About Ruidoso Tourism

The Ruidoso Tourism Office is dedicated to the promotion of Ruidoso as the premier resort destination in Southern New Mexico. Ruidoso is a small mountain village located in Lincoln County in the Sacramento Mountains of South Central New Mexico.   The community of 8,000 people sits at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, which makes Ruidoso the most popular tourism destination in the region. The Village of Ruidoso is governed by a Mayor, Village Council and Village Manager and Staff.  The Village offers a wide range of services to its residents, including the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport.

Ruidoso is surrounded by over a million acres of forest and wilderness. The Lincoln National Forest, the White Mountain Wilderness Area and the Bureau of Land Management’s Fort Stanton National Conservation Area offer hundreds of miles of multi-use trails and is an ideal destination for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and camping. Ruidoso is located in the Smokey Bear Ranger District for the Lincoln National Forest.  Smokey Bear, the bear cub that became the symbol of forest fire prevention, was rescued by firefighters from Fort Bliss Army Base after a forest fire in the Capitan Mountains in 1950. After his passing in 1976, Smokey was returned home to Capitan and now rests at the Smokey Bear Historical Park.

The Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino located in nearby Ruidoso Downs brings tens of thousands of visitors to the area during racing season, Memorial Day through Labor Day. The All-American Futurity is held annually on Labor Day; the race is the richest quarter horse race in the world with a purse of over $3 million.

Adjacent to Ruidoso one may also find the Mescalero Apache Reservation.  The Mescalero Apache are native to this region; the present reservation was established in 1883. The 463,000 acre reservation lies on the eastern flank of the Sacramento Mountains and borders the Lincoln National Forest.   The Mescalero Tribe owns and operates both Ski Apache and the Inn of the Mountain Gods, the areas only full service resort hotel.

The Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce is the most vibrant organization in the Ruidoso community. With 500 members from all segments of the Ruidoso area business community, the Chamber is a proactive force that is engaged with the community and provides essential services to our local businesses. The Chamber organizes three of the biggest events of the year: The Ruidoso Art Festival, a juried fine arts show that takes place during the last weekend in July, the Aspenfest Parade, held on the first Saturday of October, and the Festival of Lights Parade held on the first Saturday night in December.