I recently visited Ruidoso, New Mexico, and was pleasantly surprised to find that there are plenty of cheap things to do in this charming mountain town.
As someone who values freedom and adventure, I was thrilled to discover the many outdoor activities available in the area. From hiking and fishing to skiing and horseback riding, there’s no shortage of fun ways to explore the natural beauty of Ruidoso without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or simply looking for affordable ways to enjoy your vacation, you’ll find plenty of options in Ruidoso.
In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite cheap things to do in the area so that you can make the most of your time here without spending a fortune.
So put on your hiking boots and grab your fishing rod – it’s time to explore all that Ruidoso has to offer!
Go Hiking in Lincoln National Forest
You’ll love exploring the natural beauty of Lincoln National Forest while hiking. This activity is perfect for anyone looking to escape the city and connect with nature.
The forest offers a variety of trails suitable for every level of hiker, from beginners to advanced. As you hike through the forest, you’ll be surrounded by stunning views of mountains, canyons, and wildlife.
Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks as some trails can take hours to complete. After your hike, head over to the Hubbard Museum of the American West to learn more about the history and culture of Ruidoso.
Visit the Hubbard Museum of the American West
If you’re a fan of American history and culture, the Hubbard Museum of the American West is a must-visit destination that will transport you back to the wild and rugged days of the Old West.
This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing artifacts from the American West, including exhibits on cowboys, Native Americans, mining, ranching, and more. You’ll be amazed at the level of detail in each exhibit – from authentic clothing and weapons to interactive displays that bring history to life.
The museum also offers guided tours for those who want a more in-depth experience. After exploring this fascinating museum, why not head out for some outdoor adventure? Go fishing in the rivers and lakes or take a scenic hike through Lincoln National Forest – there’s no shortage of activities here in Ruidoso!
Go Fishing in the Rivers and Lakes
Ready to cast your line and reel in some big catches? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to go fishing in Ruidoso’s beautiful rivers and lakes – it’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the stunning scenery of this picturesque destination!
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, there are plenty of options for fishing here. You can head to locations like Alto Lake or Grindstone Reservoir, which are stocked with trout and other fish species throughout the year.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, try fly fishing in one of the many rivers that flow through Ruidoso. The Rio Ruidoso is particularly popular among anglers, as it offers ample opportunities to catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout. Plus, fishing in these tranquil waters is a peaceful way to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
And if you don’t have gear or experience, there are plenty of local outfitters who can provide everything you need for a successful day on the water. So get ready to cast your line and create memories that will last a lifetime!
Now that you’ve enjoyed some time by the water, it’s time to hit the slopes! Just a short drive away from Ruidoso is Ski Apache – an incredible ski resort with over 55 runs spread across 750 skiable acres. From beginner trails to double black diamond runs, there’s something for every level of skier here.
So grab your gear (or rent everything on-site) and get ready for an exhilarating day on the mountain!
Ski at Ski Apache
I can’t wait to hit the slopes at Ski Apache!
Not only is it a thrilling activity, but I also found out that there are discounted lift tickets available for certain days.
Plus, if I want to improve my skiing skills, professional instructors are on hand to teach me.
And let’s not forget about the stunning mountain views – it’s definitely worth taking a break from skiing to appreciate them.
Hit the Slopes at a Discounted Price
You can save money while still enjoying a thrilling day on the slopes with discounted prices for skiing and snowboarding. Ski Apache offers various deals throughout the season, including discounts for military personnel, senior citizens, and students.
If you plan to visit multiple times during the winter, consider purchasing a season pass for even greater savings. In addition to discounted lift tickets and season passes, Ski Apache also offers rental equipment at a reduced rate. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier or snowboarder, renting gear is a convenient way to hit the slopes without breaking the bank.
Plus, with professional staff on hand to fit you properly and answer any questions you may have about the equipment, you’ll be in good hands from start to finish. Looking to improve your skills? Take a lesson from professional instructors!
Take a Lesson from Professional Instructors
Learning from Ski Apache’s professional instructors is a great way to enhance your skiing or snowboarding abilities and make the most of your time on the slopes. Here are four reasons why you should consider taking lessons:
Personalized instruction: The instructors at Ski Apache cater to your individual needs and skill level, ensuring that you get the attention you need to improve.
Faster progress: With expert guidance, you’ll learn new techniques faster than if you were trying to teach yourself.
Confidence boost: Learning from professionals can help build confidence in your ability, which will lead to more enjoyment on the slopes.
Safety first: Instructors prioritize safety and will teach you proper safety procedures so that you can have fun while also being responsible.
After hitting the slopes with newfound skills and confidence, take a moment to enjoy the stunning mountain views as you glide down the runs.
