Backpacking Expeditions & Eight-day Cavalcade Expeditions

BACKPACKING EXPEDITIONS - Participants on backpacking expeditions hike through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Philmont Scout Ranch, ranging in elevation from 6,600 feet at Headquarters to 12,441 feet at the top of Baldy Mountain. Fascinating backcountry programs and more than 350 miles of challenging trails await those who seek to discover the wonder of Scouting's Paradise as over 750,000 Scouts, Venturers and leaders have since 1939.

The arrival dates for 2005 12-day Expeditions are June 8 thru August 9. The cost for 12 day Expeditions is $495 per person. Arrival dates for treks of a shorter duration are August 10 thru 14. The cost for Short Treks is $44 per person/per day. The crew size is 7-12 members, including leaders.

Philmont Backpacking Expedition Reservations for the year 2005 will be accepted in two ways: Council contingent reservation and individual unit reservations.

Council Contingent Reservations for the year 2005 will be taken during September 2003. A reservation form will be mailed to each Scout Executive in August. Each council will be asked to freeze their reservation at or below their 2003 or 2004 level.

Philmont defines a Council Contingent as a "provisional expedition composed of Scouts, Venturers and leaders". Ideally, contingents should provide a "Philmont Experience" to individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Philmont prohibits units from attending two years consecutively in either a 12 day Backpacking Expedition or a Cavalcade experience. In selecting participants for a Council Contingent, priority should be given to participants (youth & adults) who have never attended.

Individual Unit Reservations for the year 2005 will take place during October and November using a web-based registration process. A registration information packet with all the instructions for the new registration system will be mailed or emailed to all interested units in September 2003. Units may request this information by contacting Philmont Scout Ranch at 505-376-2281 x 225 or email

  1. Online entry for the random selection registration will take place during October and November. Units will be eligible to register during a week assigned to their Region. At the conclusion, a final week of open enrollment will be available. EACH UNIT IS ASKED TO HAVE ONLY ONE PERSON MAKE THE ENTRY SOMETIME DURING THE ASSIGNED WEEK.
  2. A unit may register members of their chartered unit only, but are not limited to one crew (maximum crew size =12 participants), however, please be realistic when estimating attendance to avoid unnecessary expense (forfeited deposit fees) and to permit the maximum number of units to make a reservation.
  3. When 2005 reaches capacity, groups will be placed on a waiting list for 2005 in the order reservations are randomly selected.
  4. Units with a confirmed 2004 reservation may not place a reservation for the year 2005 - units may not attend two consecutive seasons. Reservations may not be transferred from one unit to another. Philmont maintains a waiting list and will contact the next available group in the event of a cancellation.

CAVALACADES - Participants of Philmont Cavalcades ride horseback over some of Philmont's most scenic trails. Designed for chartered troops or venturing crews, Cavalcade participants acquire riding and packing skills long in use in the American West. Philmont offers two eight-day, eight-night Cavalcades on each arrival date. (June 16, 17, 25, 26, July 5, 6, 14, 15, 24, 25, August 2, 3, 12, 13) The cost for 2005 is $526 for each participant. The crew size is 10-15 participants, including leaders. There is a 200 pound weight limit for all riders.

A random drawing will be held in January 2004 for 2005 Cavalcades. To participate in the drawing, notify Philmont in writing by January 1, 2004. Selected groups will be notified by mail and will receive a reservation form that must be approved by their local council. A group may not attend in two consecutive seasons, either a 12 day Backpacking Expedition or a Cavalcade experience.

Age Requirements for Participation - Philmont participants for both Expeditions and Cavalcades for 2005 must be 14 by January 1, 2005 or have completed the 8th grade and be at least 13 prior to participation. To avoid disappointment, please do not request or expect exceptions! Philmont can make no exceptions to the minimum age/grade attendance requirements.

Adult Leadership - A minimum of two adult leaders is required for both Expeditions and Cavalcades. The maximum number of adults per crew is four.

For Further Information Contact:
Phone: 505-376-2281 # Fax: 505-376-2636 # Email:

See also:

This Web page is maintained by Selden Ball at Wilson Lab.
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