Backcountry Programs

Programs for Scouters looking for the classic Philmont trekking experience. Opportunities for troops and crews as well as individuals. 

2024 Unit Registration Information

Units who are registered for the upcoming summer and preparing for Itinerary Selection, can learn more about that process here.

To learn more about remaining 2024 availability click below.

Individual Treks

Need a crew? Want a unique Philmont experience? Do you have an interest in ranching or conservation? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then our individual trek program might be right for you! Scouts from across the country come together each summer, forming a crew led by Philmont staff, and take part in an exciting individual trek experience.

Ranch Hands

Ranch Hands is a program for Scouts and Venturers who have knowledge of horsemanship and horse care and want to expand their skills and experience. The Ranch Hands crew will work with the horse department staff, taking care of Philmont’s 300 horses and 80 burros, hauling hay, saddling, and performing other horse program tasks. The second half of this 16-day program is an 8-day cavalcade trek.


Explore the Philmont backcountry through the lenses of science, technology, engineering and math. STEM trek participants will spend their time at the Ranch taking part in Philmont program while engaging in interactive lessons and science. Scouts will go beyond regular program and explore the scientific principles that make outdoor adventure the most exciting component of the Scouting program. Participants will learn in interactive, outdoor settings rather than in a traditional classroom, deepening their understanding of their subjects and surroundings. Co-ed sessions are available. This is a 12-day experience.

Order of the Arrow Trail Crew

Molded with the ideals of the Order of the Arrow at its center, OA Trail Crew focuses on personal growth through cheerful service and challenging outdoor experiences. During the first 7 days, participants will construct multi-use trail at a remote backcountry worksite while developing skills to successfully trek across Philmont for the 7 days following their work session. Crew members will reconnect with the principles of the Order of the Arrow and have the privilege of helping to customize their crew’s backpacking itinerary. Co-ed sessions available. This is a 14-day experience.

Trail Crew Trek

Trail Crew Trek (TCT) is a 14-day program that focuses on conservation project management and leadership development. TCT begins with 7 days of trail construction deep in the Philmont backcountry and culminates with a 7-day backpacking expedition. Participants work with and learn from Philmont staffers and professionals alike in the fields of land stewardship and natural resource management. TCT provides a strong foundation for participants to become involved in conservation and similar projects in their local communities. Co-ed sessions are available.

Roving Outdoor Conservation School

The Roving Outdoor Conservation School (ROCS) is a 21-day trek designed to investigate the fields of natural resource management, environmental science and outdoor leadership. While finding adventure in the peaks and canyons of the Southwest, participants will explore the skills and philosophy of modern land stewardship through a variety of backcountry conservation projects. On their specialized itinerary, ROCS crews examine the Philmont landscape and connect the lessons of a singular wilderness experience to a greater, global context. Co-ed sessions are available.


Are you ready to test your limits? On Rayado, you will join Scouts and Venturers from across the country to build the advanced outdoor skills and confidence you need to lead groups in the backcountry. Get ready for three weeks of rugged trails, intense teamwork and unknown challenges. Led by two Philmont Rangers, participants will hike many miles, summit mountains and overcome mental barriers by facing and adapting to unexpected conditions. You never know what adventure is waiting over the next mountain!

Training Center & Family Programs

The Philmont Training Center is the National Training Center of the Boy Scouts of America. Scenic views, world class training and family-focused programming are just a few highlights you can expect from your visit. Learn more about our programs and schedule your next adventure below!

Training Center Conferences

Learn best practices for Scouting from world-class faculty and share experiences with Scouters from across the country in a variety of conferences designed to strengthen Scouting in your unit, district and council. You can bring the whole family, as family programming is available for conference attendees.

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience

The National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) is the ultimate training experience for youth leaders, both young men and women. It is conducted for older Scouts who have the potential to staff the council junior leader training or youth leader training conference. The NAYLE program takes place at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp, a backcountry location approximately 8 miles from Base Camp and situated in the beautiful foothills, with views of Urraca Mesa and Crater Peak. This is a 6-day experience.

Philmont Leadership Challenge

Adults learn to internalize and practice their leadership skills in this action-packed backcountry conference. The conference hones the skills taught in Wood Badge in an outdoor experiential learning environment. PLC underscores the values of Scouting and teamwork and promotes the concepts of servant leadership. Open to all programs. Participants will not have an opportunity to be with family during the week.

Second Season Treks

Our second season treks are opportunities to experience Philmont in the off-season, when there are considerably fewer people around and the weather is different. Between the gorgeous fall foliage and the breathtaking snowy peaks, second season opportunities allow you to see Philmont in a whole new way.


PhilBreak is Philmont’s alternative spring break program, sponsored by the Order of the Arrow and the Philmont Staff Association. Following the Ute Park fire of 2018, the Philmont Conservation Department began more aggressive timber thinning projects in strategic areas of the Ranch. PhilBreak volunteers have the opportunity to assist Conservation Staff with these projects and leave a safer Philmont for the thousands of participants that the Ranch welcomes every summer. Participants will live in Base Camp during the work week, and all meals will be provided.

Autumn Adventure

Hiking in the Philmont backcountry during the autumn season, crews will enjoy warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights. They will get to see the aspen trees changing from green to gold and witness the wildlife preparing for winter. A trained Philmont guide will accompany your group to areas where you can enjoy the splendor of the fall colors. Autumn Adventure treks occur in September and October and vary in length to fit the group's schedule.

Winter Adventure

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 the Search and Rescue or Snow Sports merit badge. Winter Adventure expeditions take place from late December through March.