History & Culture
Ruidoso offers history buffs a region rich in Native American cultures, famous forts and time-honored traditions along with legendary characters and cowboy folklore.
The Hubbard Museum of the American West (formerly the Museum of the Horse) is a Smithsonian affiliate with collections that showcase items from the three cultures that contributed so greatly to the settling of the American West—Anglo, Native, and Hispanic.
The Fort Stanton State Historic Site is a must-see historic attraction when visiting Lincoln County. Few sites in the nation encompass the breadth of history seen at the Fort.
Established in 1873 by presidential order, the Mescalero Apache reservation covers 720 square miles of land adjacent to the Village of Ruidoso. The Mescalero Apache Tribe owns and operates both Ski Apache Ski Resort and the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino as well as other Reservation-based enterprises.
Lincoln, the most widely visited historic site in New Mexico, is part of a community frozen in time—the 1870s and 1880s. The historic site includes 17 structures and outbuildings, four of which are open year round and two more seasonally as museums.
White Oaks is a Lincoln County ghost town just north of Carrizozo that became a boomtown in 1879 following the discovery of gold and coal in the nearby Jicarilla Mountains. Today, there's a small historic museum, a legendary saloon, and the White Oaks Pottery art studio.
Old West storytellers, musicians, western artists, and craftsmen come together for three days of events, cowboy competitions horse demonstrations, western swing dancing, a kids rodeo and more.
Located in White Oaks, once a booming gold mining town, the No Scum Allowed Saloon is one of the best cowboy bars in America. The saloon atmosphere is good old-fashioned country: open and friendly, with good music and cold beer at the ready.
Visit historic Lincoln, once home to outlaw Billy the Kid and lawman Pat Garrett. on this scenic drive through the rugged beauty of the million-acre Lincoln National Forest.
The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, New Mexico celebrates the significant role the state of New Mexico has played in the development of the U.S. Space Program.
A glimpse into a bygone era, Ruidoso history comes alive at Dowlin's Old Mill, Ruidoso's oldest building the one of the Southwest's remaining water mills.
In 1950, Smokey was an orphaned little bear cub with burned paws, found in the aftermath of the Capitan Gap wildfire. Smokey Bear rose to fame as an icon for forest fire prevention and he lived in Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo for 26 years. When he passed away, the famous black bear was laid to rest in his hometown of Capitan, NM.
"Before White Oaks became known as the liveliest town in New Mexico Territory the area was first roamed by the Piros Indians before they were forced out by the fierce Apache. Though the region is arid and dotted with lava rock, the Indians found it abundant with game and made it one of their hunting grounds." - Legends of America