Ruidoso is located in one of the hottest states in the country, but thanks to its high altitude in the Sierra Blanca Mountains and the cooling effect of the trees in Lincoln National Forest, the town itself experiences rather cold weather. Even in July, the average maximum temperature is a warm but comfortable 80°F (27°C). In the winter, the daytime temperature is around 50°F (10°C). Regardless of season, though, nights tend to be quite cold, and the thermometer often goes below freezing during the winter. Even in the summer, it is a good idea to bring some jackets, as average temperatures are only in the high 40s (7 to 9°C).

Ruidoso is also unusual in that it gets more rain than other parts of the desert-like state. Annual precipitation is around 21-22 inches (about 55 centimeters), a veritable flood compared to the larger city of Albuquerque, which gets less than half of that per year. The town of Ruidoso also gets a fair about of snow, which can start as early as October and last into April. Total annual snowfall is a little over 3 feet (1 meter), but snow rarely covers more than a few inches of the ground at one time.