Alto is an unincorporated community in Lincoln County, New Mexico. It is located at an altitude of 7,300 feet. It is within the Lincoln National Forest, which is five miles north of the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico. The name is the Spanish word for "high", given due to the elevation of the area.
The community is well known for being a thriving artist community. It is home to the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts.
Alto Lakes (at an elevation of 7,550 feet) is a planned, residential and recreational community covering more than 1689 acres along two mountain ridges in Alto. It was conceived and developed by Don Blaugrund beginning in 1967. The main center of the community is the Alto Lakes Golf & Country Club which includes a private 18 hole golf course, dining, swimming and tennis facilities. Membership comes with owning a house or a plot of land within the community.
NM 48 passes through the area. The Sierra Blanca Regional Airport, located about 7 miles west of Alto.