures the essence of the Old West.

In addition to the photo sessions, Mountain Annie’s also offers a variety of props and backdrops to enhance your experience. You can pose with a vintage wagon, sit at an old-timey bar, or even take a ride on a mechanical horse.

Mountain Annie’s is open year-round and is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. It’s a great way to have some fun and create lasting memories while visiting Ruidoso.

If you’re looking for a unique and entertaining experience during your stay in Ruidoso, be sure to check out Mountain Annie’s Old Time Photos. It’s a fun-filled activity that will transport you back in time and allow you to create fun and memorable pictures.

Sierra Blanca Peak

Sierra Blanca Peak is the highest peak in the southern Rocky Mountains and is a popular attraction for outdoor enthusiasts in Ruidoso, NM. Standing at a majestic height of 12,003 feet (3,659 meters), this mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area.

The peak is part of the Lincoln National Forest, which offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife observation. Visitors can explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the forest, with options available for hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you may encounter a diverse range of wildlife, including deer, elk, and various species of birds.

For those seeking a more challenging adventure, there are opportunities for rock climbing and mountaineering on Sierra Blanca Peak. These activities require experience and technical skills, but the reward is reaching the summit and experiencing the breathtaking views from the top.

In addition to outdoor activities, there are also scenic drives in the area that allow visitors to appreciate the beauty of Sierra Blanca Peak and its surroundings. The renowned Byway 48, also known as the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway, offers stunning vistas and passes through the town of Ruidoso before continuing up into the mountains.

For a more relaxed experience, visitors can take a ride on the Apache Eagle Ziprider, which provides a unique perspective of the mountain as you soar through the air. This thrilling activity is a favorite among visitors and offers an adrenaline rush like no other.

If you visit Ruidoso, NM, don’t miss the chance to explore Sierra Blanca Peak and all the natural beauty it has to offer. Whether you prefer hiking, camping, rock climbing, or simply taking in the views, this iconic mountain is a must-see attraction in the area.

Location: Lincoln National Forest, Ruidoso, NM
Elevation: 12,003 feet (3,659 meters)
Activities: Hiking, camping, wildlife observation, rock climbing, mountaineering, scenic drives, zip lining
Scenic Drive: Byway 48 (Billy the Kid Scenic Byway)

The Links at Sierra Blanca is a premier golf course located in Ruidoso, New Mexico. This beautiful course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Designed by the renowned golf course architect, Jim Colbert, The Links at Sierra Blanca offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a layout that seamlessly blends with the natural landscape. With its lush fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and pristine greens, this course is a must-visit for any golf enthusiast.

The course features 18 holes, each with its own unique set of challenges. Golfers can expect a variety of hole designs, including doglegs, water hazards, and strategically placed trees. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to test your skills and have a great time on this course.

In addition to its exceptional golfing experience, The Links at Sierra Blanca also offers a range of amenities to enhance your visit. The clubhouse features a pro shop where you can find the latest golf equipment and apparel. There is also a restaurant and bar where you can enjoy a delicious meal or relax with a refreshing drink after your round.

If you’re looking to improve your game, The Links at Sierra Blanca also offers professional golf instruction. Whether you’re in need of a quick tune-up or want to take your game to the next level, the experienced instructors at the course can help you reach your goals.

Course Details Contact Information
Number of holes: 18 Phone: (555) 123-4567
Par: 72 Email:
Yardage: 6,500 Address: 123 Golf Course Rd, Ruidoso, NM 88345
Course rating: 73.4
Slope rating: 139

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Ruidoso, The Links at Sierra Blanca is a must-visit attraction. With its challenging course, stunning views, and top-notch amenities, it’s no wonder that this golf course is highly rated by both locals and tourists alike.


What are some must-see attractions in Ruidoso, NM?

Some must-see attractions in Ruidoso, NM include the Ski Apache, the Hubbard Museum of the American West, and the Grindstone Lake. Ski Apache offers skiing and snowboarding in the winter, as well as zip-lining and hiking in the summer. The Hubbard Museum showcases the history and culture of the American West, while Grindstone Lake offers fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities.

Are there any outdoor activities in Ruidoso, NM?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Ruidoso, NM. You can go hiking or mountain biking on the numerous trails in the area, including the popular Flying J Ranch Trail. You can also go fishing or boating on Grindstone Lake, or try your luck at golfing at one of the local golf courses.

What is the best time to visit Ruidoso, NM?

The best time to visit Ruidoso, NM depends on your preferences. If you enjoy winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, then the winter months of December to February are ideal. If you prefer outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, then the summer months of June to August are recommended. The fall months of September to November offer beautiful foliage and pleasant weather as well.

Are there any cultural attractions in Ruidoso, NM?

Yes, Ruidoso, NM has several cultural attractions to explore. The Hubbard Museum of the American West showcases the history and culture of the American West through exhibits and artifacts. The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of live performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and dance performances. There are also several art galleries in the area that feature local and regional artwork.

What are some family-friendly activities in Ruidoso, NM?

Ruidoso, NM offers plenty of family-friendly activities. You can visit the Flying J Ranch, which is a working cattle ranch that offers chuckwagon dinners and Wild West shows. The Pillow’s Funtrackers Family Fun Center offers go-karts, mini-golf, and arcade games. You can also visit the All American Futurity, which is a popular horse racing event held annually on Labor Day weekend.

What are the top attractions in Ruidoso, NM?

The top attractions in Ruidoso, NM include Ski Apache, Ruidoso Downs Race Track, and Grindstone Lake.


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Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson, an Anchorage-based travel writer contributing her expertise to TravelAsker. Her in-depth knowledge of Alaska, both in her hometown and throughout the state, makes her the go-to local expert. From top-notch accommodations to delectable dining spots and thrilling activities, Sarah’s insightful recommendations ensure you’ll have a fantastic family trip in Alaska.

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