2017-2018 preview: Philmont Scout Ranch

high-adventure-week-2It’s the third-annual High-Adventure Week here on Bryan on Scouting. It’s time to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered at the BSA’s four national high-adventure bases — and give you tips on how to secure your spot in 2017, 2018 and beyond.


The sentiment is so common they had to put it on a bumper sticker: IWGBTP.

I Wanna Go Back To Philmont.

There’s something magnetic about Philmont Scout Ranch, the hiking paradise in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. It’s why men and women who experienced Philmont’s magic as young people are compelled to return decades later with their own children.

haw-2016-philmont-4-skyler-ballardStart a Philmont tradition in your troop, team, post, ship or crew in 2017 or 2018 by completing a legendary Philmont trek. Or take advantage of one of Philmont’s individual opportunities, including new STEM-based adventures. Or take the whole family to the Philmont Training Center, where you’ll bolster your Scouting skills while your spouse and children enjoy a week of fun.

The Philmont Training Center and Philmont individual treks are phenomenal, but the base is best known for its seven- and 12-day treks.

For more than 75 years, Philmont Scout Ranch has offered its backcountry treks that challenge participants both mentally and physically. The treks, which include stops at several of Philmont’s staffed backcountry camps, offer a pinnacle experience that participants will remember all their lives.

Because of their popularity, Philmont trek slots are allocated using an online lottery.

At 9 a.m. Mountain Time today — Oct. 26, 2016 — the 2018 Philmont Scout Ranch lottery will open.

haw-2016-philmont-3-drew-castellawPhilmont registration and lottery info

2017: The online lottery for 2017 slots closed in 2015. However, select slots are open for 12-day treks in July and August and for seven-day treks in August. You can see a live list of availability at this link. Clicking a date will prepare an email to go to a Philmont registrar.

2018: Slots in 2018 will be allocated through an online lottery. The lottery window opens at 9 a.m. MDT on Oct. 26 and closes at midnight MST on Nov. 16. The lottery-based registration process gives everyone an equal chance at some of Philmont’s most popular adventures, most notably seven-day treks throughout the summer and 12-day treks in June. Interested? Register during the lottery window to give you the best chance. Enter the lottery at this link.

haw-2016-philmont-2-madelynne-scalesPhilmont Training Center

Though this post primarily focuses on the camping side of Philmont, I must also mention the “other” side of the road: the Philmont Training Center.

At PTC, more than 6,000 Scouters and family members attend a conference each year. In one of the best settings imaginable, they learn about the latest Scouting tools and techniques, share ideas with fellow Scouters and interact with experienced faculty members.

All registered Scouters can attend training center courses (and bring the whole family with them). Council approval is no longer required.

Learn more about how to register at this link.

Other Philmont Scout Ranch news you need

  • PASS and PAW: Units planning to come to Philmont in the future can catch one of the remaining Philmont Advisor Skills School or Philmont Advisor Workshop events in 2016. Learn more and register here.
  • Individual treks: Can’t put together a full crew? Philmont’s individual treks continue to provide new and returning participants with a different flavor of Philmont adventure. Individual treks typically have wider availability than seven- or 12-day treks, and participants become strong candidates for future Philmont staff positions. Learn more and register here.
  • STEM treks: These 12-day coed treks introduce young people to a new side of Philmont. Learn more and register here.
  • Philmont is open all year long. Learn more about Autumn Adventure and Winter Adventure.
  • Philmont will send you free promotional materials. Get the scoop on how to get handouts, banners and brochures here.
  • Whether you’re a frequent Philmont-er or are still dreaming of your first visit, there’s gear you’ll love at the award-winning Tooth of Time Traders.

Watch this


Thanks to Philmont’s Bryan Hayek for the info. Photos from top: Clay Helfrick, Skyler Ballard, Drew Castellaw and Madelynne Scales.

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