5 Most Gorgeous Lakes In And Near Ruidoso, New Mexico - Updated 2022

lakes in ruidoso

Ruidoso in New Mexico is set on the beautiful mountains of Sierra Blanca. This small village is surrounded by several running and hiking trails owing to its diverse terrain. Lincoln National Forest, just next to this village where travelers can find cabins for rent in Ruidoso, is best known for its amazing waterfalls and trails. Ruidoso has a lot of picnicking and recreational spots that bring a lot of tourism to the village. There are several lakes that are ideal for fishing, paddle boating, cycling, and horse riding getaways. These lakes are spectacular scenic getaways in the village that will make for the perfect and peaceful vacation for you. If you’re wondering where to stay in Ruidoso, there are plenty of other accommodation options available too, like ski resorts, vacation rentals, and more. So whether you’re looking for places to swim in Ruidoso or just hang out with your loved ones, there are plenty of amazing lakes here. Check out our list of the most gorgeous lakes in and near Ruidoso, New Mexico.

1. Grindstone Lake

Grindstone Lake, Ruidoso,New Mexico, September 1, 2018
Source: Photo by Flickr user Robert Nunnally used under CC BY 2.0

Grindstone Lake is one of the most popular picnic destinations and swimming lakes in Ruidoso, NM. This lake offers tons of things to do that will excite the adventure lover in you. This pristine alpine lake is a great place to enjoy fishing for rainbow trout, catfish and smallmouth bass. You can also enjoy paddle boating and swimming in the waters. The lake grounds are also open for camping with 22 tent campsites and 6 RV sites. Wibit Water Park will be open during summers to add more fun to your family vacation. You can also try biking, hiking, and horseback riding at the Grindstone Lake Park trails. It is also a great place to learn and play disc golf.

Explore Grindstone Lake from one of these promising RVshare rentals

Grindstone Lake

Address: 111 Wiggins Way, Ruidoso, NM 88345, United States

Website: Grindstone Lake

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm (daily)

Here are the best vacation rentals near Grindstone Lake

Nearby lakes

2. Mescalero Lake

Inn of the Mountain Gods - Golfing near Mescalero Lake with Sierra Blanca backdrop
Source: Photo by user lfwlfw used under CC BY 2.0

Mescalero Lake is part of the Mescalero reservation center within the Inn of the Mountain Gods resort. The lake is open for activities like rowing, paddle boating, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking on a rental basis. You can also enjoy fishing upon purchase of the fishing permit from the hotel reception desk. The resort also offers fishing and paddleboard gear for rent. Whether you are staying at the resort or just visiting the lake this is a great place to spend a day relaxing and fishing by the lake.

Book an Outdoorsy rental when staying near Mescalero Lake

Mescalero Lake

Address: Mescalero Lake, Mescalero, NM, United States

Website: Mescalero Lake

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 9am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Here are the best vacation rentals near Mescalero Lake

3. Bonito Lake

Bonito Lake
Source: Photo by user Felix Garcia used under CC BY 2.0

Bonito Lake is a spectacular reservoir within the Sierra Blanca mountains northwest of Ruidoso. It is a great place to escape into the wild near Ruidoso. This lake is surrounded by the famous Lincoln National Forest, which offers impressive biking and hiking trails. It is a great fishing and picnicking getaway located just a few miles away from Ruidoso. There are also a lot of camping grounds and streams near the lake for you to pitch a tent and be one with nature. This lake has plenty of Rainbow Trout for you to enjoy fresh catch on a cold evening.

See the best of Bonito Lake from these RVshare rentals

Bonito Lake

Address: Lincoln County, New Mexico

Here are the best vacation rentals near Bonito Lake

4. Eagle Lake

New Mexico - Eagle Nest Lodge (21954728598)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mark Seymour used under CC BY 2.0

Eagle Lake on the foothills of Sierra Blanca mountain ranges consists of two lakes, 4 acres (1.6 hectares) and 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares), each divided by grassy grounds. This lake is on Ski Run Road of Mescalero. It offers camping, RVing, and fishing sites for you to enjoy a fun-filled lake getaway. You can purchase camping, RVing, and fishing permits through the many reservation enterprises of Ruidoso. Campsites are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. So, plan your trip to Eagle Lake ahead for a hassle-free picnic experience. This seasonal lake is available for camping only in the months of May to September.

Experience the best of Eagle Lake from one of these Outdoorsy rentals

Eagle Lake

Address: Ski Run Road, Ruidoso, NM 88345

Here are some great vacation rentals near Eagle Lake

5. Alto Lake and Recreation Area

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Ruidoso Parks and Recreation on Monday, October 5, 2020

Alto Lake and recreation area is 5 miles (8 kilometers) drive from Ruidoso. This lake in Alto is surrounded by crushed rock trails, picnic tables, and benches. There’s a dam as well as two beautiful bridge crossings on the lake. There are also many natural trail loops for jogs and walks at Alto Lake near Ruidoso. This recreation area offers shelters, campgrounds, and restrooms, so you might want to consider these instead of the usual hotels or cabins just this time. It is available for non-motorized boating and fishing throughout the year. You can get your fishing and boating permits online too. It is notable that swimming is prohibited on Alto Lake.

Book a great RVshare for your visit to Alto Lake and Recreation Area

Alto Lake and Recreation Area

Address: Alto, NM 88312, United States

Website: Alto Lake and Recreation Area

Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)

Here are some great vacation rentals near Alto Lake and Recreation Area

Look out for rainbow trouts and scenic views in Ruidoso Lakes

Ruidoso’s lakes are amazing getaways for fishing, boating, and camping. There are plenty of nearby accommodations to choose from, including Vrbo vacation rentals and cabins with hot tub. As the city is located on the alpine ranges of Mountain Sierra Blanca, summers are cold, and winters are colder. You can enjoy fishing in Ruidoso for several species like catfish, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass. These lakes along with the picturesque mountain backdrop are the perfect getaways from busy cities of New Mexico.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Sharadha is a happy 'paw'rent to beautiful GSDs - Max n Tuffey. At times, when she is not too busy pampering her furry kids, she is trying her best to stay fit, write and travel. She loves...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Ruidoso
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!