HIGHLIGHTS: Philmont Scout Ranch is 137,493 acres of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rockies, and it is operated by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. There are 32 staffed camps and 50 unstaffed camps that are operated by the ranch, and at headquarters there is a museum with items relevant to the history and art of the Southwest.
Philmont has high mountains which dominate rough terrain with an elevation ranging from 6,500 to 12,441 feet. Philmont’s first camping season was in 1939, and since then more than 650,000 Scouts, Venturers and their leaders have participated in the rugged challenge of its backpacking program. The backpacking season runs from mid-June to late August, and Scouts or Venturers must be at least 14 years of age and registered members of the Boy Scouts of America to participate. Participants are organized into crews of 7-12 and have at least two adult leaders in their group. They participate in a variety of programs presented by Philmont backcountry staff and these include horseback riding, burro packing, gold panning, rock climbing, 30.06 rifle shooting, archaeology, mountain biking and interpretive programs such as homesteading and mountain man rendezvous. During our hike, we followed a 50 mile, 12 day route in the central and southern regions of the ranch and hiked to both Mount Phillips and the Tooth of Time while in the backcountry.