The Rio Ruidoso is a 30-mile (48 km) long river located in the Sierra Blanca and Sacramento Mountains in Lincoln County and Otero County, New Mexico in the United States and is part of the Rio Ruidoso Watershed. The Spanish term, río ruidoso, translated into English means literally "noisy river".
The headwaters of the Rio Ruidoso are located near the top of the 12,003-foot (3,659 m) peak of the mountain, Sierra Blanca Peak, in the rugged Sierra Blanca mountains, which is located within the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. From there, the river winds its way down through the Sacramento Mountains, which are part of the Lincoln National Forest and through the village of Ruidoso, which was named after the river. Along its 30-mile (48 km) course, the river drops 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in elevation.
Several fish species live within the waters of the Rio Ruidoso, including:
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