Bonito Lake

Snow at Bonito 
Name:    Position: Phone Number:  Email: 
Mary Pavia Community Services Executive Assistant 575-336-4157


The Westlake Campground, Blue Hole/Apple Orchard and the Lower Pasture
will be closed for camping until further notice.

Bonito Lake is also Closed for fishing until futher notice.

At this time the Lincoln National Forest is under stage I fire restrictions you can contact the Ruidoso office at 575-257-4095 for areas for open camping areas and fire restriction information.
(Web Page Updated 07/26/16)


LOCATION:  Bonito Lake is approximately 10 miles north
 of the Village of Ruidoso and is located off of Hwy 37


The City of Alamogordo is the owner of the Bonito Lake which serves as a potable water supply and a premier recreational area in southern New Mexico. The area is generally open to the public from April 1 through November 30, depending on the weather.
  1. Activities allowed at the lake include fishing, camping and hiking.
  2. There are no electrical or water hookups for RV's at any of the campgrounds. 
There is drinking water available at a central location at the Westlake campground, and restrooms, but no showers.  Port-a-potties are available through out the camp grounds.
  3. Swimming, wading, and boating are not allowed. Fishing is allowed only from the shore.
  4. A camp site holds 2 vehicles.  A vehicle pulling a trailer is considered ONE vehicle.
  5. The Gate Shack is manned on Friday and Saturday until 11 or 12 pm and about 4 pm on the remaining days.  If you arrive after the staff have left the gate shack, go ahead and find a place to camp, and they will collect your fees the next day.  We do not have the means to accept credit cards. The gate is locked ONLY if Westlake is full.  In that case you may look for other spots to camp in the primitive camping areas near by. Check out time is 2pm.
  6. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash 6' or shorter, kept out of the water, and must have their poop picked up.  Excessive barkers will be asked to leave.
  7. A two week notice is required for Reservations for 10 vehicles or more. No reservations are made on holidays or for less than 10 vehicles in a party.  It is first come - first served.
  8. A NM fishing license with a Trout Validation Stamp is required, and may be obtained at any sporting goods store (Western Auto, K-Mart, or Wal-Mart).  Fishing is from 5 am to 10 pm.
  9. Picnicing, camping, or fires are not permitted on the shores around the lake.
10. Fires are permitted in fire pits only (unless restricted by the Forest Service) and must be attended at all times.
11. No off-road vehicles of any kind allowed in campgrounds (only on Forest Service Roads).
12. No firearms or chain saws are permitted.
13. All noise and music be off at 10 pm.

Campground fees are as follows:

Day Use
Day Use 
Gallon:              $1.00       
Five Gallon:        $5.00        Trailer Fill:        $20.00    

Department Description

This division is responsible for the management and daily operation of the Bonito Lake Watershed, the Recreational Area, and part of the Bonito pipeline.

Mission Statement

To manage and preserve Alamogordo's most valuable source of water supply. Additionally, to provide the public a clean, safe recreational site in which they can picnic, camp or fish, and to maintain the Bonito Lake campgrounds, the dam, and the Bonito pipeline from the lake to Three Rivers. In addition, to plan and implement Resource Conservation and Development projects.