You have asked and we are listening! We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about Ruidoso, NM. If the question you are wondering about is not on this page, feel free to contact us. We may even add your question to this page for future visitors.
We hope you come enjoy all the wonderful sights and things to do in Ruidoso soon!
It means Noisy Water.
Sierra Blanca is 11,081 feet, it is the southernmostpeak of the Rocky Mountains
Our Main Street shopping district (aka Midtown) is on Sudderth Drive between Country Club Drive and Center Street.
It typically snows by Thanksgiving but, that does not mean that you will see snow in town. Most of the time, the snow melts fairly quickly in town. Snow will usually stay on the mountain throughout the winter season.
Highway 532 (Ski Run Road) is 10 miles north of town at the Brewer’s Shell Station. The road is 12 miles long. It takes approximately 45 minutes to drive to the top. That time will vary some depending on the weather.
4-wheel drive or chains are only required on the ski run road. If 4 wheel drive or chains are required, due to snow conditions on the road, you will need one or the other. If you come to town without chains, you can rent or buy them here. If we have snow on the main roads and you only have 2 wheel drive, we suggest you sit tight and wait until the Street Department clears the road or the snow melts down.
All vehicles must be registered as required by New Mexico law.
New Mexico residents must title and register OHVs with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division to operate the vehicles legally on public lands. Registration costs up to $53 for two years.
Non-resident permit fees are $48 for two years or $18 for 90 days. Permits are available at all New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offices and online: http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ohv/registration-permits/. Find OHV requirements, information, and map of New Mexico recreational riding sites in this OHV New Mexico Brochure (Updated 03-30-2020).
Take in the breathtaking views of Inn of the Mountain Gods as you glide over the crystal waters of Lake Mescalero.The Apache Eagle Zipline offers parallel cables so riders can enjoy the view side-by-side for 1-2 minutes of high-speed thrill! Looking for a more adrenaline-pumping adventure? Head up to Ski Apache to experience the three-part Apache Wind Rider ZipTour. Always call 575.464.7957 to confirm on your scheduled day to check on weather conditions and to make sure the ZipTour is operating. There is also a family zipline at Ruidoso Winter Park.
This is a great question, that we hear frequently however, it is dependent on the weather. When the temperatures begin to drop, the trees will begin to change. Most of the Aspen groves are located on the Ski Run Rd and that is the place to drive to take in the beauty of the foliage changing colors. If you catch it right, it is spectacular.
Bears are unpredictable. Often you won’t see one while visiting Ruidoso. If you happen to see one, consider yourself lucky and remember they are wild animals that can be dangerous. As with all wild animals, DO NOT feed them.
It is against the law to feed the wild animals. Corn is extremely harmful to their digestive systems. They know what to eat and do not need humans to feed them. Please have fun watching them but DO NOT feed them.
Once again, please be aware that we have a law against feeding all wild animals and that applies to the horses as well. They are beautiful, they are also very large and can be dangerous if people get too close to them.
The State Department of Game and Fish stock both Grindstone and Alto Lakes on a regular basis. Grindstone is mostly stocked with Rainbow Trout. Alto Lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout and in the summer they also stock it with Catfish. You can fish in the river but often the water is too low. Please note that while fishing in New Mexico, anglers 12 years and older must possess a valid New Mexico Fishing License or Game-hunting & Fishing License. Licenses are valid April 1 through March 31 of the following year. Licenses are available online or by phone 888-248-6866.
Yes, non-motorized boating is allowed year-round, however a permit is required at both.
Daily Pass = $5
Annual Pass = $20 (valid for the calendar year)
All vessels require a permit, the term "vessel" means and includes boats, hand-propelled boats, sailboats, paddle boats, paddle boards and every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.
Permits can be purchased at a self-pay station at Grindstone Lake using CASH ONLY. They can also be purchased Monday thru Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Parks & Rec office located at 535 Resort Drive, Ruidoso, NM.
The Little Bear Fire that happened in July of 2012, is when the damage to the lake happened. As of 2022 the fire ash or silt from the fire has been removed from the lake cavity, so progress has been made but a date for the completion of this project is not available at this time.
When Smokey was nearing the end of his life, the citizens of Capitan petitioned to have Smokey brought back to Capitan, where he was found in a fire. In the early morning hours he was buried at what is now Smokey Bear Historical Park. The Park consists of a museum with exhibits about Smokey Bear and his beginnings. There is a 10 minute video showcasing the scenery in the Lincoln County area and talking about Smokey. Additional exhibits include fire ecology, watershed health and importance, about living in a fire adapted ecosystem. When you enter the Park area it presents the climated zones of New Mexico. Native trees, shrubs and wildflowers can be experienced. A short leisurely stroll will bring you to Smokey's grave.