Ruidoso is a village in Lincoln County, New Mexico, adjacent to the Lincoln National Forest. The population was 8,029 at the 2010 census. The city of Ruidoso Downs and the unincorporated area of Alto are suburbs of Ruidoso, and contribute to the Ruidoso Micropolitan Statistical Area's population of 21,223.
A mountain resort town, Ruidoso lies in the Sierra Blanca mountain range of south-central New Mexico, where it merges with the Sacramento Mountains to the south. Ruidoso is a resort community close to the slopes of Ski Apache, the Mescalero Apache Tribe-owned ski resort on Sierra Blanca, a 12,000-foot (3,700 m) mountain. The tribe also operates the Inn of the Mountain Gods resort in the area, which includes a casino, hotel, arcade room and golf course. Ruidoso is the largest community in Lincoln County, and serves as the regional economic hub.
In recent years the village is contending with serious questions about the adequacy of the local water supply and zoning enforcement. Like many small communities that have been recently "discovered", there is an ongoing debate about how best to plan for additional growth.
The village received its name from the Rio Ruidoso (Spanish for "Noisy River"), a small stream that weaves through the city.