Named after Rio Ruidoso, the spanish word for noisy river, this village in New Mexico has an iconic stream that rolls through it. Once just a sleepy mountain town lying in the Sierra Blanca mountain range, Ruidoso is now one of the fastest-growing cities in New Mexico due to its proximity to several ski resorts. This also makes it a place dog owners love to be, with easy access to nature and pet amenities. Ruidoso has two great animal clinics, one in the north end of town and one in the south.
You and your best pal can get some fresh air and enjoy the views of the pristine alpine water at the Alto Reservoir. Leashed dogs are allowed to enjoy the miles of multi-use trails that circle this lake. Fishing and boating are permitted as well. So bring a picnic, dog treats included, because you and your pup will want to spend the day!
Why not stay a while? Ruidoso has many options for pet friendly lodging. The Rainbow Lake Cabin and RV Resort is located along Carrizo Creek and welcomes pets. You and your dog don’t need to worry about getting cabin fever, as there are several forest trails and fishing ponds in the area. With all these great parks around, it’s clear Ruidoso loves dogs, and dogs love Ruidoso!
If you’re anywhere near the Village Center neighborhood in Ruidoso, your pupper is in for a treat. The Ruidoso Dog Park gets tails wagging everytime. Your dog can play and make friends in this large off-leash dog area, while you enjoy the furtastic mountain views. This dog park features a part grass, part dirt acre for the big dogs, and a half-acre for the small dogs. Drinking water and free waste bags are provided. It doesn’t stop there, as this park is located next to the White Mountain Recreation complex, which features a playground, walking trails and a large field. Dogs are welcome, but must remain leashed in these areas. When you need a boost after all that puppy playtime, Zocca Coffee and Tea is the place to be! They have four outdoor dog friendly seating areas, and even give out complimentary dog treats.
The Forest Lane neighborhood in Ruidoso is nestled into the edge of the Lincoln National Forest. This makes it a wonderful place for hiking or camping with your pooch. Head over to the Cedar Creek Campground and Picnic Area to get back to nature. This campground is resting along the edge of the scenic Cedar Creek, at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Hiking and wildlife watching are some of the most pawpular activities to do from this park. Dogs must stay leashed, and there is drinking water and vault toilets available. If you would like a more modern alternative, check out Whispering Pine Cabins in the north end of Forest Lane. You and your furry friend can curl up next a fireplace and enjoy mountain air from one of these cabins for a small extra fee.
If you’re in the Wingfield neighborhood, you can’t miss the urban park named after it. Wingfield Park has an 8 acre open green space available for special events, or for your dog to sniff and play in. This park also features a half-mile gravel walking path, picnic tables and restrooms. When you and your dog are itching to get a little further out into the wild, head to Grindstone Lake in the northwest end of Wingfield. This park offers five trails with different levels of difficulty, totalling 18 miles. The lake is great for fishing, non-motorized boating, and swimming. Your dog will need to stay leashed throughout the park, but you’ll both pawsitively love the clear lake and mountain views!
Just five miles north of Ruidoso in Lincoln County, you’ll find the community of Alto, proud home to several mountain peaks, and possibly the country’s best warm-weather skiing. Ski Apache is a dog friendly ski resort that allows your dog to join you on the gondolas and trails as long as he stays leashed. So take a lift on “The Gazebo”, a high-flying enclosed gondola, to an elevation 11,500 feet to enjoy some breathtaking views, including of the towering Sierra Blanca Peak. From where the gondola drops you off, you can enjoy some of the many hiking paths while feeling like your at the top of the world with your dog.