Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ruidoso, NM, Inn of the Mountain Gods, McGinn's Pistachio Ranch

April 25, 2010.
We woke to a beautiful cloud free day with morning temps in the 40's. However, with the bright sun, it quickly warmed to low 80's. We decided to take a drive out to Ruidoso in the Sacramento Mountains. We wanted to check out the town and some of the campgrounds. So, we took off in the car, but I forgot the maps. I drove back to our site when I noticed this beautiful shot of the mountains behind our rig looking north.

As we drove the 41 miles north we got even closer to Sierra Blanca.
Few peaks match the awesome grandeur of Sierra Blanca. At just below 12,000 feet in elevation, Sierra Blanca looms intimidatingly large from the sandy deserts and rangelands that surround the compact range. From some vantage points there is nearly 8,000 feet of elevation differential bewteen the viewer and the summit. Its snow-capped summit is visible well into the summer, from the sizzling deserts below.

Sierra Blanca has many superlatives: it is the highest mountain in southern New Mexico and the highest 'southern' mountain in the mainland USA (i.e. any higher US peaks are north of Sierra Blanca's latitude, and the next higher peaks south are in Mexico). It also has the highest prominence in New Mexico at over 5,000 feet above its defining saddle.

We climbed to over 7900 ft. as we drove thru Mescalero the Apache Pass and the Apache Reservation on our way to Ruidoso.

Once we made it to Ruidoso, we drove around admiring the quaint little mountain town. All that driving gave us an appetite so we stopped at this little local spot for some tacos and tostadas. We had a great lunch!

While looking for a campground, the GPS got us lost and we ended up on top of a mountain amidst a very upscale housing development. Anyway the views from the development were spectacular.

On the way back to Alamogordo we stopped at Inn of the Mountain Gods a hotel and casino on the Apache Reservation

When you first enter the hotel you can see all the way through to this gorgeous view.

The Mescalero Apaches own and operate the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort, which offers first-rate golf with a course rate 35th best in the nation by Golf Week Magazine, (575) 464-5141. The resort also operates the Casino Apache and Ina Da Card Room for those who like to partake in Las Vegas-style gambling; (575) 464-4100, (877) 277-5677. The Inn also hosts concerts by nationally known recording acts.

Below is the beautiful staircase around the fountain in the casino.We didn't come to gamble but just to check out the scenery as it had been recommended by the owners of the park that we are staying at.

Continuing on the Hwy. 70 south towards Alamogordo, we could see White Sands in the distance. It's also visible from our campsite!

Before, going home we stopped at McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch nearly across the street from the park we are staying at, Boot Hill RV Resort.

The small shop offered free samples of flavored pistachios. We tried several flavors and settled on a package of pistachios flavored with green and red chillies. They also raise pecans, grapes and have a winery.

We walked through the rows of pistachio trees and the rows of

grape vines. This area is renowned for its pecan and pistachio groves and grape vineyards.

Back home we relaxed and enjoyed the view of Sierra Blanca as we had done the day before. Yesterday we stayed home, relaxed and tried to clean up the rig, truck and car from the slushy snow mess we encountered on the trip out here through the mountains. 


  1. Beautiful pictures! How is a Floridian handling all those mountains? Were there some adjustments needed :)

  2. No adjustments to the mountains have been needed so far. We just drive and walk around in awe of the beauty of the mountains.