The mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico, keeps a low profile, and visitors like it that way. Sitting amid the Sierra Blanca Mountains in the heart of the state, Ruidoso avoids the bright spotlight enjoyed by Santa Fe or Taos to the north. That means fewer crowds on Ruidoso’s trails, the banks of local fishing lakes, and the town’s stores and restaurants. Midtown Mountain Campground & RV Park puts guests in the middle of the action, within walking distance of town and the surrounding outdoor attractions.
The campground makes the most of its location. Nestled among more than 100 tall pines on two acres, the park sits close to the town’s shopping strip and maintains sparkling-clean laundry facilities, bathrooms and showers. The owners, Rich and Anna Dozier, live on the grounds and set the tone for friendly customer service. At this writing, the campground has maintained a five-star average in customer reviews on GoodSam.com, and management works hard to maintain a friendly, carefree New Mexico environment. Look for the artwork found throughout the campground and enjoy the surrounding views. The nearby 98 River Park (open from dawn until dusk) on the banks of the Ruidoso River gives guests a chance to enjoy nature and follow trails along the waterway.
Rentals and More
The campground’s rentals offer a wide variety of camping experiences. Guests staying in the Queen Anna cabin will enjoy a rustic camping experience with all the modern conveniences and comforts needed for a comfortable stay. The main part of the cabin is built in a contemporary design with a bedroom, bunkhouse and 11/2 baths. The cabin has a living area with stainless appliances, granite countertops, AC and a wood-burning stove.
Adventure seekers staying in the Silver Eagle cabin can enjoy great views of passing elk, free-range horses and hummingbirds. Situated on a second story facing ponderosa pines and blue spruce, the cabin has vaulted ceilings and wooden walls. A bathroom, bedroom and kitchen with a double-door refrigerator, electric range and coffeemaker ensure comfort.
Stay a short distance from the Ruidoso River in the 98 River House. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the cabin pampers occupants with wood accent walls and rock and wood accents around the wood-burning fireplace. Chefs will discover a kitchen outfitted with stainless appliances and quartz countertops.
Feel like going “glamping”? Two tipis and one tepee combine modern amenities with the fun of tent camping. Tipis each have a full bed with pillows, sheets, a blanket, a space heater, towels and washcloths. Both have a charcoal grill and an outside table. The tepee — in a tepee shape but with a wood exterior — contains two beds with the same amenities as the tipis.
For RV travelers, the park’s 27 all-weather full-hookup sites are powered by 20-, 30- or 50-amp electricity, and the park’s Wi-Fi supports streaming; tech support is available to campers. Each site has a table and enough room to accommodate slideouts; most sites are shaded. The campground is open year-round, and lights are strung in the pine branches during winter, transforming the campground into a winter wonderland.
Fitness-conscious guests can work up a sweat on one of the nature trails or in the mini fitness room. Play outdoor games, including horseshoes, or unwind in the dry sauna. Planned activities and a pavilion with kitchen amenities help foster a fun, social climate, while canine guests can meet up at Mojo’s Little Dog Park.
Food and Fun
A short distance from the campground, the town of Ruidoso serves up a bevy of dining and shopping options. Sacred Grounds serves up tasty craft cocktails and the beers served at Rio Grande Grill and Tap Room will whet your whistle. Enjoy a hearty chuckwagon supper at the cowboy-themed Flying J Ranch, which also puts on a Western Music Show with ballads performed by the Flying J Wranglers. Additional Flying J attractions include a blacksmith, teepee and Bonita City shops.
Looking for succulent pasta and pie? The Village Buttery offers delicious fare with outstanding drinks and desserts.
Let It Ride
Winter visitors can hit the slopes of Ski Apache, a snow buff’s paradise with 11 lifts and an annual snowfall of 15 feet. Take a ride up the 8-passenger gondola for stunning views of the Sierra Blanca mountains and then whoosh down the 12,000-foot mountain. The thrills don’t wane during the warm months when the mountain hosts mountain bikers who speed down the trails and ski runs. Aerial thrill seekers can hurtle 8,900 feet on the Wind Rider Zip Line, one of the longest ziplines in the world and an adrenaline-pumping experience.
In the Lincoln National Forest, hikers can enjoy epic views at the Monjeau Lookout, a fire lookout built in 1940 with striking views of the surrounding mountains. For gaming thrills, the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino hosts the “World’s Richest Quarter Horse Race.” Find more games of chance at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, Billy the Kid Casino and Casino Apache. In the mid-town shopping district, collectors can browse pieces created by Native American artists and artisans.
History Comes Alive
Apaches thrived in the Ruidoso area through the 1800s, and leaders like Geronimo and Cochise led their nation in defending their land against settlers. As the region developed, outlaw Billy the Kid rustled cattle and left a trail of mayhem. Visitors can learn about the area’s rich history at the Hubbard Museum, which tells the story of the often turbulent past with exhibits and artifacts on display.
Hikers and bikers have a long menu of trails to choose from, including the Cedar Creek Recreation Area, with more than 30 miles of multi-use trails for all skill levels. For anglers and kayakers, Grindstone and Also lakes are cool, clear alpine reservoirs stocked with rainbow trout, catfish and smallmouth bass. Paddlers can take advantage of boat rentals for adventures in the water.