Grindstone Lake Loop

EASY 179 reviews
#1 of 45 trails in

Grindstone Lake Loop is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ruidoso, New Mexico that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. 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

birding

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

rocky

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 will open 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

trail running
2 days ago

Ran the loop in about 1 hour, 20 minutes. For the most part, trail is in good shape with moderate elevation gains and losses. Almost no one on trail after the 2 mile marker.

14 days ago

This was my first trail to ever hike and it was amazing! Nice path to follow. Not to steep, but at times a bit challenging. The map says 6.7 miles, but Runkeeper app said 7.0. Some signage was a little confusing, but I’m a novice so it was probably just me. Definitely take water. I didn’t need a walking stick, but the other 5 people I encountered had them. It took me 2 hours 10 minutes, but I went pretty fast. I’m 51 and 120lbs and in pretty good shape. It was sunny and warm when I went at 10:00am, but big storms came in afternoon so make sure you check the weather. Would have been bad to have gotten stuck in that storm.

hiking
19 days ago

Awesome views of the lake. Saw 2 snakes, some lizards, a rabbit and some birds. Did not see many hikers until the end where it combines with other shorter trails. LOTS of switchbacks and a bit rocky at times, but well maintained. Signage can be a bit confusing. Had cell coverage the entire hike so you can see where you are on the maps. Bring water, sunblock and a hat if you plan on doing the entire loop as it can get hot and shade can be sparse at times.

hiking
23 days ago

It was 98* and had a toddler so we improvised and took the shorter fisherman loop instead. Not sure I would classify this as easy. It starts off easy around the lake but then there is a bit of elevation you go up. Should have planned to go swimming afterwards. The scenery is beautiful!

27 days ago

This was a lovely trail to hike. There were many switchbacks, beautiful views of the lake, and surrounding mountains.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike with views of lake for two of us in mid 70s.

1 month ago

Definitely easy trail but if you’re not prepared, you’ll be wiped out at the end. This is one of the most beautiful trails me and my family has EVER accomplished. Hundreds of breathtaking views! Takes a few hours if you’re in it for the scenery... have fun!

1 month ago

I wouldn’t classify this trail as easy - the altitude and change in elevation was pretty strenuous. But it was challenging and fun and gorgeous. A dip in the chilly lake on a hot July day was the perfect reward and the end of the run.

1 month ago

A bit dry, needs rain in area, but still a wonderful morning hike. Lots of birds, a few lizards, and 3 deer spotted. Do watch for horse poop on trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this as a hike to get acclimated to elevation. Good trail, easy to navigate. Uphill the first two miles, with lots of long easy to run switchbacks in the middle. Last mile or so back down was quite rocky. Went out about 10:30am, not a lot of tree cover so bring your hat.

1 month ago

Good family hike. Just went a mile out and back due to time restraints. Have to share the trail with mountain bikers.

1 month ago

Well marked easy trail with some nice views of the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be. I probably wouldn’t take children on this hike because it was rocky in lots of places and there were many places to slip. I would rate this as more moderate.

hiking
1 month ago

Always a favorite of mine! Beautiful views of the turquoise lake! Nice hike for day 1 when I'm aclimating to the altitude difference.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this for Father's Day with my family of four; ages 3yrs (used a backpack to carry most of the hike) 5yrs, 29yrs and 32yrs. Really enjoyed the hike and hope to do more around this area

trail running
1 month ago

Nice trail. Mostly good footing, very well marked and has some nice views of the lake and Sierra Blanca. It’s a good run and fun! I would not call this an “easy” run, but it’s definitely enjoyable. More like moderate.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy to moderate, depending on the weather. Impossible to miss. Not very frequented. Took me (woman, 210lbs) 2:45 hours including two ten minutes breaks.

3 months ago

The trail is a good stretch of the legs. Not too much for wildlife but did see a few deer, osprey and a lizard. The trail is lined with piles of down timber, hundreds if not thousands of piles.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Went there on 4/28 loved it some hiking with the bike then the fun starts. You can get some speed good paths you really can’t go off course. It’s more fun than work will do again.

3 months ago

Not sure if I’d rate this easy. More moderate but great hike.

3 months ago

Good easy to moderate hike, little long, kinda the same ol same ol, enjoyed it

4 months ago

First time on this trail. Great! The views of Sierra Blanca are very nice. A couple of steep climbs, but nothing too difficult. A very well maintained trail! Birds!

7 months ago

For a hike with kids, this was awesome. Beautiful views. Trail was easy enough for the kids but not so easy that it was boring.

7 months ago

LOVED this one! The lake was beautiful, and not too crowded when we were there in the summer!

9 months ago

Not sure who rates these trails. This should be more of a moderate listing. I hiked one the other day that was listed as moderate but was definitely easy.

About this trail...love it. I’ve rode mountain bikes around it and fished the lake, but really enjoyed the quiet walk around on this loop. Saw mule deer while hiking. Only a few others out using the trail. Highly recommend this trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Flat landers had an enjoyable morning and mid day hike. My bride of 31 years and my loyal golden retriever joined in and all had a great day. The weather was perfect. The end of hike fetching sticks in the lake and swim was the highlight for Emma. We saw quite a few deer. I would do the hike again on another trip to Ruidoso. I found it pleasant seeing and hearing the joyful sounds of families enjoying the lake as we were nearing the end of our hike

10 months ago

Very nice trail with some mildly challenging terrain. Saw some deer. The only drawback is that there is some noisy construction in the area.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

My husband and I hiked this with our six month old daughter in tow, beautiful scenery and we came across a few mule deer and some smaller wildlife also. The lake is gorgeous.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

My 7 month old lab and I really enjoyed this hike. I was able to hike the trail up the mountain, while my 70 year old mother walked the broad, level, dirt path alongside the lake. Something for everyone at Grindstone Lake!

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Great loop and lots of flowers/plants in early August. Saw three or four other people and a couple of mule deer

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