Nestled in the beautiful mountains of Southern New Mexico is a small town called Ruidoso. It’s known as the year around playground of the Southwest. Ruidoso is widely known for winter skiing and in the summer Quarter Horse Racing at Ruidoso Downs.
Ruidoso is located next to the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation rich in frontier heritage. The famous Apache Chief Geronimo was part of this tribe. The reservation boasts the largest peak in the southern United States, Sierra Blanca stands at 12,003’. Sierra Blanca means White Mountain, a sacred place for the Mescalero Indians.
Camping in the Lincoln National Forest is breathtaking. You can enjoy hiking the ski area in the summer time, with trails for short or long hikes, and mountain bikes are available for rent. The big attraction is the Zip Line tour that spans over 8900’ in length. The Wind Tour as it’s called is one of the longest zip lines in the world. A speed up to 65 MPH, the Wind Rider is a true thrill. With breathtaking views this will give you a lifetime of memories.
Hiking is available in and around the Bonita Lake area, where you will find some of the most beautiful mountain trails in New Mexico. Bonita Lake well known for Rainbow trout fishing, get your fly rods out and enjoy some great fishing. Many hiking trails for you to explore, novice or experienced outdoorsman will find the areas full of fun challenges.
For the daring you can summit Sierra Blanca. Keep in mind this is on the Mescalero Apache Indian reservation and getting permission is not easy. These are sacred lands so they must be treated as such. However, there are those few that have summited this beautiful peak. The best time of year seems to be August. At this elevation you will need to acclimate and take precautions to avoid altitude sickness. Several ways to get to the peak ride the Gondola and cross the ridge or hike from the Ski area main parking area. You will need to reach out to the National Park service for ways to obtain permission.
The wonderful thing about Ruidoso is you’re in the mountains. You can literally find hundreds of places to camp hike and enjoy the outdoors. Plenty of venues for outdoor fun, you will want to check with the Forest Service for hiking trail closures and fire hazard levels before you venture out.