The lake and the surrounding property are closed until further notice.
In the Spring of 2012, the Little Bear Fire destroyed most of the native vegetation in the Bonito Lake watershed area. Six weeks later, two major storm events washed hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of forest debris and sediment into Bonito Lake. Subsequent storms in 2012 and 2013 filled the lake with even more debris. With assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the City of Alamogordo, as the owner of the lake, began the process of developing the Bonito Lake Restoration Plan in 2013. After four years of acquiring funding, planning, design, and permitting, construction on the restoration plan began in September of 2017.
Smithco Construction, Inc. crews worked hard to remove, dry, and transport material from Bonito Lake to the Copper Mountain Quarry disposal site. Work was dependent on the weather, but is now complete. While the lake is empty, an additional infrastructure improvement project is in progress. This project will improve the dam and water intake towers.
Please visit the Lincoln National Forest website to learn about alternative camping sites in the Sacramento Mountains.
Bonito Lake Closure PSA (PDF)