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Itinerary Selection

2019 Itinerary Selection

Philmont has many wonderful program opportunities, but arguably, the most important program is “The Hike.” “The Hike” could be defined as hiking up a valley or over a mountain, facing and overcoming challenges as a crew, working together to succeed, being caught in a thunderstorm, laughing and telling stories during dinner at a trail camp, enjoying moments of complete solitude, deeply thinking about how you might make a difference in the world (or in your crew), and fully seizing each moment you have in these New Mexico mountains. “The Hike” can be defined in many different ways, many that your crew will discover and redefine during your trek. Philmont encourages you to think about the program opportunities that your crew would like to participate in while you are here, but also encourages you to always place a high emphasis on the importance of “The Hike.”

Philmont’s backcountry remains pristine largely because of the preplanned itinerary system. With thirty-five 12-Day itineraries and sixteen 7-Day itineraries to choose from, a crew can take advantage of many unique program features and select a hike that meets the physical ability of each crew member. Following a preplanned itinerary helps Philmont know the locations of each crew for contact should an emergency arise. This plan is also a vital part of Philmont’s overall conservation and wilderness ethic.

Each itinerary is reviewed annually, and changes are made as needed. When selecting your 2019 itinerary, DO NOT USE A PREVIOUS BOOK or rely on any itinerary you might see on the internet other than Philmont’s official website www.PhilmontScoutRanch.org. THESE ARE THE ONLY OFFICIAL PHILMONT ITINERARIES FOR 2019.

Crews will review their respective available itineraries and select all that they would like to take. Every effort will be made to assign the crew with one of their top six (6) choices. Once you’ve submitted your priorities, the Gateway will instantly confirm your itinerary assignment NOTE: If none of your crew’s preferred itineraries are available, the Gateway will ask for a minimum of 3 additional itinerary preferences). Sister Crews will need to select 8 top itineraries.

For 12-Day treks, Sister Crews will need to select eight (8) top itinerary choices. Sister Crews are NOT permitted for 7- Day treks.

The Challenge

Most crews choose either a “challenging” or “rugged” itinerary. Hiking with a heavy pack in elevations from 6,000 to nearly 12,500 feet is a major physical challenge. It is not possible to “acclimatize” by spending a few days at elevations one is not accustomed to. Altitude sickness can usually be avoided by not sleeping above 9,000 feet for the first few days on the trail. Philmont considers this and many other factors when planning the itineraries.

Youth participants are usually fully capable of mastering the challenge. Many adults who lead sedentary lifestyles have great difficulty and could potentially be placing themselves in harm’s way. Refer to the Council & Unit Planning Guide for physical preparation suggestions.

Itinerary Rating

The rating or degree of difficulty of each itinerary is determined by many factors such as mileage, elevation changes, number of layover days, days to carry food, distances to water sources, and topography to name a few. A little practice using the Philmont Overall map will show many areas where there are steep climbs and descents. When contour lines are closer together, the terrain is steeper. The contour interval on the overall map is 100’. Philmont’s North and South Sectional Maps have 50-foot green contour lines.

A “Challenging” itinerary will allow the crew more time for program. It also allows time to do some interesting side hikes, visit backcountry trading posts, take showers, and enjoy the solitude of the backcountry trail camps.

A “Rugged” itinerary, although offering more physical challenge, is very enjoyable for a crew that has trained. It also offers a variety of exciting program.

A “Strenuous” itinerary is just as it sounds. A great experience for a crew of physically fit, Scouts, Venturers, and capable adults. More time is devoted to hiking; however, a well-prepared crew can still experience several programs. Many seasoned crews who have hiked together several years choose a strenuous itinerary.

A “Super Strenuous” is, by far, the most difficult and, for early rising Philmont crews, very rewarding! These few itineraries are highlighted by climbing some of Philmont’s highest peaks and hiking long days of many miles. These itineraries should be attempted by older, more experienced crews where every person is in good physical condition.

Itinerary Distances

The description of each itinerary shows a distance in miles. This distance is calculated from the GIS map shown for the itinerary. Be aware that this distance is measured from camp to camp and does not include some side hikes (except for Baldy Mt. and the Tooth of Time), going to or from conservation sites, or hiking to program areas. Because of this, most crews can expect to actually cover 25% to 30% more mileage than what is shown. Providing the mileages in this document gives you a consistent, comparable distance between itineraries.

Itinerary Assignment

For 12-Day treks, Philmont assigns only two crews each day to the same itinerary. For 7-Day treks, Philmont assigns only one crew to each itinerary each Saturday and Sunday. From August 10-14 (dedicated arrival dates for 7-Day treks ONLY), Philmont may assign up to two crews to the same itinerary during this time period.

Each crew must hike independently. The maximum crew size is 12 people, the recommended minimum crew size is 8 and the absolute minimum crew size is 7 people, including adult Advisors. These standards are strictly enforced. Each crew is required to have a majority of youth participants, and the maximum number of adults (21 and over) is four (4) per crew.

Crew Rendezvous

Often crews from the same troop or contingent would like to spend time in the same camp. This rendezvous can be planned by choosing itineraries that would be in the same camp on the same day. Please refer to the Itineraries At A Glance chart and the Itinerary Rendezvous Locations table.