Frequently Asked Questions
1. I'm interested in working at Cook Canyon this coming summer. How do I apply?
The first step is to indicate your interest via the "CONNECT" link above. Then you need to submit a completed application and background check form (links to these forms are located at the bottom of this page). We begin accepting applications in February each year for the upcoming summer camp season. Positions are limited, so earlier applicants are more likely to be selected.
2. Does Cook Canyon accommodate my special dietary needs?
Yes, we attempt to accommodate special dietary needs for individuals who have been medically diagnosed with food allergies, food intolerance or food sensitivity conditions. Guests with these documented dietary needs should inform the Cook Canyon Food Services Manager two weeks prior to an event by submitting a Meal Accomodation Request Form (link to this form at the bottom of this page).
3. What's the weather like at Cook Canyon?
Typically the weather here is great! We fully experience the four seasons, so it can get cold in the winter, warm in the summer, a bit windy in the spring, and is usually glorious in the fall! We're at 7200 feet elevation, so even in the summer it cools down nicely after sundown. If you check the weather in Ruidoso Downs, we're usually five to ten degrees cooler. Be sure to bring a jacket! If you come during the winter, wear layers. Our rainly season is July-September, so a raincoat or umbrella can be handy during those months.
4. Is the water at Cook Canyon safe to drink?
Yes. Our water comes from two deep wells and is tested on a monthly basis by a certified water system operator and analyzed by a laboratory sanctioned by the State of New Mexico Drinking Water Bureau.
5. What's the road to Cook Canyon like?
Upon turning south from US Highway 70 at milepost 266 just east of Ruidoso Downs onto Forest Road 443, you will travel about five miles along a gravel/dirt road to Cook Canyon. This is a mountain road, meaning that there are a few switchbacks along with some rather steep and rough places. If the road is dry, most any vehicle will encounter no difficulty with the road. However, if the road is wet, parts will be slippery. Be sure to contact the Cook Canyon office prior to traveling up the mountain to check on road conditions if the weather forecast indicates rain or snow. Whatever the weather, drive with extra caution up the mountain to Cook Canyon!
6. When I'm at Cook Canyon, how close will I be to town for restaurants, groceries, medical facilities, etc.?
You should plan on it taking up to 1/2 hour to travel down the mountain from Cook Canyon into Ruidoso, where you will find restaurants, shopping, grocery stores, and medical facilities. Weather conditions may result in it taking longer.
7. Will I have cell phone and wifi access while at Cook Canyon?
Our cell phone connectivity with Verizon and AT&T is decent most of the time, but only in certain locations. Depending on your carrier, your cell phone access will range from decent to nonexistent. The best connectivity is around the Office, Main Lodge, Recreation Center, Event Center, or at the top of the mountain. There is no cell phone connectivity in any of the lodges except the Main Lodge. Wifi access is available on a limiited basis in the Main Lodge and the Event Center.
8. What is the terrain like at Cook Canyon?
Being located in a mountain valley, the terrain within the camp ranges from being uneven to steep. Surrounded by the Lincoln National Forest, there are plenty of hiking opportunities in and arround the camp. However, at an altitude of over 7000 feet, shortness of breath and even mild altitude sickness may be encountered. So plan on drinking plenty of water and taking it easy at first until you become acclimated.
9. What wildlife am I likely to see while at Cook Canyon?
Sightings of deer, elk, and turkey are common, depending on the season and the level of activity within the camp. We've also seen coyotes, foxes, and badgers. Sightings of bears and mountain lions tend to be rare, but we do ocassionally find evidence of their existence around the camp. Of course, there are plenty of birds to watch and even an ocassional snake to watch out for. Never attempt to feed or approach wildlife! Doing so may jeopardize the safety of guests and the wildlife. Be alert to your surroundings. Don't hike alone, walk only on the road or established paths, and never step or reach where you can’t see.
For any other questions about Cook Canyon, please contact us via phone, email, or the "CONNECT" link at the top of this page.