Winter Adventure

Winter Adventure At A Glance

Season: December 28 – March 31
Age: minimum 14 years of age (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: By crew; Begins January 1st for the following year

Fees (2021)

Weekend Package: $125
Holiday Package: $150
Winter Trek: $500


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.

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 advisors, both of whom must be over 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: 

  • 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.

  • Winter 7 Day Treks: Come explore the backcountry of Philmont on a winter 7 day backpacking program! Modeled after the summer 7 day program, crews will hike over 25 miles and enjoy the beauty of Philmont in the spring, complete a conservation project, and earn the arrowhead award at the end of the trek.
  • Casita Camping Package: This new program allows for crews to camp in the comfort of the backcountry cabins at Cimarroncito, and still enjoy the variety of winter adventure programs during the day. Indoor programs, specialty meals, climbing gym challenges, and more are a part of this unique package.
  • 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

Sessions are available from December 28 to March 31. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 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

To prepare for your adventure please reference the Winter Adventure Planning Guide. READ MORE