Content Produced in Partnership with Discover Ruidoso
Forests and mountains make pretty good playgrounds year-round and the beautiful town of Ruidoso, New Mexico is a testament to that. Situated snugly in central New Mexico, the winter ski town becomes a mecca of hiking, biking, and horseback riding in the warmer months. Offering a number of active pursuits suitable for any season, here’s how to maximize the area’s breathtaking landscapes and nature.
Summer: Fly Through the Skies
As one of the longest, most adrenaline spiked zip line tours in the world, the Wind Rider at Ski Apache promises the best views in southern New Mexico. You’ll be flying above the tree line at 11,000 feet traveling at speeds up to 65 miles per hour, which is so fast you’ll barely be able to catch your breathe or pause for a picture. Be advised: The hour and a half romp through the forest takes you gliding through three cable segments around the mountain — and it's not for the faint of heart.
Fall: See the Leaves Change
When the forest envelops you in a rainbow of red, orange, and yellow tones, it’s a moment of revelation for even the biggest cynics. The best way to explore the colors? On two wheels or four legs. Completed in 2014, Ruidoso's Grindstone Trail System is an 18-mile multi-use trail, designed by the International Mountain Biking Association. It circles Grindstone Lake with loops of varying difficulty for both cyclists and horseback riders.
Winter: Shred On
Pegged as the southernmost downhill ski resort in the US, Ski Apache is where the Southwest goes to shred. 10 lifts and 750 skiable acres ensures skiers and snowboarders of all abilities have plenty of terrain to practice their moguls, jumps, or après skills. The first mountain to pioneer the multi-person gondola, a visit to Ski Apache is trip back in the winter sports history books. Whether you’re content on the bunny hills or Black Diamonds, Ski Apache promises snowy fun for all (and don’t miss the tubing when your legs need a break!) from Thanksgiving through Easter.
Spring: Heavenly Hikes
As the snow begins to melt and you’re itching to stretch your legs, the cool mountain temperature makes hiking a joy. Surrounded by a million acres of National Forest and protected wilderness, there’s no shortage of places to explore. The Smokey Bear District of the Lincoln National Forest has over 200 miles of trails alone, some suitable for day-hikes, but other longer jaunts are more suited for multi-day backpacking trips if you’re looking get off-the-grid for a bit.