15 Best Things to Do in Ruidoso

15 Best Things to Do in Ruidoso

Located in the bosom of the Sierra Blanca- Ruidoso is going to steal your heart. At first glance- it will be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen with your eyes.

The lakes, the natural trails, and the immense history of the Wild West just make the place all the more valuable.

Most people make this a winter destination where they come to enjoy the best skiing in the thick snows, but that is not all to Ruidoso. These are the top 15 things you can do in Ruidoso-

See the beautiful Bonito Lake

Bonito Lake
Felix Garcia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Sierra Blanca Mountains has many beautiful lakes, but none of them are as splendid as the Bonito Lake. For this reason, we decided that we shall be starting the trip by giving you a glimpse of this beauty that is quite near the Lincoln National Forest.

But, there is another wonderful feature about this lake, and that is its altitude. Being located at an extensive height of almost 7,380 feet- the lake has some of the coldest water all year round.

There are some hiking trails as well as a campground here around the lake where you can indulge in some adventurous activities.

Visit the Fort Stanton

Fort Stanton is one of the historical locations here in Ruidoso. Constructed in 1855, Fort Stanton has been through a lot. Originally it acted as a military garrison but was turned into a hospital after 40 years.

The hospital treated all the patients that were suffering from tuberculosis. Also, it played a huge role during the period of the Great Depression. It was a CCC camp at that time. And, even during the war, it was not left alone. It was transformed into a German Internment Camp.

The stories of this fort are surreal, and no one can even imagine how much it has seen during its lifespan. To preserve this vast history, the Fort Stanton Museum has taken it into its own hands to tell tales of its heroic past!

You can look around, read all the stories in detail, and get to know it all.

Check out the Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area

Did you know there were secret caves under the Sierra Blancas? Yes, not one, but too many!

The Fort Stanton Cave extends for more than 30 miles and is full of caves and caverns. There are very few cave systems that are as long as this one in all of Mexico and the USA as well.

Not all of the caves are open to the public, for there are unknown species of bats inside, and not much is known about them. But, you are free to go and explore the ones that are open to everyone.

There are many trails around these cave formations that you can hike around!

Enjoy the Alto Lake

Alto Lake
Steven Swangstu / Shutterstock.com

Alto Lake is the second most blissful lake on our list. And, beauty is not something we can pen down. Visit Ruidoso and see this one beautiful lake with your own eyes.

The lake is larger than it appears. You might not notice it at first, but there happens to be another part of this lake where you can hike to.

If you consider the whole hiking trail- you shall see there are paths worth almost 2 miles. And, fishing is one of the best activities here. The lake is filled with trouts!

Enjoy the views from Monjeau Lookout

Monjeau Lookout
emma cate6719 / Shutterstock.com

Located in Lincoln National Forest, the Monjeau Lookout was not always meant to be a spot for tourists.

In the old days where there were no means of connecting with people or getting news early- a lot of forests were destroyed due to the forest fires. In such a scenario, the Monjeau Lookout was built so that people could look out and see if fires were going on.

But, right now- it is one of the most scenic places for all tourists. Being enlisted on the National Register of Historic Places, the lookout is just amazing.

You can get some of the best views of the surroundings from up here and everything looks just majestic!

Look out for adventures in the Grindstone Lake

Grindstone Lake
Richard J Roberts / Shutterstock.com

Ruidoso is one of the most picturesque places with a lot of beautiful lakes. And, the third one on our list of gorgeous lakes to explore in Ruidoso happens to be none other than the splendid Grindstone Lake.

The Grindstone Lake is gifted with all sorts of beautiful aspects. You can take part in any sort of adventure around the lake for there are a lot of hiking trails.

The location is pretty as a painting and is something that will rock your social media feed! Wanna go fishing? Grindstone Lake is filled with some of the best fishes. Also, you can go kayaking in the smooth waters of the lake.

Check out the Spencer Theater

Spencer Theater
GSPhotography / Shutterstock.com

If you are coming to Ruidoso during the summer, and you want to see what the small town is- we suggest you catch a show at Spencer Theater. The Spencer Theater is too wonderful for this quiet town and is one of the biggest theaters too.

It also has some big shows like Broadway, musicals, and some famous fine performances too. The best thing about the theater is that no matter how you are seated or where you are seated- you’d get the same wonderful view.

The art lies in its design and architecture. So, do book a ticket and try to catch a show in this world-class theater.

Enjoy winters at Ski Apache

Ski Apache
Kyle A / Shutterstock.com

Ruidoso is one of the biggest winter destinations in the world. People plan their ski trips around the amount of snow in Ruisodo, and Ruisodo never fails to brighten up their vacations.

Most of the tourists come here during the winters for a ski trip, and Ski Apache is the place where they spend most of their time.

