Philmont Scout Ranch is probably one of my favorite places in the world. I have been able to do three different treks there over the years and consider each experience to have been truly awesome. Each trek takes about 2 weeks to accomplish with about 10 days in the backcountry. The terrain is generally rugged with most trails being pretty moderate. A few old school trails that were cut decades ago still go straight up some of the mountains and tend to make those particular peaks more challenging than they need to be. Elevations top out over 12,000 ft. with several opportunities to reach impressive peaks.
While rambling the northern New Mexico pine forests and mesas, trekkers stop at a series of preselected camp areas. Some are staffed and offer short programs like rock climbing, gold panning, mountain biking or horseback riding, while others are unstaffed and offer quiet seclusion and primitive facilities. The trails meander through both lush forests, rocky peaks and arid flats.
Perhaps the most notable feature of this unique experience is the time that it requires. Few of us can take two weeks for such an adventure very often, but when you do, it provides an opportunity to experience the rhythms of nature. Weekend trips are great, but taking the time to really abandon the clock, modern luxuries that we take for granted and electronic distractions can finally allow the opportunity to soak in a real outdoor experience.
The camp is a BSA facility, so if you have the chance to help a group of scouts have what may become the experience of a lifetime, take it!