Explore the most popular walking trails near Ruidoso with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A very nice hike with great views. Mileage listing for the FULL Plateau Loop hike is a bit misleading. From the lake parking lot trailhead the hike to the beginning of the loop at the plateau would be be about 7.6 miles out and back. However, the "loop" trail at the plateau adds another 3.4 miles for a total of 11 miles out and back. Hiking the plateau was almost completely flat with second half the the loop much prettier than the first half which had been heavily forested and was burned. We saw four wild mustang horses that didn't seem to like us being there but we're beautiful to see

trail running
4 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.

Was really excited to try this one out but was very disappointed. It looked like there had been a fire (possibly a controlled burning) and the trail was very hard to follow, had to search for the trail ahead multiple times, many trees to step over, lots of overgrowth in the path, and very steep half of the time. Definitely needs lots of maintenance or at least a warning at the beginning of the trial.

Had a great walk with the family today. Just the right amount of ups and downs.

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.

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.

24 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!

Nice easy walk for a morning or evening. Took our dog in the evening and enjoyed the easy wide paths.

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

Very easy walk through the woods within city of Ruidoso. Several on trail out for a midday stroll.

Nice Sunday afternoon walk thru the woods. Lots of families fishing at the pond.

1 month ago

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

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!

My wife and I enjoyed this relatively easy hike. We are in mid 70s and it was just right for us.

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.

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.

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.

My family loved this hike. We saw 16 deers in the area. If you like geocaching this is also a good spot. Very easy hike and a lot of photo opportunities. Bring your fishing gear and you can fish after your hike.

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

This one is a hard one for me. The scenery in the trail is amazing, but we couldn’t complete it because but the road is not marked at all well. There are paths of this trail where the trees have fallen down because of a wild fire a while back and the road is not marked. I went by myself with my 2 dogs and got lost a long the way because the path is not visible, one of my dogs led the way and got us back on track. I would call myself an experience hiker and this one is a hard one to follow. The trail however gives you a one and a lifetime experience of seeing deers, bucks and even a bear. We had to wait for the bear to move but it was incredible. If you do decide to do this hike just beware of the paths were the trees are down! Good luck

Amazing views were the highlight of the hike with my non year old daughter

Great trail with very little elevation gain. Still in town but gives the feel of being deep in the forest. Easy to find trailhead. Nice walk

Very easy and fun

My sister and I are in our 50’s and we hiked about 2 miles. We walked uphill past several secluded cabins for about a 1/2 mile to reach the trailhead. It was a continuous but gradual climb for about another 1 1/2 miles. We reached a very steep climb up a mountain and decided we didn’t have enough energy for that so we turned around. We saw lots of burned trees and logs. We loved the vistas and the birds singing. We saw a blue jay. We only met two couples. It was a very quiet trail. I would consider it close to a hard trail.

My sister and I hiked this trail and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We are both in our 50’s and decided it was just the perfect amount of exertion for us. I would put it in the easy to moderate category. There are a few hills to climb and a beautiful, small waterfalls that requires a bit of climbing (up and down). We saw a stork on top of a ponderosa as well as a mule deer that galloped down the mountain and jumped over the creek that we traversed. We had brought sandwiches and ate them at the picnic tables on top of the dam. There are restrooms at the trailhead also. I plan to hike here again-hopefully with my 5 and 7 year old grandchildren.

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

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.

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.

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.

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