Winter Adventure

Register By crew Fee
Season Winter/Spring Length variable
Age 14 or 13 and in 8th grade
Crew Size 6-12, including adult leadership
Leadership 2-4 adult leaders required per crew; can have all-adult crews
Registration Begins May 1st immediately prior to trek

Cold-weather camping is the ultimate test of your ability to camp and travel in the backcountry and learn to live in harmony with the environment. Training in winter camping will prepare you to safely enjoy many winter adventures and to teach others to enjoy these unique experiences.

Participants in Winter Adventure learn to camp comfortably in cold weather, and enjoy Philmont's beauty in a way few others have. Crews snowshoe to their camp, sleep in tents or snow shelters, and participate in a variety of activities. Offerings include cross country skiing, snow shelter building, and earning either Search and Rescue or Snow Sports merit badge.

Winter Adventure expeditions take place from late December through March, with discounted rates on holiday weekends and Spring Breaks. Opening weekend and holiday weekends fill up fast due to their discounted rates.

Winter Adventure Promo Video

Who May Participate?

Winter Adventure is open to crews of 6 to 12 participants accompanied by a Winter Adventure guide. Larger groups will be organized into multiple crews (please call for approval). A crew may be assembled from a Boy Scout troop, Venturing crew, Sea Scout ship, Varsity team, Exploring post or an adult group of Unit, District or Council committee members.

Crews must meet the following requirements:

  • All participants must be registered members of the BSA.
  • All participants must have completed the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record within the previous 12 months and meet physical condition requirements.
  • Youth participants must be at least 14 years of age OR 13 years of age and in the eighth grade at the time of participation.
  • Each group must have at least two adult (18+) advisors, one of whom must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Coed groups must have at least one male and female advisor (both over 21 years of age).
  • Each group must have at least one member certified in CPR and First Aid (may be met by two separate people).

What Activities Do Treks Include?

After completing the Winter Adventure orientation, crews work directly with trained guides to tailor an adventure that considers both weather and the interests of the group. All overnight adventures take place in the backcountry. Program activities may include: Participants snowshoeing gear into camp

  • ATV Rider Course (available during Spring Break weeks)
  • Ice fishing
  • Quinzee (snow shelter) building
  • Snow and avalanche safety training
  • Snowshoeing
  • Sledding and snow tubing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snow sports merit badge
  • Search and Rescue merit badge

*Please note that availability of all programs may vary due to weather and space. Contact us for information about rates and availability.

Available Packages

A typical Winter Adventure trek lasts three days, scheduled over a weekend, but the length of the trek can be adjusted to fit the schedule of the group. Of course, shorter treks will have limited time for program activities.

  • Cold Weather Camping Program: Participants learn how to camp comfortably in the snow, and are able to participate in various winter activities. A fun adventure for Scouts new to winter camping, and for those with plenty of experience!
  • Holiday Weekend Package: Philmont offers a reduced rate for Winter Adventure during several periods--between Christmas and New Year's; Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend; President's Day weekend; and Spring Break weeks.
  • Downhill Skiing Package: Spend one or more days learning to ski or snowboard at a nearby partner ski resort (available through March 20), including a lesson and gear rental.
  • Cross Country Ski Package: Spend one or more days cross-country skiing at a local resort with trained instructors.
  • ATV Package: Offered during Spring Break weeks only, this program provides an exciting opportunity to learn safe and responsible ATV use. Participants will earn their ATV Rider Course card from the ATV Safety Institute.
  • Ice Fishing Package: Try your hand at ice fishing on Eagle Nest Lake, just 25 miles from Base Camp. All necessary fishing gear is included.

How to Register

An overnight snow shelter (quinzee)

Sessions are available from December 28 to March 31. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis beginning May 1 (6-9 months prior to your trek). Reservations are confirmed upon receipt of a nonrefundable deposit of $50/person and a completed reservation form. The balance of fees is due upon arrival.

Call 575-376-2281 or email camping@philmontscoutranch.org to request a reservation form and determine when space is available.

Winter Adventure Packing List

This packing list will help prepare you and your crew for your Winter Adventure trek.

The Tooth of Time Traders at Camping Headquarters is open from 8:00am-5:00pm 7 days a week, so crews can purchase last-minute camping gear or souvenirs after returning from the trail.


About Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America's premier High Adventure™ base, challenges Scouts and Venturers with more than 214 square miles of rugged northern New Mexico wilderness. Backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs offer young people many ways to experience this legendary country.