Enjoy the Stunning Mountain Views
Take in the breathtaking mountain views as you glide down Ski Apache’s slopes, where the resort boasts over 300 days of sunshine annually. As an avid skier and snowboarder myself, I can attest to the beauty of Ruidoso’s natural landscape. With its crisp air and clear skies, it’s easy to feel alive and free while taking on the snowy terrain.
But don’t worry if skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing – there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the stunning mountain views. Take a scenic drive through Lincoln National Forest or hike up to Sierra Blanca Peak for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The possibilities are endless when it comes to soaking in Ruidoso’s awe-inspiring scenery.
And once you’re done marveling at nature’s beauty, head on over to our next adventure: visiting Ruidoso Winter Park!
Visit the Ruidoso Winter Park
I absolutely love visiting the Ruidoso Winter Park when I’m in town. It’s the perfect place to go tubing and sledding, and it’s fun for all ages.
Plus, the admission fees are super affordable, making it a great option for budget-friendly activities.
So if you’re looking for some snowy fun, be sure to check out the Ruidoso Winter Park!
Go Tubing and Sledding
You can experience the thrill of sliding down snowy hills on a tube or sled in the Go Tubing and Sledding section. This fun activity is perfect for those who want to enjoy some outdoor adventure without spending too much money.
Located at the Ruidoso Winter Park, this area offers multiple tubing lanes and snow-packed slopes that cater to different skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, you’ll surely have a blast as you speed down the hillside with your friends or family.
The park provides all the necessary equipment, including tubes, sleds, helmets, and even gloves for rent. So there’s no need to worry about bringing your own gear unless you prefer to do so.
After your exhilarating ride, take some time to warm up by the fire pit or grab some hot cocoa at the snack bar. Enjoy the snowy fun for all ages at Ruidoso Winter Park!
Enjoy the Snowy Fun for All Ages
Get ready to embrace the winter wonderland at Ruidoso Winter Park where everyone can have a blast in the snow. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, from tubing down the slopes to building snowmen with your family and friends.
The park offers various terrains for different levels of adventure, so even if you’re not an expert skier or snowboarder, you can still have fun sliding down the hill. If you want to take a break from the outdoor activities, there’s also a cozy lodge with hot cocoa and snacks for sale.
Overall, Ruidoso Winter Park is an excellent destination for anyone who loves wintertime fun without breaking the bank. Speaking of which, let’s talk about affordable admission fees that make this place accessible to all visitors.
Affordable Admission Fees
After all the snowy fun, it’s time to talk about admission fees. Luckily, Ruidoso offers affordable prices for their attractions and activities. As a budget-conscious traveler, I appreciate when destinations offer reasonable rates without sacrificing quality experiences.
Here are some of the affordable admission fees you can expect in Ruidoso:
Hubbard Museum of the American West: Adults $7, Seniors/Military/AAA $6, Children (5-17) $2
Flying J Ranch Chuckwagon Supper & Western Show: Adults $30, Children (4-12) $18
Pillow’s Funtrackers: Prices vary depending on activity but range from $3-$15 per person
Grindstone Stables Horseback Riding: Prices start at $25 per person
Now that we’ve talked about the cost-effective things to do in Ruidoso, let’s go for a scenic drive on the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway.
Take a Scenic Drive on the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway
Take in breathtaking views on the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway, where you’ll experience stunning landscapes and historic landmarks.
This scenic drive takes you through rugged terrain and offers a unique perspective of New Mexico’s natural beauty. You can spot wildlife along the way, such as elk and deer, and take in the sights of towering mountains and vast prairies.
The Billy the Kid Scenic Byway also provides a glimpse into New Mexico’s rich history. The route takes you past historic landmarks such as Lincoln State Historic Site, where Billy the Kid famously escaped from jail.
As you drive through this beautiful landscape, you’ll feel a sense of freedom that comes with exploring new places. And if you’re looking for even more adventure, try horseback riding at one of Ruidoso’s many stables!
As much as I loved driving along the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway, I was ready for a more hands-on experience. That’s when I decided to try horseback riding in Ruidoso, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my trip.
There’s something incredibly liberating about being on a horse, feeling the wind in your hair and taking in the gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to explore Ruidoso’s natural beauty, horseback riding is definitely worth considering. Here are four reasons why:
You’ll get up close and personal with nature: When you’re on foot or driving a car, it’s easy to miss some of the smaller details that make Ruidoso so special. But when you’re on a horse, you’ll have a unique vantage point that allows you to see everything up close.
It’s great exercise: Riding a horse might not seem like hard work at first glance, but it actually requires quite a bit of core strength and balance. Plus, spending time outdoors is always good for your physical and mental health.
You’ll learn something new: Even if you’ve ridden horses before, every experience is different. Your guide will likely share interesting facts about local history or wildlife that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
It’s fun!: This one goes without saying – there’s just something inherently enjoyable about spending time with these majestic animals.