Did you know there are almost 55 trails where you can ski here in Ski Apache? And, it is said that there are more than 700 acres of land where you can ski! It sounds vast, doesn’t it? Well, it is huge. And, you cannot skip all around in a day!

There is even a gondola where you can go and get a view from above. There are ziplining services too!

Visit the Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache
Patricia Thomas / Shutterstock.com

Bosque del Apache is not exactly in the heart of Ruidoso but is just a quaint place that you must check out while you are driving to Ruidoso. It is a modern problem that wherever you go, you miss nature for the place has fallen victim to urbanization.

But, that is not the case here for there are hundreds of acres of barren land that is filled with just nature.
And, since the lands are empty- they get a lot of birds. It is said that almost 300 variants of different birds call Bosque del Apache their home.

Nature lovers and those who love watching birds come to fall in love with Bosque del Apache. And, this is just one of the cutest places to check out on your trip.

Have a hearty meal at Village Buttery

Feeling a bit tired after all that walking around? Want to fill up your tummy and get some energy again?

Well, are you not sure where you should have this hearty meal? Okay, let us suggest a place for you. The Village Buttery is the perfect place to go to after a long day of exploring the new city.

Often titled as the Best Lunch in Lincoln County, Village Buttery must be doing something right! Now, if you are a person with a sweet tooth- we recommend the best cookies that are home-made and warm.

A pecan pie might suit your taste buds too well! Granny Guthrie’s Buttermilk Pie is a dish that everyone will tell you to eat.

Looking for something savory? Don’t worry- they have the best sandwiches and quesadillas for you to munch on after a hungry day!

Lift your spirits at Noisy Water Winery

Noisy Water Winery is a great way to lighten up after a long day of sightseeing. Want to taste some of the local wines here at Ruidoso? You shall not be disappointed! The Noisy Water Winery has some of their stuff that you need to get a taste of!

Besito Caliente and Rojo Caliente are two such spicy wines that have the real taste and flavor of Mexico. They bring more wine connoisseurs to the shop. Did you know they also make some cheese?

Well, you shall have some spicy cheese here for it’s Mexico! Pair up these cheeses with the wines, and have a blast!

Shop a bit in Midtown

Are you looking forward to getting a local taste? Want to see what the locals of Ruidoso have in store for you? Is the shopaholic inside you yearning for some extra baggage? Let’s get going then. Midtown in Ruidoso knows how to win the hearts of shoppers.

But, first, let us start with some refreshments. The Noisy Water Winery that we were talking about earlier is also present here. Want to look for some tea? We have the cute local business- Old Barrel Tea Company. Now, let’s talk about the shopping scenes here.

There are hundreds of stores containing both international brands as well as local boutiques selling art and craft. You could spend hours here exploring everything.

Plan a stay at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort

Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort
GSPhotography / Shutterstock.com

Are you looking for a hotel? Say no more. We got the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort for you! Now, you might think that the expense might not be worth it, but trust us- it is worth your everything. This one hotel shall change your whole trip!

The place is situated in the backdrop of the most gorgeous Southern Rocky Mountains and is just a gateway to your paradise of fun. Want to go ziplining? How does kayaking sound? Does looking for elfs sound too thrilling? Wanna go hiking? Or, do you just want to go mountain biking in the rugged landscape?

Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort is the one solution to your five problems. Whatever it may be- the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort is the key to your fun in Ruidoso.

Try out a day at White Sands

White sands National Monument, New Mexico
Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock.com

Are you done with all the sightseeing in Ruidoso? Have some extra time on your hands? How about we plan a day trip for you?

There are plenty of places on the outskirts of Ruidoso that we can guide you to for a perfect outing. So, we took the privilege of choosing White Sands. Come on, we shall be convincing you a bit now.

If you drive to White Sands, it will not take you more than an hour. And, the place is picturesque on another level. The sand dunes that extend for miles are all white and the sight is just heavenly.

There is an entry fee for the White Sands National Monument, but it completely worth it. The sunset is a must when you visit this place. Go and have a picnic!

Learn about the past at Hubbard Museum of the American West

Want to get a look at how people used to live back in the day? There are not many places in Ruidoso, that will make you think that this town was filled with the early settlers of New Mexico.

The Native Americans made Ruidoso their home, and now all that’s left of them are the artifacts in this museum.

The Hubbard Museum of the American West tells you all about the supremacy of the Wild West. You get to see all the hype about them.

See the old artifacts- their weapons, wagons, tools, and everything regarding how they used to earn their bread and live their life. The museum is under the Smithsonian Institute, and has some of the best displays!

This brings us to the end of our Ruidoso trip. We hope you had fun, and we shall be back again.