Activity Descriptions

The Philmont Training Center offers a variety of programs for all ages. All program areas are weather permitting and may include a staff guide. However, not all programs are offered every day and beyond the summer season. Most activities are pre-scheduled for Kids and Kin, Silverados, and Family Adventure Camp itineraries. Please see descriptions for more details.

All guests must be adequately prepared for activities. Guests should be ready with a day pack, water bottle, closed-toe shoes, hat, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks if needed.

Please note that both the Tooth of Time Hike and Horseback Riding require a separate fee to participate.

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See the beauty of Philmont’s backcountry at your own pace. Philmont offers a few select year-round activities that can be done outside the pre-programmed summer schedules. These activities are weather permitting and may be limited based on scheduled hunts.

Available activities: Cito Creek Trail Loop, Dino, and Lover’s Leap Hikes, and Philmont Museums. See below for more information about these activities.


  1. Self-guided activities are limited to guests staying overnight on ranch property.
  2. To go on a self-guided hike, guests must checkout from the PTC office.
  3. Self-guided hikes are only open between 8am and 5pm.
  4. Information booklets about self-guided hikes and museums are available on the PTC office Information Wall.
  5. All hikers must fill out a BSA medical form, parts A and B. Forms are available in the PTC office and can be completed upon checkout.
  6. No pets are allowed on property except for services animals. Guests must sign a service animal agreement.
  7. All hikes require a minimum of two individuals.
  8. The checkout hiking log includes guest names, ages, phone numbers, as well as vehicle color, year, make, and model, the time they are leaving and the estimated return time. A Parking Pass will be issued and collected at the end of the hike.
  9. During this checkout process, PTC will make sure guests have appropriate gear and water.
  10. When guests return, they are required to check back into the PTC office and return the parking pass.

Abreu Hike

Head to Philmont’s South Country and hike to the early 1900’s homestead of the Abreu Family! Enjoy a full day, staff-guided, 4-mile, easy round-trip hike along the Rayado River. Once at Abreu, take a cabin tour to learn about New Mexico homesteads. During the summer season, this hike can be hot; please be prepared for the sun and bring plenty of water! During the summer season, root beer may be purchased at the Abreu Cantina. Please bring cash.

Cito Creek Trail Loop

Check out this easy 0.75-mile (1.5-mile roundtrip) self-guided hike along the Cito Creek across from the Philmont Training Center! Discover different plants and animals that live in this area and explore some of the science that makes our environment unique. An informational brochure with a map is available at the PTC office.

Dino Hike

Philmont is home to one of only two confirmed Tyrannosaurus Rex footprints in the world! Enjoy this easy, self-guided/staff-led, half day, 2.25-mile roundtrip hike. Your adventure will begin in the North Ponil Canyon of Philmont at Six-Mile Gate. Be sure to go prepared, the Ponil canyon was affected by wildfire many years ago and offers little shade and relief from the sun and heat.

In 1983, Charles Pillmore, a USGS research geologist, was mapping the North Ponil Canyon and mentioned the possible dinosaur tracks in his field notes. In 1989, he shared the photos with dinosaur track specialist Dr. Martin Lockley, and the confirmation occurred. Obtain your brochure with a map at the PTC Office information wall and head out to track down dinosaurs!

Hart Peak Hike

Start this moderate, 5.5-mile staff-led adventure by hiking into historic Ponil, Philmont’s original base of operations in 1938! The trail climbs steadily in elevation as you head towards the top of the ridgeline above Ponil. Sweeping vistas of Philmont’s north country and beyond greet you as you make your way to Hart Peak’s 7,975’ summit. When visibility conditions are favorable, you can see peaks in Colorado some 80 miles away! During the summer season, the Ponil Cantina has refreshing root beer for purchase. Please bring cash.

Hunting Lodge

Hunting Lodge is an original structure to the ranch. Waite Phillips utilized this cabin hosting many prominent guests to hunt and enjoy the mountains of northern New Mexico. This staff-led, moderate, 7-mile round trip hike starts you along the edge of the 2018 Ute Park Fire burn scar, then takes you through Philmont’s Demonstration Forest where visiting foresters can share about the forestry and ecology at Philmont. On the way you will see the iconic Cathedral Rock just above the Cimarroncito Reservoir. Once at Hunting Lodge, guests will be able tour this historic cabin.