After spending some time exploring Ruidoso on horseback, I was ready for another dose of adrenaline-fueled fun – which is how I found myself heading over to Pillow’s Funtrackers next!
Visit the Pillow’s Funtrackers
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your afternoon in Ruidoso, head on over to Pillow’s Funtrackers where you can enjoy go-karting and mini-golf.
The go-kart tracks are perfect for those who love the thrill of speed and competition. With multiple tracks available, you can choose from beginner level all the way up to advanced racing.
For those who prefer a more relaxed activity, the mini-golf course is a great option. It’s family-friendly and suitable for all ages. You’ll find yourself immersed in a themed course that will transport you into different worlds with each hole.
Once you’re done here, take a stroll through the Ruidoso River Trail where you can enjoy breathtaking views of nature while getting some exercise at the same time.
Take a Stroll Through the Ruidoso River Trail
I absolutely love taking a stroll down the Ruidoso River Trail! It’s the perfect way to enjoy the scenic views along the river while getting some fresh air and exercise.
Plus, you can’t beat the free admission and opportunity to picnic at the Riverside Park.
Enjoy the Scenic Views Along the River
Take in the stunning views of the river and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. As you stroll along the Ruidoso River Trail, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery that will leave you awestruck.
The sound of flowing water, chirping birds, and rustling leaves will make you feel like you’re miles away from civilization. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take pictures, so don’t forget your camera!
Whether it’s capturing a shot of the colorful wildflowers or snapping a photo of a family of ducks swimming in the river, there’s no shortage of picturesque moments on this trail. Trust me when I say that this is one experience that you won’t want to miss while visiting Ruidoso.
And if all that walking makes you hungry, don’t worry – we’ve got just the solution for that too: picnic at the riverside park!
Picnic at the Riverside Park
Get ready to indulge in a delightful picnic experience at the serene Riverside Park. As someone who loves spending time outdoors, I highly recommend this spot for its tranquil surroundings and stunning views of the river.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic date or a fun family outing, Riverside Park is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. Not only can you soak up the lush greenery and soothing sounds of nature, but you can also save money by packing your own food.
Bring along some snacks, sandwiches, or even a full-blown meal to enjoy while admiring the scenic beauty around you. And the best part? Admission is free! So pack your basket and head over to Riverside Park for an unforgettable picnic experience.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Riverside Park! Admission is free, so you can enjoy a relaxing picnic with your loved ones. Here are three reasons why you should add Riverside Park to your list of cheap things to do in Ruidoso:
The park features a beautiful river and lush greenery, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers.
You can also find several walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the mountain range surrounding Ruidoso.
The park has plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and playgrounds for kids.
After enjoying a lovely picnic at Riverside Park, take some time to explore the Grindstone Lake and Trail System.
Explore the Grindstone Lake and Trail System
I absolutely love exploring the Grindstone Lake and Trail System in Ruidoso. It’s a fantastic spot to get some fresh air and exercise, whether you prefer hiking or biking.
And if fishing is your thing, you won’t be disappointed! The serene beauty of the lake is truly breathtaking, and there are affordable rentals available if you don’t have your own gear.
Go Hiking, Biking, or Fishing
Hit the trails in Ruidoso and pedal or hike your way through stunning scenery, or cast a line and reel in a big one.
There are plenty of hiking trails to explore in the area, from easy walks to more challenging climbs. Some popular spots include the Aspen Trail, which offers great views of Sierra Blanca Peak, and the Grindstone Lake Trail System, which winds around the picturesque lake.
If biking is more your style, there are also several mountain biking trails that offer thrilling descents and challenging terrain.
For those who love fishing, Grindstone Lake is stocked with rainbow trout and other species throughout the year.
No matter what activity you choose, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen as you soak up the beautiful New Mexico sunshine.
And once you’ve had your fill of outdoor adventure, head over to Grindstone Stables for a horseback ride through even more stunning scenery. From here, you can enjoy the serene beauty of the lake while exploring on horseback – it’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
Enjoy the Serene Beauty of the Lake
I’ve always been a nature enthusiast, and Ruidoso, New Mexico is the perfect destination for anyone who loves to be surrounded by serene beauty.
In my previous subtopic, I talked about hiking, biking, or fishing as some of the best outdoor activities in Ruidoso.
But if you’re looking for something more relaxing and tranquilizing, then head towards the beautiful lake at Grindstone Canyon.
The lake is nestled amidst tall trees and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
You can rent a paddleboat or kayak to explore the calm waters of the lake while enjoying the fresh mountain air.
If you prefer a more laid-back experience, then pack a picnic basket and spend your day lounging on one of the many picnic tables available around the lake.
The area also has ample space for kids to run around and play games.
A visit to this serene oasis is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!
