Lincoln National Forest
Smokey Bear Ranger District's headquarters is in Ruidoso. The District manages approximately 375,000 acres that range in elevation from 5,400 to 11,400 feet. There are two wilderness areas totaling approximately 86,000 acres: the Capitan Mountain and the White Mountain Wilderness Areas. Ski Apache Resort, one of the largest ski areas in the Southwest, is also located on the Smokey Bear Ranger District. Vegetation ranges from semi-desert plants, pinyon pine and juniper to spruce, fir and high-elevation grasses and forbs.
The weather is directly tied to elevation. In the summer, expect sweltering temperatures down in the desert and the necessity of a sweater or jacket in the high country. Springtime is usually dry and windy while July and August are the rainy months, with frequent afternoon showers or thunderstorms. The combination of high elevation and abundant moisture result in a beautiful array of color from flowering plants during the summer months. Perhaps the most beautiful time of the year is in the fall, when the oaks, maples and aspens add splashes of color to the hillsides.
The town of Lincoln, where one of the famous shoot-outs of Billy-the-kid took place, and Capitan, the burial site of the original Smokey Bear, are conveniently located near the District.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication