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New Mexico’s 10 Best Mescalero & Ruidoso Hiking Trails

Discover the best Mescalero and Ruidoso hiking trails near the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort.

Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, these trails provide plenty of fresh mountain air and gorgeous views that all ages are sure to enjoy.

Best of all, guests staying at our Mescalero hotel are close to many of the area’s most breathtaking hiking trails in Mescalero and Ruidoso.

You’ll find some of our favorite trails below, along with trail length and degree of difficulty:

Table of Contents

Carrizo Trail

Length: 5.6 miles

Difficulty: Easy

This out and back trail features treetop views of beautiful Mescalero and views of Sierra Blanca. The trail is lightly walked and paved for a leisurely hiking experience that’s suitable for most skill levels.

Lookout Trail

Length: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Easy

This is a quick mountain hike, but that doesn’t mean hikers will enjoy fewer breathtaking views. At only a quarter-mile long, the end of the hike features gorgeous 360-degree views of Ski Apache. The trail is a great option for hikers of all skill levels.

Sierra Blanca Trail

sierra blanca peak at ski apache

Length: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Hikers will enjoy breathtaking views from 1900 feet in elevation. This hike is considered an all-day hike, taking hikers between the top and bottom of Ski Apache on Sierra Blanca.

Crest Trail

Length: 3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Similar to the Sierra Blanca Trail, Crest Trail is considered an all-day hike along the stunning Sierra Blanca. Here, hikers will be rewarded with outstanding views of Ski Apache and the surrounding area. Don’t feel like walking? The trails can also be explored by mountain bike with Ski Apache bike rentals during the summer months.

Cedar Creek Loop

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Great for all skill levels, Cedar Creek Loop is a popular trail for running, hiking, and nature trips. The wide, well-paved trail is popular for its accessibility to all skill levels and ages, and takes hikers between tall pines and a gentle creek.

North Cedar Creek Trail

Length: 3.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Like Cedar Creek Loop, North Cedar Creek Trail is a popular hiking trail near Ruidoso. The trail is out and back and is quite popular with hikers. The trail should be easy enough for most ages and provides plenty to see thanks to native wildlife and tall pine trees that surround the trail.


Length: 6.4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Located minutes outside the Mescalero Apache Reservation, this lakeside hike offers terrific views of Grindstone Lake in Ruidoso. The loop is open for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The Grindstone Lake Loop is a great trail for entry-level hikers, and perfect for a leisurely stroll around one of the area’s most popular attractions.

Grindstone Mesa Loop

Length: 3.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Located near Ruidoso, Grindstone Mesa Loop circles the popular Grindstone Lake, where vacationers can fish, boat, and enjoy recreational activities. There are plenty of fantastic views of Grindstone Lake from portions of the trail. Hikers can reach Grindstone Mesa Loop via a series of adjacent trails, including Grindstone Ridge Trail and Alfred Hale Connector Trail.


Length: 5.4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Perk Ridge Trail provides stunning views and plenty of opportunities to see New Mexico wildlife. The trail is great for moderate hikes, a step above trails like the Grindstone Lake Loop. The trail is open for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and motorcycle trail riding.

dog canyon at sunsetDOG CANYON TRAIL

Length: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Advanced

Located south of the Inn of the Mountain Gods, hikers roam desert, canyon, and grassland along this more advanced hiking trail. Beginning in Oliver Lee State Park, hikers will venture 2000 feet above the trail’s starting point. Steep drops, magnificent cliff faces, and outstanding views of Dog Canyon are present throughout the trail.

More Great Hiking Around The Inn Of The Mountain Gods

There are more amazing hikes in store for you in and around Mescalero, NM.  AllTrails.com offers a full list of local trails, ratings, and information.

mescalero and ruidoso hiking trail map



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