Ruidoso on a Budget

Ruidoso budget

Visiting Ruidoso can be fun and relaxing, especially if you stay within your budget! From summer horse racing to winter skiing, there are many other year around activities for all ages.

Think of Ruidoso as four zones: Gateway, Midtown, Upper Canyon, and Ski Run Road.


Ruidoso budget
The Gateway area is a transition from Hondo Valley to Ruidoso, with parks, restaurants, kid activities and some shopping. Traffic can be heavy.

From Hwy. 70 to Two Rivers Park on Sudderth is the Gateway area. It includes city parks, pony rides, go carts, putt-putt golfing, some shopping and restaurants, with quick access to Ruidoso Downs and the Hubbard Museum of the American West, Hondo Valley, Mescalero and Lincoln road trips.

There are all sorts of hotels and motels along Hwy. 70, and some motels tucked away as you make your way toward Midtown. Prices generally range from $40 to $110.


Ruidoso budget
Midtown is a great place for shopping, eating and walking.

Midtown is the main shopping district in Ruidoso. There is parking above and below, as well as along Sudderth Dr. if you get there early! Lodging in this area is mostly found along the Rio Ruidoso and condominiums in and around the Cree Meadow area. There are also a couple of hotels just past Midtown. Midtown prices generally range from $80 to $140, and is pedestrian friendly.

Upper Canyon

Ruidoso budget
A lot of people think of Upper Canyon when they think of Ruidoso.

Sudderth and Mechem is the main intersection. If you stay on Sudderth, you’ll reach Main Road which winds its way into Upper Canyon. There are many lodges to be found throughout this area. A lot of people think of Upper Canyon when they think of Ruidoso. There’s fishing, hiking, and the sound of the Rio Ruidoso as it pours from Sierra Blanca Mountain. These cabins usually range from $105 to $150.

Ski Run Road

Ruidoso budget
Mechem Dr. becomes Hwy. 48 and leads to Sierra Blanca high country, pinyon-juniper uplands, and the desert landscape of Carrizozo.

If you take Mechem to the north, you’re heading to higher country. There are many motels and condominium communities to choose from along this drive. The road becomes steep and winds its way to Ski Run Road. Along the way, there is shopping, dining, hiking, golfing and site seeing. Lodging along this area starts around $80 and goes up from there!

Beyond Ruidoso

A visit to Ruidoso can be as relaxing or challenging as you wish. There’s something here for everyone!

Continuing past the Ski Run Road takes you to Ft. Stanton (Hwy. 220), Bonita Lake (Hwy. 37), Carrizozo (Hwy. 380), or stay on Hwy. 48 to Capitan (home of Smokey Bear), and on to Lincoln, the Hondo Valley (Hwy. 70) and Ruidoso Downs again. These and more are all stops along the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway, a loop drive rich in history and terrains.

Of course, with a little experience and the right gear there’s always camping. Stop by the Smokey Bear Ranger Station and ask about federal and state land recreation.

-Blake Martin

For things to do in Ruidoso on a budget try an outdoor activity!