My brother recently bought a summer home in Ruidoso, New Mexico and he sent me this review to entice me to come for a visit:
The small town of Ruidoso, New Mexico, is a nice “getaway” as they say out West — especially for those who’ve seen Vegas enough. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment — and it lives up to the billing.
Ruidoso is located about 2.5 hours north of El Paso, 2.5 hours south of Albuquerque, and is surrounded by the Sacramento and White Mountains, capped off by the grand Sierra Blanca Peak which tops out at 12,003 feet (Check out the drop-dead gorgeous view of the snow-capped Sierra Blanca Peak from my brother’s back deck).
The Ski Apache ski area is about a 40-minute drive from the center of town and is nestled just north of Sierra Blanca Peak (and to the right of the peak in the picture). Ski Apache is the southernmost ski area in the USA. It doesn’t get the snow of central Colorado, but it has enough runs to keep even a seasoned skier entertained. The ski area has its own charm and is operated by members of the Mescalero Apache tribe (as in Geronimo), whose reservation lands extend from Sierra Blanca Peak and south towards Cloud Croft – another charming town south of Ruidoso and east of Alamagordo. The locals call Alamagordo just “Alamo” as in, “I’m heading down to Alamo this afternoon.” The drive from Ruidoso to Alamagordo is an hour, down a descending, gently winding four lane highway, which has an expansive view of the White Sands in the distance. The New Mexico Space Museum is in Alamagordo and Hollomon Air Force Base — where they train future fighter pilots.
The sand at White Sands is so bright that you’ll need to bring your darkest shades. It’s a bucket-list worthy location. You can take a short hike out on the dunes, but take plenty of water and avoid hiking in the heat of summer. Ever seen a white lizard? You can find them at White Sands.
Southeast of Ruidoso is Fort Stanton, a late 1800’s cavalry post that has a unique history (Kit Carson was stationed there) and a fine museum to show off that history. Further out of the Fort Stanton area is the tiny town of Lincoln, where Billy the Kid made his famous getaway. You can stand at the window where Billy fired down on the sheriff coming across the street and see what the gunshot was all about that came from the jail building. You can walk east on main street to an excellent museum which describes the famous Lincoln County Wars that took place there.
Finally, you can’t be in Ruidoso in the summer without considering taking in a horse race at Ruidoso Downs, just east of Ruidoso proper. The racing season lasts from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and features Quarter Horse racing. – Claire, April 2017