Grindstone Lake Loop [CLOSED]

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Lincoln National Forest

Grindstone Lake Loop [CLOSED] is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ruidoso, New Mexico that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 813 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

rocky

closed

Note: Users have reported that this trail is closed during COVID-19. Well maintained trail system located in Lincoln National Forest, less than five minutes outside of Ruidoso, NM The trail head is located in the upper parking lot to Grindstone Lake, and is very easy to find. The trail system generally loops around Grindstone Lake, and includes many miles of new trails that opened in late summer 2013. The seven mile loop begins at the parking lot trail head and follows a smooth, well maintained, single track trail around the lake. There are two excellent down hill sections, several fun switchbacks, and a very few difficult climbs

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Trail is OPEN

hiking
1 month ago

Closed during covid19

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Depending on time of year and weather, this can be a mud fest. First two miles (starting counter clockwise) were nice and dry being in the sun. Next 4 miles (shaded side of the mountain) were a mix of snow and mud, with a little bit of dry land scattered in. Last half mile was dry being in the sun again. Overall still a nice hike with great scenery, lots of signs of deer (and horses, watch out for the piles ). Highly recommend a walking stick or two to help navigate the muddy areas.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

This was a great trail! The snow/ice was melting so it was VERY muddy for about half the trail, but it was still beautiful and not too challenging. I would highly recommend!! Took us about 4 hours to complete!

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

The trail was easy to follow, a little muddy due to the rain in the previous 24hrs. I would say the trail is on the light side of moderate, there are a few uphill spots. Our primarily came to take pictures and found some really great areas along the way. Unfortunately we didn’t encounter any wildlife minus the ducks in the lake. We would like to come again in the spring when it is a little warmer for a different perspective. We took our time so we could get some quality shots, I believe it took us around 4.5hrs but could be done much faster.

hiking
6 months ago

I absolutely loved this trail. So many different views at every turn, lots of deer and elk tracks in the afternoon as well. The trail had some switch backs, inclines, and lots of trees. There weren’t any benches along the trail but plenty of big rocks to see on for a break. I will be doing this trail again!!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful! Such a perfect loop and so many gorgeous trees. Definitely worth doing!!

hiking
7 months ago

7.2 miles Perfect trail. Beautiful views and nature all around. From birds to bearded dragon to snakes and bugs to ducks. 10/10

hiking
7 months ago

great trek. roughly 2.5 to 3 hours. great weather. saw some deer, variety of birds lots of lizards and insects and a grass snake. veru nice walk. one tree was blocking part of the path.

hiking
8 months ago

nice trail for hiking. May be a better biking trail. Did not seem to be clearly marked. I was under the impression that it was a trail sround the lake with a view, but not necessarily. We ended up on the other side of the dam with no clear direction of where to go from there. There was a gravel road intersecting the trail. So, we just turned around and went back the way we came. Ideal for a morning hike with ease. No wildlife sightings.

backpacking
8 months ago

Good Trail with Great views. A co-worker and I backpacked the trail for the weekend. the trail was well kept. Backpacking this trail with 90 lb. backpack was challenging. This trail has some inclines that will make you feel the burn if you know what I mean. I would suggest a walking stick in a few areas for support. I will note that for people who are not locals and are not aware that around the lake is some property lines belonging to the Village of Ruidoso and they have a no open flame policy around the lake. The forest service came to our camp site and put out our fire. as long as you stay in the national forest side of the lake you can have a camp fire. There is a designated camp ground near the entrance with fire rings and spaces that you can pay for just like any where else. The lake was beautiful. they do have restrooms but not the cleanest just saying. the location is close to town which is convenient just in case you forgot/need something. People were hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, and trail running. There is no alcohol signs posted near the trash cans around the lake so be aware. not much wildlife only a few deer and a lot of birds singing beautifully along the trail. We were told there is black bear in the area but have only been seen near the dumpsters. When it rained it was a little muddy but nothing to terrible. All around a great trail and great exercise.

hiking
9 months ago

Easy trail, not really steep. Saw a few people out with their dogs. There were butterflies and also some some ducks on the lake. We even spotted a deer. There’s grindstone stables nearby were you can go on a guided horse ride that will take you on a trail that is also near this lake trail!

hiking
9 months ago

Una vista hermosa al lago y a la montaña nevada, muchos ciclistas, v

hiking
9 months ago

Very nice trail, not steep, clean and well maintained. The walk through the forest full of pine trees and near the lake, is very pleasant with beautiful scenery and views of the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

I was disappointed that the loop did not go all the way around the lake but instead ventures into the forest. It's nice and shady for the most part, so good to do in summer.

hiking
9 months ago

Easy and flat. Only small ascents. We did it with our 13 and 12 year old. Enjoyed the lake afterwards. One small detail...we didn’t realize we started at the lake...thought we’d hike up to a lake. No worries, still fun.

Very easy hike, trail was easy to follow with some nice views. lots of trash near the lake area though.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice views of the lake. The trail gets hot, not much shade in places.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

This trail was more challenging than I was ready for. Thought i would never make it back but was proud I was able to step up to the challenge.

hiking
10 months ago

I walked this with my wife, daughter, and son-in-law...we had a great walk. We started around 8am and finished in about 3 hours at a moderate pace. Plenty of beautiful views.

hiking
10 months ago

a fun hike for the summer, although temperatures were still in the 80s there today. Quite some shade and beautiful views of the lake.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a beautiful hike. Our 13 and 9 year old sons loved it as well.

hiking
10 months ago

Good hike! Definitely worth doing! We’re in decent hiking shape and finished in 2.5 hours with a couple of short breaks. It was hot outside (mid-80s), shady in some parts but definitely not everywhere, and there are some decent inclines and switchbacks that got us winded. A no-brainer, but take plenty of water!! I’d rate it somewhere between easy and moderate. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL VIEWS of the turquoise lake and Sierra Blanca. Would have been fun to spend some more time at the lake after the hike (fishing and/or kayak & paddle board rentals available).

hiking
10 months ago

Decent hike, a few slopes that get you winded. Keeps teasing you with views of the lake.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful! July 1st hike, had a couple light showers; it was fun, we saw a herd of mule deer and a coyote.

hiking
11 months ago

What a beautiful place to hike. Very popular for fishing and canoeing. This is a must do for anyone who likes to hike. It's marked an easy trail but you still get a workout.

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