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The Mescalero Apache Tribe was established by Executive Order of President Ulysses S. Grant on May 27, 1873. There are three sub-bands that comprise the Tribe: the Mescalero Apache, the Chiricahua Apache, and the Lipan Apache. Prior to the reservation period, the Mescalero people were nomadic hunters and gathers and roamed the Southwest. The Apachean Tribes were historically very powerful, constantly at enmity with the Spaniards and Mexicans for centuries. The first Apache raids on Sonora appear to have taken place during the late 17th century. The U.S. Army, in their various confrontations, found them to be fierce warriors and skillful strategists. They were experts in guerilla warfare and highly skilled horsemen. The women were known for their ability to find and prepare food from many different plant sources.

The Mescalero tribe's mountainous lands present exciting opportunities for outdoor adventurers. Hunting, fishing, hiking, clay shooting and biking opportunities are found throughout the area. During the winter, plan to slide down the slopes of Ski Apache. For indoor fun, there is an arcade and a fitness room with a pool, hot tub, and exercise equipment.

The Mescalero Apache own and operate the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, which offers a first-rate golf course which recently garnered a top spot in Golf Digest's "Top 40 Casino Golf Courses," ranking number 23. The resort also operates the Casino Apache and Ina Da Card Room for those who like to partake in Las Vegas-style gambling. The Inn also hosts concerts by nationally known recording acts.

The Tribe recently opened the 50,000-square-foot Casino Apache Travel Center on U.S. 70 about a mile west of Ruidoso. The entertainment complex includes a convenience store, restaurant, smoke shop, gas station and truck stop with showers and laundry services.


The reservation is located near the southeastern town of Ruidoso off US 70.