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Hiking & Camping

The forests around Ruidoso offer a variety of outdoor experiences.
The White Mountain Wilderness Area is located in the Sacramento Mountains near Ruidoso, NM . The Wilderness Area comprises almost 50,000 acres within the Lincoln National Forest.
The White Mountain Wilderness was created and granted permanent protection through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Under the Wilderness Act, the land is removed from any exploitation consideration, such as mining or logging. The Wilderness management scheme prohibits all types of motorized and mechanical travel, including bicycles. Travel is by foot or horseback, only. In addition, all types of motorized equipment such as chain saws and generators are prohibited as well. The Wilderness Act states that the land will be maintained and managed in a 'primitive' state.
The White Mountain Wilderness is comprised of a north-south trending ridge and canyon system, that forms the divide of the Sacramento Mountains . The eastern side of the range provides the primary access points and is characterized by moderate-sloped, forested canyons and small streams. The more remote western side of the range has rough, steep, rocky canyons with little water. These trails are poorly defined in places and receives little use.
The White Mountain Wilderness Area has a well-developed system of Trailheads and trails. The number and distribution of trails provide an almost infinite number of hiking options for everyone. Novices to experts can find hiking opportunities to fulfill their desires. 
The hiking trails are organized by Trailhead. Each trail or trail segment that can be reasonably accessed from each Trailhead is discussed to allow hikers multiple hiking options. Loop hiking opportunities tend to be longer hikes more suited to intermediate-level hikers. Novices will find great hiking opportunities by sticking to trails closer to the Trailheads.
Click here for an interactive web application which is a companion to the Ruidoso Area Trail Map.  The trail map is available at the office as well as the Visitor Center.  
Lincoln National Forest Trail Guide books by Lynn Melton are available for purchase at the office or by mail. 
     The Smokey Bear Ranger District (the most popular) is $22.71 including tax.  Add $4.50 for mailing.
     The Sacramento Ranger District is $22.71 including tax.  Add $4.50 for mailing.
     To purchase email or call 575-258-8822.

Wilderness Hiking
Hiking Trails and Descriptions (older but good narrative descriptions)
More Hiking in Ruidoso Information:

Hiking Basics - Essential equipment and information needed by everyone who decides to hike these wilderness trails. 
Walking Trail Guide - if you'd rather stroll than hike

The FREE Ruidoso Area Hiking Trail Map and Walking Trail Guide are available at the office.
RuidosoWeb, Corp.
1204 Mechem #1
Ruidoso NM, 88345
Located near Farley's and Bowling Alley