Ruidosa hugs FM 170, the scenic River Road, near a historic bend of the Rio Grande. Comanche and Apache raids deterred a Mexican penal colony and Anglo settlement here throughout the 19th century. By 1914 cotton farm families settled the fertile riverfront and built a gin. They also built the remarkable Misión del Sagrado Corazon (Sacred Heart of Jesus) Catholic Church. The weather-worn yet stabilized church remains one of the most significant adobe religious structures in Texas. Today’s Ruidosa remains a virtual ghost town. For a fine mountain adventure drive north from Ruidosa on Pinto Canyon Road (high-clearance vehicle advised) through several ecosystems of the Chinati Mountains. Nearby lies Chinati Hot Springs where guests stay in refurbished 1930s stone cabins and bathe in hot spring water. The River Road ends at Candelaria, where a former cotton gin, small Catholic church and several adobe houses mark a once-thriving border town.