Inspiration Point Hike

Want to experience one of the most breathtaking views at Philmont? Join us on a journey to Inspiration Point! This strenuous 6.5-mile hike is led by Philmont Staff and begins at Lover’s Leap turnaround. A short yet steep section will take you to the slopes of Urraca Mesa. The trail then gains elevation steadily as you pass through mountain meadows and into the shelter of a Ponderosa shaded forest arriving at Urraca staff camp. Catch your breath as you enjoy Urraca’s high mountain meadow view, you’re almost there. Next, it’s a steep path up to Inspiration Point itself. Nestled against the backdrop of Urraca Mesa’s sheer cliffs, the view to Tooth Ridge and the plains that lie beyond is truly inspirational.

Lovers Leap Hike 

Lovers Leap is an iconic Philmont destination. This easy, half-day, 3-mile roundtrip hike begins at Lover’s Leap Turnaround. Your adventure contains some inclines, declines, narrow sections, and unique glimpses of the Tooth of Time along the way as you gradually gain approximately 300 feet in elevation. Magnificent, sweeping vistas await you from the breath-taking heights of this ancient rock. Choose this adventure as a self-guided hike or join us for scheduled, staff-led early morning sunrise experiences. Brochures with a map are available at the PTC Office Information Wall. Discover the legend that gave this landmark its name!

Mountain View Ridge Trail

Beautiful vistas await you at every step along this moderate, 5.8-mile loop trail. This all day, staff-led adventure begins by hiking into historic Ponil. Make your way steadily higher through varying forests, enjoy the views of Ponil canyon’s unique sandstone cliffs which lead you to spectacular views of Philmont’s highest point; Baldy Mountain at 12,441ft! Beyond Philmont’s property line you can see Little Costilla Peak at 12,585ft! It’s no wonder this trail is named Mountain View Ridge! During the summer season, top off this refreshing mountain journey with a cool root beer at the Ponil Cantina. Please bring cash.

Tooth of Time Hike

The iconic Tooth of Time towers over the valley and provides a spectacular 360° view of the Cimarron Range and the Great Plains. Achieving this vantage point will not be easy though. This very strenuous, full-day hike is led by Philmont Staff. You will gain over 1800’ of elevation to reach the 9003’ summit on this 5.25 mile out and back adventure. The route up to Tooth Ridge is steep, several places involve the use of your arms and legs to navigate up and around boulders. Arriving at the top of Tooth Ridge, catch your breath, you still have a little further to go. The trail becomes scarce, and the rock scramble begins. You will need to rely on good balance and sure footed-ness while using your hands to assist in holds and balance for the final scramble to the summit. In addition to challenging terrain, you can expect minimal shade, exposure to weather, heights, and hot temperatures. Additional water should be carried on this hike.

This hike will not be available during Spring or Winter months due to seasonal trail conditions and weather hazards.

  • Additional fee: $75 per person.
  • Summit: No guarantee can be given that the summit will be achieved as this can be affected both by personal factors, such as personal health and physical ability, and by external factors, such as weather and mountain conditions. Philmont Staff have the authority to return early at any time for any reasonable cause.
  • Refund: A refund can be granted to participants who do not qualify to participate due to Medical Re-Check prior to hike departure. Hikes cancelled by PTC before departure due to weather or mountain conditions can also receive a refund. Contact the PTC Office for details. Refunds are not given to guests that did not summit.
  • Age limitations: minimum participant age is 6 years old.
  • Health and Medical requirements:
    • BSA Medical Part A, B & C required. Must have physician approval for strenuous activity at elevation.
    • Medical re-check by Philmont Medical Staff, blood pressure and other medical concerns are taken into consideration including height/weight requirements.
  • Must be in good physical condition, including having a full range of body motion with the ability to handle the physical challenges of strenuous hiking and rock scrambles.
  • Full-Week Program Registration: This hike is limited to guests registered as a full-week participant at PTC. This allows time for acclimatization to elevation at Philmont.

Urraca Loop Trail Hike

If you are looking for a moderately challenging trail to hike, then the Urraca Loop trail is for you! This staff-led, 3.5-mile loop focuses on the changing geology and flora on the slopes of Urraca Mesa. Come prepared, this trail winds its way among piñon pine dotted mountainside meadows with little sunshade and sections of pronounced elevation gain. As the terrain and plant life changes around you, be sure to also take in the magnificent views of the ancient volcanoes and mesas on the plains to the East.

