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EP16 - Visit Ruidoso, NM

El Paso - Annual 2016

Surrounded by mountains and forests, Ruidoso makes a perfect all-season getaway.

EP16 - Visit Ruidoso, NM
The zip line at Ski Apache.
Photo by Bauserman Group/Jeff Dow Photography

Leaving the desert behind and driving into Ruidoso feels like you're entering an alpine village. This mountain resort town sits at an elevation of 6,900 feet in the Sierra Blanca mountain range. Whatever the time of year, you'll find plenty to see and do here and in the nearby towns of Alto, Mescalero, and Ruidoso Downs. Check our list to get going.

Ride The Slopes

Owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe, Ski Apache provides great skiing and boarding for the whole family. It's the southernmost ski resort in the United States, and the dry, arid climate creates optimal snow conditions. Ski Apache comprises 750 ski-able acres, 55 trails, and 11 lifts. Wide beginner slopes, tough bump runs, and nice cruising trails means there's something for every skier, while two terrain parks keep boarders challenged. skiapache.com

Get Away From It All

The Lincoln National Forest gives you more than a million acres to explore. You'll find hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails; picnic areas; campgrounds; and Bonito Lake, an alpine reservoir, not too far from Ruidoso. Stop at the Smokey Bear Ranger District for conditions, temperature, and directions. www.fs.usda.gov/lincoln

Attend A Show

The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, located in Alto (just 10 miles from Ruidoso), brings Broadway productions, concerts, dance, and family events to indoor and outdoor stages. The $22 million modern facility features a crystal lobby, a horseshoe bar, and the largest private collection of Chihuly Glass in the Southwest open to public viewing. If you can't make it to a performance, the theater offers free public tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. spencertheater.com

See An Exhibition

The Hubbard Museum of the American West, the only Smithsonian-affiliated museum in New Mexico, provides education and entertainment for all ages in the nearby town of Ruidoso Downs. The museum exhibits artifacts from three cultures in the area: Native American, Hispanic, and Pioneer. It also houses the Anne C. Stradling Collection of 10,000 artworks and objects related to horses, including paintings, saddles, and carriages. hubbardmuseum.org

Try A Zip Line

Looking for a way to take in the beautiful scenery while getting an adrenaline rush? The Apache Eagle ZipRider at the Inn of the Mountain Gods starts at an elevation of 7,185 feet and zips you across the crystal waters of Lake Mescalero at speeds up to 55 mph. It's three minutes of exhilarating fun. The Apache Wind Rider Zip Tour at Ski Apache begins at 11,000 feet and travels almost 9,000 feet in three segments, making it one of the longest zip line tours in the world. You'll glide down the mountain at speeds up to 65 mph. Both zip lines have double-cables so you can zip with a friend. innofthemountaingods.com; skiapache.com

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