Philmont Scout Ranch (New Mexico)

My Philmont Ranch Adventure»

Hello everybody, my name is Dylan Switala and I am a Senior English Major at Drew University in NJ. As part of my Advance Journalism course, I am working with as a guest author. I am very excited to tell you guys about Philmont Scout Ranch, a ranch that covers 140,177 acres of wilderness and mountains. Although my choice of topic is not a national park, it is an amazing high adventure base that is open to the public.

Most people think of it as just a Boy Scout camp, but you can sign up for expeditions during the summer. The pictures only give you a small idea of how beautiful it is.


During our 4th day of the 14-day trek across the ranch lands, my crew climbed the second biggest mountain within Philmont. The mountain ridge is called the Tooth of Time and is a part of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail within Philmont. The hike up the mountain ridge usually takes two hours to complete.


The trail is made up of multiple hills and rock structures that have you going up, down, left, and right. Philmont recommends a nice pair of hiking boots for the Tooth of Time because of the jagged rocks that make up the trail.


Once you are at the top of the mountain, you are met with a beautiful landscape that gives you a 360 degree look of Philmont. You are 2,500 feet above the valley floor at the top of The Tooth of Time.


Philmont has multiple terrains and frontiers within the ranch. Some of the trails go through very dense forests that have small to gigantic trees. When looking into the landscape of Philmont, you can usually see a mountain range in the distance.


Every day of hiking usually ends with your group arriving at your camp site for the night. Every camp site has a fire pit, pack line, and bear bag to hang up the food. There are varied types of wildlife within Philmont, from wild horses and birds to grizzly bears and mountain lions.


Each day the hike can vary from 8 miles to 15 or 20 miles. Also, there are multiple towns and frontier cabins that you can stop at during your treks at Philmont.


Philmont is also made up of flatlands and desert areas within the ranch. Some days you get a nice hike through flat terrains that go through rivers and streams.


This image was taken during our hike up Baldy Mountain during our last few days at Philmont. Baldy Mountain is the highest mountain within Philmont. It’s 3,640 feet above the valley floor at the summit.


Once you get to the top of the mountain, you are met with an unbelievable view of Philmont that is 360 degrees around you. You can see all of Philmont from the top of the mountain, also you feel like you can touch the clouds within the sky.


This was my final photo of Philmont, as my team was completing our 14-day hike that ended with us going through a small valley back to base camp. I really enjoyed my time at Philmont and hope to return one day.

Location: 17 Deer Run Rd, Cimarron, New Mexico

Designation: National High Adventure Base

Date established/designated: 1938

Date of my visit: 8/3/2014

brown work boots
Photo by Lum3n on


35 thoughts on “Philmont Scout Ranch (New Mexico)

  1. You are in good hands with Theresa as a mentor. Although I never got to Philmont, your post and pictures brought back good memories of my hikes with Explorer Scouts through the Pacific Crest and Skyline Trails in Oregon. Thanks

  2. Nemorino

    Great photos that bring back lots of memories for me. I went to Philmont as a Boy Scout when I was fourteen, and later worked for two summers on the Philmont staff while I was in college. (This was all a long time ago, in the 1950s.)

  3. Your photos are stunning so if they don’t do this wonderful place justice I can only boggle! Your paint an enticing picture with your excellent prose. Definitely my cup of tea and now on my ever increasing list of places to visit in this immense and extraordinary country

  4. Pingback: Philmont Scout Ranch (New Mexico) — National Parks With T – Truth Troubles

  5. Pingback: Philmont Scout Ranch (New Mexico) – Wilfredo Santa Gomez MD

Leave a Reply