Window Rock Hike

This moderately strenuous, full-day, 10-mile round trip hike takes you to the scenic overlook named Window Rock. From Window Rock’s elevation of 8,227ft., you can see the Villa Philmont, the arrowhead side of Tooth Ridge, and the beautiful plains of Philmont’s front country. Philmont staff will guide you along the edge of the 2018 Ute Park Fire burn scar, and hike past Cimarroncito reservoir before ascending the trail up to the heights of Cathedral Rock. There is a lot to see and do. Also, along the way you can learn about forestry practices at Philmont’s Demonstration Forest area where you can interact with a Forestry expert during the summer season.

Available during the Autumn and Winter seasons only. These are staff-led vehicle-based tours to various Philmont backcountry locations. Access to locations is variable and dependent on backcountry road and weather conditions as well as any restrictions due to hunts.

North Country: Tour of French Henry, Baldy Town and Miranda staff camp loctaions.

North Ponil Aeaa: Tour of Metcalf Station and Indian Writing staff camps and ending with the T-Rex footprint. 

Central Country: Tour of Cimarroncito, Hunting Lodge and Clark’s Fork staff camps locations.

South Country: Tour of Abreu staff camp, Kit Carson museum and Rayado, and a visit to the Rayado Ridge Leadership Center.

Put some high adventure into your adventure at Philmont. Challenge yourself as you scale up the numerous routes on the climbing walls. Steel your nerves negotiating the variety of elements of the high course. An exhilarating experience awaits under a magnificent view of the Tooth of Time. The climbing wall is open to all 5 years old or older. Access to the high ropes course is open to those 11 years old or older. The climbing wall and high ropes course are both available each session. Long pants are recommended to protect against possible abrasions in climbing activities. This program is a half-day activity.


  • Climbing Wall: Ages 5 and older.
  • Hight Ropes Course: Ages 11 and older.
  • Weight: Minimum 22 pounds, Maximum 300 pounds.
  • Footwear: Closed-toed shoes.

Equipment: Philmont provides harness and helmets for participants. These are universal fit items. Helmets accommodate youth and adults. Harnesses accommodate up to 53” waist.

Personal equipment: Personal climbing harness or helmet are not allowed. Participants may use personal climbing shoes.

At the Craft Center you can express your creative flair, discover a new hobby, and create a unique Philmont souvenir.

The Craft Center’s open program format allows you to show up for instruction for any of the craft activities offered including the chance to work with ceramics, wearable art (clothing and accessories), leathercraft, stamp art, Southwestern crafts, and home décor. The Maker’s Space is an opportunity to really adventure with creativity. Stop in and check it out.

A variety of craft projects are available for purchase to make a memorable keepsake.

The Craft Center is open during the summer season and may have limited availability during the autumn season.

Opportunities to fish at Philmont occur during the summer and autumn seasons. Staff-led outings to Cimarroncito Reservoir or Philmont Reservoir will provide scenic backdrops as you try your skills with fly-fishing or bait-casting set-ups. Half and Full-day outings are offered, refer to specific Family Adventure Camp itinerary schedules for details. Guests are welcome to checkout equipment for use off-site in Cimarron Canyon.

Don’t forget to obtain your New Mexico fishing license prior to your outing.

Anglers younger than 11 years of age do not require a fishing license in New Mexico.

Fishing licenses for youth 12-17 years old and adults 18+ are available for purchase online with the New Mexico Game & Fish Department at:

Or at the Tooth of Time Traders located on the Camping Headquarters campus.

For more information about fishing licenses while visiting Philmont, go to:

Northern New Mexico is home to several world-class fly-fishing spots. Explore the skills and mystique involved with fly fishing during this introductory experience hosted by Philmont staff. During this summer season rainy-day activity, you will learn how to tie a fly and how to cast with a fly rod at the Philmont Training Center.

For families interested in learning about life in the saddle of a Northern New Mexico cowboy, you can make the journey with us to Ponil for a Western style day trip. This activity leaves Philmont Training Center in the morning and returns mid-afternoon. At Ponil, Philmont wranglers will introduce you to saddles and tack before taking the group on an approximately 1 ½ hours trail ride through Ponil Canyon scenery.  After your ride, dig into your trail lunch and get ready to explore Ponil and watch all the activity going on in this busy backcountry camp. Stop into the Cantina, where during the summer season, you can get yourself a refreshing root beer. Bring your cash, the Ponil Cantina doesn’t accept credit.

