This article is a part of the 2023 Winter Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more winter travel destinations and events here.

Nestled in the southern Rockies, Ruidoso, New Mexico, is that cozy winter spot where you can soak in nature’s beauty while experiencing a small-town vibe. It’s where you go when you crave outdoor adventures, fireside snuggles, and a taste of local life, far from the daily grind.

Discover what makes Ruidoso your perfect winter hideaway.

Nature Calls

If you’re looking to escape the city and get back to nature, Ruidoso has you covered. The Lincoln National Forest is your playground, with winter hikes, biking, skiing, and snowboarding. Ruidoso’s alpine lakes at Grindstone and Alto Recreation Areas offer peaceful lakeside strolls.  And, when the stars come out at night, you won’t believe the show. With no city lights around, the night sky becomes a canvas of stars, turning your vacation into a magical memory.

Cozy Up

Ruidoso isn’t just about outdoor thrills; it’s also about finding comfort. Cozy cabins and lodges dot the Ruidoso landscape, offering a warm embrace after your adventures. Picture yourself by a roaring fire, with a cup of cocoa or wine, watching the snow fall outside. But if rustic isn’t your thing, no worries. Ruidoso has resort hotels and vacation rentals that combine modern comfort with small-town charm.

Christmas lights on wooden Colorado mountain country cabin in snow and pine trees

More Than Just Skiing

Sure, Ski Apache is a big deal for the ski and snowboard crowd, but Ruidoso offers much more than that. Stroll through town and check out the art galleries, restaurants, and shops, especially the bustling Midtown shopping district. It’s a mix of boutiques, cozy cafes, local brewpubs, and wineries that cater to every taste.

Ice Skating at Wingfield Park

Wingfield Park is the place to be if you’re into ice skating. Whether you’re a pro or wobbly on blades, it doesn’t matter. Rent skates on-site or bring your own, and let the crisp winter air add to the fun.

Winter Sleigh Rides

During the winter holiday season, there are sleigh rides through the historic Upper Canyon with Grindstone Stables. No snow is required to enjoy a crisp winter evening and the holiday decorations of Ruidoso’s oldest neighborhood.

Holiday Lights

Some of the most enchanting holiday experiences in Ruidoso are the twinkling lights, intricate displays, and beautifully decorated storefronts. It’s a magical opportunity to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit, take stunning photos, and share the joy of the season. Don’t miss the special White Mountain Christmas winter performances at the Flying J Ranch.

Community and Culture

To really get a taste of Ruidoso, explore the local culture. Visit the art galleries and nearby historic sites like Fort Stanton and Lincoln Historic Sites. They’ll give you a taste of the region’s history. Local galleries showcase the talents inspired by Ruidoso’s natural beauty. Be sure to chat with the friendly staff and maybe even take home a piece of the town’s artistic legacy as a keepsake.

Indulge Your Taste Buds

Ruidoso is a foodie’s paradise. Savor local flavors in charming cafes, try craft brews in friendly brewpubs, and explore the town’s wineries for a taste of New Mexico’s finest wines and spirits. From comfort food to gourmet delights, your taste buds are in for a treat.

Live Music and Entertainment

Ruidoso knows how to keep the good times rolling, even in winter. Check out the live music scene, with local bands and artists performing at various venues around town. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of adventure.

Thrills and Chills

For the adrenaline junkies, Ruidoso Winter Park is a must-visit. Tubing down the lanes or taking a wild ride on the Mountain Coaster is a surefire way to get your heart racing.

Kids having fun on the tobbogan hill

Wildlife Viewing

Ruidoso’s natural beauty invites wildlife enthusiasts to spot elk, deer, and a variety of birds in their scenic habitat. Explore and discover the diverse wildlife of the southern Rockies.

Gear Up

Before embarking on your winter adventures, you can find all the necessary gear in Ruidoso’s shops, catering to outdoor enthusiasts with everything you need, from winter clothes to safety gear and extra layers.

Visit Responsibly

Connect with the locals, embrace traditions, and respect the environment during your visit. Stay on trails, dispose of trash thoughtfully, and conserve resources. Give wildlife their space. Follow local rules and support hometown businesses. Your responsible visit ensures Ruidoso’s charm lasts for generations.

Discover Ruidoso

Plan your winter vacation in Ruidoso and create memories to last a lifetime.

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