Philmont 2000 Trek Route #5

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 22:47:56 -0500
From: Mike Malerich <>
Subject: [Philmont]: Trek #5
I am from a Troop in Springfield, IL (not Oregan) and we were lucky enough to have Trek 5 two years ago. (We have #6 this year) As you know, this is a typical trek, but no doubt challenging. Since there are two lay overs (which is nice), on some days you have long hikes.

From base camp the bus drops you off for you to start your hike to Lovers Leap. This is a relatively short hike, but if you are a first timer at Philmont (which I was then), it gives you a taste of what uphill climbing will be like. The view from Lovers Leap is great, but do be careful as there are cliffs. The year we went, a Scout from an earily crew fell from a cliff and was injured fairly bad.

Crater Lake - This was one of my favorite camps. I don't know if Philmont have the same people stationed at each camp every year, but the fire bowl was a riot. Guitar and banjo playing, foot stomping music with comedy and story telling. These guys had talent. Everyone who saw this "show" talked about. All other fire bowls are a let down, but fun none the less. Did some pole climbing. Next day we said good bye to our ranger. We were on our own !!

Black Mountain - If you are a glutton for punishment, there is a great side hike UP Black Mountain. I didn't hike UP Black Mountain because I had to stay at camp with some Scouts who didn't want to hike UP Black Mountain (that's my story). Those who did hike UP Black Mountain said it was great. I was told that there were spots very steep. However, you do not have a backpack. If you climp UP Black Mountain do take water. I'm not a blacksmithing person, so the program at the camp wasn't that exciting. You do have the opportunity to actually do some blacksmithing if you wish.

Beaubien - 1st lay over. Nice camp. Time to relax. You can shower (BURR), wash some clothes. Brand your boots, horseback ride, rumage though a box of food that others discard. Chuck Wagon Dinner is nice, but when we had ours, it was in a pasture full of cow paddies. Not very sanitary. We had a doctor on our crew and he was not very happy about that. We had our conservation project here working on a trail. I believe it was Trails Peak. After our project we continued up the trail to the plane crash and had lunch up there.

Wild Horse - Up hill hike. We were all by ourselves at Wild Horse. Our sister crew decided not to make the up hill climb (which compaired to Phillips or the Tooth really wasn't that bad) and camped somewhere else. Dry camp, but if you do some searching, you will find a steam with water. We needed water and used our PUR water filters and filled up.

Mt. Phillips - Yes, you do climb up hill ! The caterpillar really came in real handy. We use the caterpillar many times at Philmont. It is a great feeling once you make it to Mt. Phillips. Great view. The year we went, there was a bear attack earlier that year and they had not caught the bear yet. They were not allowing anyone to camp at Mt. Phillips. We had to hike back down the other hide to Red Hills. Nice camp - big stream for water. The next morning when we were hiking out, they had a fake camp site set up with a bear trap. THAT made us feel real good.

Cimarroncito - second lay over. Rock climbing was a lot of fun. Several of us did a side hike to Devils Wash Basin. Saw some rattle snakes on the way.

Tooth Ridge - Be ready for a long day. Best view of the entire trek! You can see the Tooth as you are hiking to it. It is deceptive because it looks a lot closer than you really are. When we got to Tooth Ridge, we set up camp, ate, and then climbed up the Tooth. This is a must !!! Got to do it. But tell your Scouts to be careful.

Base Camp - It seems you hike twice as far as the crow flies since there are a lot of switch backs. Neat view of base camp as you are climbing down.

Hope this helps. Not a lot of detail, but just doing this from memory. Lot of programs. Our crew decided to get up fairly early, break camp and start hiking. On our first "packs off", we ate breakfest. That way, we had time to take side hikes if we wanted to, or get to the next camp sooner to set up camp and start the programs.

Mike Malerich
Troop 3
Abraham Lincoln Council

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