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Most People Have No Idea There’s An Underwater Ghost Town Hiding In New Mexico

Bonito Lake seems like an ordinary reservoir. It’s located in the Lincoln National Forest, not far from Ruidoso and, over the years, it’s been a popular place to go fishing or camping. In 2012, the Little Bear Fire swept through this area and the lake had to be closed due to sediment buildup. But the Little Bear Fire isn’t the only tragedy to occur here. Most people don’t realize that the remains of Bonito City lie at the bottom of the reservoir, and that this ghost town has its own tragic past.

There are rumors that the lake is haunted by Nelson’s ghost. You can investigate the truth of such claims yourself when the recreation area reopens in August of 2018. For updates on Bonito Lake’s reopening, click here.

It’s certainly a little weird to think that the remains of a ghost town lurk beneath the surface of these still waters.

Even when Bonito Lake does reopen to the public, swimming and scuba diving aren’t permitted. But you can visit many of New Mexico’s ghost towns – no scuba gear required!

Juliet White
New Mexico staff writer for Only In Your State and freelance writer. A committed travel junkie, Juliet has lived on two continents, but believes that the sunsets in New Mexico are the best. She can be reached on Twitter @JulietWrites.