Traveling to Philmont

Traveling to and from Philmont is an important part of the high-adventure experience. Most contingents will find transportation to be the largest expense in the budget, so it’s important to research various travel options before making a final decision.

Location Map

Philmont Scout Ranch is in northeastern New Mexico, near the town of Cimarron, which is between Albuquerque and Denver, Colorado. View this map of northeastern New Mexico for a more precise location of the ranch.

Arrival and Departure Dates

The ideal time to arrive at Philmont is prior to lunch on your scheduled arrival day. That enables your crew to process and outfit in Camping Headquarters and to depart for the trail the following day. Each Philmont expedition concludes after breakfast on day 13, and crews depart on that day.

Important: Scheduled Expeditions will have priority for base camp accommodations over groups arriving early or departing late. All early arrivals/late departures will be assigned trail tents for lodging unless space is available in regular 7’ x 9’ wall tents on platforms with cots. (Note: space is very limited and is not released for early/late groups until late in the day. Please plan to stay in trail tents.) The charge for additional meals is $6 per person/per meal and extra lodging is $6 per person/per night if you use your own tents or $10 per person/per night if you use Philmont tents. All layovers are limited to one night either on arrival or departure. See our list of accommodations for some options.

Methods of Transportation

Private vehicles should be used only with full assurance vehicles are safe and drivers are reliable. Make sure there is adequate insurance coverage for each vehicle.

Many crews have found public carriers to provide a reliable form of transportation to the ranch. Here are some of the most common modes of transportation:

  • Chartered or private vehicle directly from your town to Philmont. Contact a local transportation company or travel agency to make arrangements.
  • Airlines to Denver, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo. When making reservations, inquire about supplemental chartered airline services offering packaged plans with reduced group rates.
  • Train to Denver or Raton. Note: There is no ticket agent in Raton, but the train does stop for ticketed passengers.

For crews travelling by air or train, it will be necessary to use another mode of transportation to arrive in Cimarron or Raton; a list of travel companies serving Philmont is provided for your convenience.

If necessary, Philmont can arrange round-trip bus transportation from the bus and train stations in Raton (at a cost of $45 per person, payable upon arrival at Philmont) or Cimarron ($5 per person) for arriving crews.

Travel Etiquette

Scouts and Venturers are respected nationwide because of how they travel and appear to the public. To maintain a positive appearance and good public image, follow this advice:

  • Wear your Scout or Venturing uniform proudly! You are members of the Boy Scouts of America, a highly regarded youth organization. A Scout or Venturer properly uniformed, sharp appearing, courteous, and well mannered is the best medium for public relations.
  • Use the buddy system; no one person ever leaves the group alone.
  • Telephone ahead to your next day’s stopping place. It is inconsiderate to drop in or cancel without adequate notification.
  • Do not use tobacco in public. It may be offensive to those around you.
  • Express appreciation to those who extend courtesies to you along the way.

Emergency Transportation

Philmont will assist with transportation arrangements that result from a family emergency (death or serious illness) that occurs during an expedition and requires a participant to return home, or if a participant must return home for medical reasons. Participants will be required to reimburse Philmont for any transportation services provided, including transportation to a required airport.