Speaking of rentals, if you’re planning an extended stay in Ruidoso but don’t want to break your bank account on accommodation expenses, don’t worry!
There are plenty of affordable rentals available in town that offer all modern amenities without burning a hole in your pocket.
From cozy cabins to budget-friendly hotels, there are options for everyone’s taste and budget.
So go ahead and plan your trip without worrying about spending too much money on lodging!
Affordable Rentals Available
You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of affordable rentals available in town, so you can enjoy your stay without worrying about overspending on lodging. From cozy cabins to spacious apartments, there’s something for everyone’s budget and preferences. Plus, renting a place gives you the freedom to cook your meals and have a more flexible schedule.
Here are some affordable rental options in Ruidoso:
- Rustic cabins surrounded by nature
- Cozy apartments with mountain views
- Budget-friendly motels with all the necessary amenities
- Vacation homes that can accommodate large groups
No matter what type of accommodation you choose, renting is a great way to save money while still enjoying all that Ruidoso has to offer. So why not book your rental today and start planning your adventure?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to visit Ruidoso for cheap activities?
As someone who’s visited Ruidoso multiple times, I can confidently say that the best time to visit for cheap activities is during the off-season.
That means avoiding peak tourist months like December and January, when ski resorts are in high demand and prices are inflated.
Instead, consider visiting in the spring or fall when temperatures are mild and crowds have thinned out.
You’ll still be able to enjoy all of Ruidoso’s natural beauty with plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and horseback riding available at a fraction of the cost.
Plus, you’ll have more flexibility in terms of lodging options since hotels and vacation rentals tend to offer lower rates during these shoulder seasons.
So if you’re looking for an affordable escape to this charming mountain town, plan your trip accordingly!
Are there any free outdoor activities in Ruidoso?
As an outdoor enthusiast, I can tell you that Ruidoso offers plenty of free activities for those who love nature.
From hiking to biking and camping, there is something for everyone in this beautiful town.
Take a leisurely stroll through the Lincoln National Forest or go birdwatching at Grindstone Lake.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try your hand at rock climbing or take a dip in one of the many natural hot springs in the area.
The best part? These activities won’t cost you a dime!
So get out there and enjoy all that Ruidoso has to offer without breaking the bank.
What types of fish can be caught in the rivers and lakes in Ruidoso?
I recently went on a fishing trip to Ruidoso and was amazed by the variety of fish that can be caught in the area’s rivers and lakes. From rainbow trout to brown trout, catfish, and bass, there’s something for every angler. I even managed to catch a few myself!
The pristine waters provide an idyllic setting for fishing enthusiasts, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains adding to the experience. It truly felt like I had escaped from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and found freedom in nature.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing outdoor activity in Ruidoso, I highly recommend trying your hand at fishing!
Are there any beginner-friendly ski slopes at Ski Apache?
As someone new to skiing, I was thrilled to discover that Ski Apache offers several beginner-friendly slopes. These runs are perfect for those of us who want to learn the basics without feeling overwhelmed by more challenging terrain.
The instructors at the resort are incredibly patient and knowledgeable, and they made me feel comfortable as I worked on my technique. Whether you’re a true newbie or just looking for a low-key day on the slopes, Ski Apache has everything you need for a fun and rewarding experience.
Is there a fee to enter the Hubbard Museum of the American West?
There is indeed a fee to enter the Hubbard Museum of the American West. As I approached the entrance, my curiosity was piqued by a sign that read ‘Adults: $7, Children under 16: Free’.
This got me thinking about how museums are often seen as stuffy and expensive, but this one seemed accessible even for families. The museum boasts more than 10,000 square feet of exhibits and artifacts that showcase the history of the American West.
From antique stagecoaches to Native American art and jewelry, there’s something for everyone here. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon delving into the rich history of New Mexico without spending too much money.
Well folks, that’s a wrap on my list of cheap things to do in Ruidoso, NM. I hope you found some inspiration and motivation to explore this beautiful town without breaking the bank.
As someone who loves to travel but also values budgeting, I can honestly say that Ruidoso offers so much for those looking for an affordable adventure. One of my favorite memories from my own trip to Ruidoso was hiking in the Lincoln National Forest. The views were breathtaking and the trail was challenging yet manageable. Plus, it was completely free!
It just goes to show that sometimes the best things in life really are free. So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and come discover all that Ruidoso has to offer without spending a fortune.
Meet Audrey and Carl Thompson. This dynamic married couple not only shares a passion for each other but also a deep love for exploring the world. Through their captivating writing, Audrey and Carl offer a unique perspective on traveling as a couple. They delve into their personal experiences, shedding light on the challenges and joys of navigating the globe hand in hand. Their insightful articles address the questions and concerns many travelers face, helping you forge a stronger bond with your partner on your own incredible adventures.