Ruidoso has long been known as “The Playground of the Southwest” for many reasons, but one underlying factor that makes this possible is fantastic weather throughout most of the year.

Despite an altitude of 7,000 feet, our winters are not like those in Chicago, or New England. Do we experience winter storms on occasion that dump multiple feet of snow on our little village? Sure, but chances are the sun will pop out as soon as the flakes stop falling and you’ll be building that snowman without needing so much as a jacket.

Can fierce storms will in quickly, due to the fact that Ruidoso is surrounded by low-lying deserts on 3 out of 4 sides? Yes, but don’t fret — they usually move on just as quickly as they appeared.

And yes, we’re in New Mexico, home to some of the beautiful deserts in the United States. But is our weather anything like Phoenix, El Paso, or Albuquerque? Not at all. Our summers are darn near perfect, with spring rains and mild temperatures throughout June, July, and August. In fact, a large number of homes and cabins in Ruidoso don’t have air conditioning, nor do they need it — opening a window and letting a breeze in will often keep you cool on warm summer nights.

Of course, icy roads and winter driving conditions do occur, and keep in mind very few streets in Ruidoso are flat because of our mountain locale. Thus, 4-wheel drive and/or chains are suggested if you’re traveling to Ruidoso in the winter.

In terms of rain, Ruidoso generally sees most of its rain in the spring and then again in the monsoon season, in the fall. April and May can also be quite windy, so plan your golf outing accordingly.

Due to Ruidoso’s arid climate, the humidity level is generally very low. This, combined with high winds, can result in accelerated fire danger, particularly since we are surrounded by pine forests with plenty of undergrowth. At times, outdoor fires, use of grills, and even smoking outside can be prohibited and punishable by steep fines. Keep an eye on fire restrictions and alert levels by checking in with the local fire department web page and paying attention to signs around town. The Smokey Bear Ranger Station on Mechem Drive and the main fire station on Sudderth Drive (by the community pool) both have signs out front, indicating the current level of restrictions.

Taking simple precautions such as being prepared in the winter and paying attention to fire restrictions will ensure you have a pleasant stay in Ruidoso, a destination that boasts enjoyable weather year-round and four true seasons.