For the safety of the rider and the horse, there is a 200-pound weight limit and minimum of 24″ inseam for all riders, with youth required to be 8 years or older. Buddy riding is not allowed at Philmont. Long pants and closed-toed shoes are required for horseback riding. This activity will have a cap for 10 people per ride.


Additional Fee: $45 per person

Minimum Age: 8 years old with a minimum inseam of 24 inches.

Maximum Weight Limit: 200 lbs. No exceptions.

Refund: A refund can be granted to participants who do not meet requirements and/or cancelled by PTC before departure due to weather or mountain conditions. Contact the PTC Office for details.

Chase Ranch Tour
The Chase Ranch, founded in 1869, was owned and operated by the Chase family for over 143 years. The historic adobe ranch house offers a glimpse of ranch life starting around the time of the Colfax County land grant war, through the territorial and statehood periods into modern times. This ranch and the Chase family were instrumental in transforming western ranching into what it is today.

During the summer months, staff offer guided tours of the main house, grounds, orchards, and tack room. Operation is seasonal and open to the public when available.

Kit Carson Rayado Tour
The Kit Carson Museum at Rayado located in Philmont’s southeast corner (seven miles south of the Training Center) is a living history museum that houses exhibits and artifacts pertaining to life on the Santa Fe Trail. Founded in 1848 by Lucien Maxwell, Rayado is located where the Mountain Route and Cimarron Cutoff branches of the Santa Fe Trail rejoined and is the first permanent settlement in Colfax County, New Mexico. Back then, the area was far from secure due to marauding Apache and Comanche, so Maxwell persuaded his friend Kit Carson to help provide security in 1849.

Today, Rayado is the site of a reconstruction of Kit Carson’s home, La Posta, a Santa Fe Trail stage stop, and the Jesus Abreu family house.

Staff at the Kit Carson Museum, dressed in period clothing, demonstrate frontier skills and crafts like blacksmithing, cooking, shooting, and farming. Each room in the museum is outfitted with reproduction furniture and objects typical of New Mexico in the 1850s.

The museum is seasonal and open to the public when available.

National Scouting Museum
Newly opened in 2018, experience the National Scouting Museum! This self-guided activity is a great opportunity to learn about the rich, 100-plus year history of the Scouting movement with collections of some of Scouting’s greatest treasures. This collection not only documents Scouting’s unique influence on American culture but also tells the story of a movement that has positively affected the lives of more than 110 million young people.

The National Scouting Museum includes the Seton Memorial Library and a Gift Shop.

Seton Memorial Library

The Seton Memorial Library is open to the public and is home to the personal art, library, and natural history collections of the founder and first Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of America, Ernest Thompson Seton.

Museum Gift Shop

The museum shop carries Southwestern Indian jewelry, Pendleton blankets, kachina dolls, pottery, and regional books.

Villa Philmonte Tour
The Villa Philmonte was the New Mexico home of Philmont benefactors Waite and Genevieve Phillips. It was constructed in the Spanish Mediterranean style from 1926 to 1927 and it is 28,400 square feet in size. The Villa Philmonte is a house museum today. Tour guides tell the story of the Phillips family, their Philmont Ranch, and the gifting of that ranch in two parcels to the Boy Scouts of America, 1938 and 1941.

Family Adventure Camp will have specific tours assigned to this program. During the summer season, regular daily tours are conducted and open to the public.

The Philmont Training Center’s Pony Ring and Farmyard is open for scheduled times during the summer season. Come on out and make some farmyard friends! Parents, please accompany your children and experience this special time together.

Pony rides are guided by the PTC Pony Wrangler and are available for youth up to 10 years old and with less than a 24″ inseam. Refer to PTC schedule for times. Small Fry participants will have their own reserved pony ride times during their stay.

Pony ride requirements:

Clothing: Long pants and close-toed shoes are required.

Age: Up to 10 years old with a maximum inseam of 24 inches.

Set your sights on fun! Whether you are already a sure-shot or just looking to try something new, PTC’s Target Range staff is here to help you have a safe and fun time at the range.

Families will have a chance to experience: Slingshots, Archery, BB guns, Tomahawks, Rifle, and Sporting Clays.

Age Requirements:

Slingshots: 5+ (5 & 6-year-olds must have an adult partner)

Archery: 5+ (5 & 6-year-olds must have an adult partner)

BB Guns: 6+ (6-year-olds must have an adult partner)

Tomahawks: 11+

Shotgun: 11+

Rifle: 11+