Owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, Ski Apache touts a system of 11 ski lifts and is committed to keeping snow people safe while they enjoy nature's amusement park. The mountain offers dozens of trails for snowboarders and skiers of all skill levels, from first-time bunny slopers to double-black-diamond enthusiasts. Hitting the powder with friends or teaching an enemy that "french fry" skis are better than "pizza slice" skis when approaching a deep chasm can lead to a well-earned cup of cocoa at the bottom of the mountain and an overwhelming adrenaline rush to do it all over again.
Five kilometers of mud stands between a pack of runners and the title of Gladiator. The Ultimate Gladiator Dash obstacle course winds through trees and hills before finally completing its loop, but the real challenge lies in the mud pits and numerous other obstacles that block the runners at every turn. Challengers must conquer 9-foot inclines, leap blindly over sandbag walls, climb ropes, and navigate water obstacles. After vanquishing the obstacles and reaching the finish line, participants head to the after party for music and beer.
Gym Magic Sports Center & Preschool fosters healthy childhood growth with fun-focused fitness activities performed in a safe, noncompetitive environment. Teach future Phelpses how to thrive in the deep blue with a session of swim classes in the Lily Pad Swim School, a member of the US Swim School Association. In a shallow, indoor, kid-friendly pool filled with warm water to encourage comfort, instructors help novices grasp the basics and teach more experienced swimmers advanced techniques, such as the backward doggy-paddle and the walrus wade. Parent/child swim classes are offered to students from 6 months to 3 years old, and kiddies older than 3 learn to paddle sans guardian guidance. Classes run for roughly 30 minutes and maintain a maximum ratio of one teacher to five students to ensure optimal results and safety. Those already skilled in the trades of the sea can exercise their land legs in gymnastics classes for tumblers 12 months and older, with parent/child classes available for kids younger than 3. With skilled guidance, pint-sized acrobats will strengthen their bodies, minds, agility, balance, and likelihood of being the next Evel Knievel in an Olympic-size, foam-padded practice space.
Located at Lyles Family Farm, the Mesilla Valley Maze is one of New Mexico's oldest corn mazes, providing family-friendly fall recreation since 1999. Using a GPS-guided farm tractor, the Mesilla Valley Maze is transformed from a basic pencil sketch into a nine-acre patterned trail, offering a fun and confusing design that changes yearly. The farm allows visitors to the maze to use handheld GPS devices, and two different fun and challenging games help kids and their families navigate the creative confines of the labyrinth without conjuring the ghostly spirit of Leonhard Euler trapped deep within.
Although the views of the Sacramento Mountains are imposing and majestic at ground level, nothing can compete with approaching them from 10,000 feet above. That’s why the staff at Skydive White Sands offers a range of jumps and classes that let guests get a bird’s-eye view of the mountain peaks, smooth white sands, and roller-skating clouds while feeling the rush of an adrenaline-pumping free fall. Staff members send jumpers into the air in a Cessna 206, then strap themselves to students for a tandem jump or teach them how to man their own parachute during the seven-level skydiving-licensing program. While in flight, clients can choose to record their experience with a handheld camera that documents their free fall and peaceful descent to the ground.
South of the resort, the Mescalero Cultural Center curates artifacts and historical exhibits about Apache rituals and leaders, such as the famed war chief Geronimo. To the north, the rapidly growing city of Ruidoso bustles with mountain-gear outfitters, steak houses, and yeti that have decided to settle down. The Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway passes through the city and other nearby communities with ties to western outlaws and icons. The 84-mile loop also runs through a portion of the million-acre Lincoln National Forest, where visitors hike, bike, and ride horses past waterfalls and canyons until the snow starts falling in early November.
The peaks of the Organ Mountains rise above the Mesilla Valley, framing the immaculate greenery of Sonoma Ranch Golf Course's 18-hole, 7,028-yard layout. Designed by internationally renowned course architect Cal Olson, the course unfurls across the valley floor with undulating fairways, encroaching water hazards, and sprawling bunkers that force players to build sandcastle trebuchets to rescue errant golf balls. A lengthy course when played from the back tees, the grassy monolith also challenges players' short game with massive, bentgrass greens peppered with hard-to-read breaks. Clubbers can prepare for their pin-hunting voyage with a stint at the driving range or practice green, or stare down the treacherous fairways over a tasty nosh at the Sunset Grill, which overlooks the scenic expanse.
Course at a Glance: