Ruidoso is a small mountain town in the south central portion of the state. There is a ski resort here, as well as a national forest and a race track. Ski Apache is the name of the ski area and the resort is owned by the Mescalero Apaches as is the Inn of the Mountain Gods. Winter is ideal for skiing and then taking a drive from the mountains and into the desert lowlands to witness how the topography and elevation affects the climate. In the summer, this mountain town is a good place to escape the summer heat.
Hike the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
The Sangre de Cristo (Mountains in Northern New Mexico, begin just north and east of Santa Fe and run almost due northward passing just east of Taos, New Mexico. Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico (13,161 feet), is part of this chain and you will find this mountain just north of Taos, very near the Taos Ski Resort. The trail to the mountaintop begins at the parking lot for the ski area. There are many other hiking trails near this ski resort and also near the Santa Fe Ski Basin, just outside that city. Overnight campers and backpackers might head for Santa Barbara Campground, which is located in the Carson National Forest near Penasco, New Mexico. Here they can wander through pristine Aspen forests and fish for trout in the mountain streams.
Visit the Old Spanish Churches
Begin the tour of churches by visiting the Miraculous Staircase, which can be found inside the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe and also take a look at the San Miguel Chapel, which is also in the city. Then head north to Chimayo, where there is another very popular and unique old Spanish church, called the Sanctuario de Chimayo. From Chimayo, proceed north to the nearby mountain village of Las Trampas, where you will find another classic old adobe church. Notice how the walls are made from a mud and straw mixture called adobe. This is the material that the original church was built from. Next drive to Ranchos de Taos, a small, community on the south side of Taos. Here you will find the Ranchos de Taos church, which is one of the most photographed and painted churches in all of America. This architectural icon was rendered quite gracefully by both Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams.
Visit the Indian Market in Santa Fe
The Indian Market occurs one weekend early in August and it is an outdoor arts and crafts show that showcases Native American talent from all across the United States. This is perhaps the leading event of its kind and the city of Santa Fe is usually booked full for the weekend. While in the Santa Fe area, visitors might also want to visit some of the other pueblos in the area to watch a traditional dance or browse through a pottery and crafts shop. More venturesome travelers might head for the Taos or Picuris Pueblo, where they can hire a pueblo guide who will take them into the extensive backcountry that surrounds these two places.