Fun Facts about Ruidoso

  • 1. Ruidoso is a charming village located in Lincoln County, in the southern part of New Mexico, USA. It is nestled in the Sierra Blanca mountain range of the Rocky Mountains and is home to the Smokey Bear District of Lincoln National Forest and ranges in elevation from 5,400 to 11,580 feet. The town is known for its stunning natural surroundings, including the towering Sierra Blanca Peak and the Lincoln National Forest, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  • 2. The Smokey Bear Historical Park, located in nearby Capitan, is dedicated to the famous bear, who is buried on the grounds, and serves as a tribute to wildfire prevention efforts. Visitors to area of Ruidoso can enjoy wildlife viewing opportunities, as the region is home to various species, including elk, mule deer, black bears, and numerous bird species.
  • 3. Horse racing has a long history in Ruidoso. The Ruidoso Downs racetrack opened in 1947 and hosts thoroughbred and quarter horse racing from May through September. Ruidoso Downs is a prominent horse racing track in the area, hosting the All American Futurity, one of the richest quarter horse races in the world.
  • 4. Ruidoso is home to the southernmost ski area in the Rocky Mountains, Ski Apache. It has 55 trails and a peak elevation of 11,500 feet. While Ruidoso is a winter sports destination, it attracts visitors year-round with activities such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and golf during the warmer months.
  • 5. Usually held in September, Ruidoso holds the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium celebrating the history, culture, art, poetry, and music of the American West.
  • 6. The population of Ruidoso swells from around 7,000 permanent residents to over 50,000 during peak tourist seasons thanks to its mild weather and natural beauty. Ruidoso features a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, music festivals, and cultural events throughout the year, making it a hub for local artists and artisans.
  • 7. Ruidoso has a couple of casinos, including the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino, where you can try your luck at various table games and slot machines.
  • 8. The village’s historic downtown area offers quaint shops, restaurants, and a welcoming atmosphere for visitors to explore and enjoy the local culture.
  1. 9. Ruidoso is about an hour away from Cloudcroft, which with its downtown area located at approximately 8,600 feet (2,621 meters) above sea level, is the highest most southern town in New Mexico. This elevation makes it a cool and refreshing escape from the heat of the surrounding desert regions.