How to Plan a New Mexico Tour for Your Philmont Scout Ranch Trip

By Tom Grannemann
with the assistance of Scott Grannemann
Yankee Clipper Council
Troop 51 Boxford, Massachusetts


What to See and Do


Northern NM

Santa Fe Trail

Where to Stay

Where to Eat

Planning and Logistics

Managing the Scouts

Managing the Trip

Sample Itinerary

Suggested Reading

Experience More of New Mexico

The best way to travel to Philmont is not the quickest. Take an extra two or three days to see New Mexico and make your Philmont trip a real southwestern experience.

Your trip to New Mexico can put your Scouts in touch with Spanish and Native American cultures. They can see Indian dances, pottery, turquoise, silver jewelry, Navajo rugs, southwestern art, and live rattlesnakes (behind glass). They can learn about the anthropology of cliff dwellers, the history of Spanish conquistadors and colonization, the exploits of trappers and those who traveled the Santa Fe Trail, and the historic development of the atomic bomb. They can experience a trail ride in the high country, white water rafting, or a ride on a narrow gauge steam railroad. Perhaps best of all, your Scouts will get some first hand experience with travel in a multi-cultural world.

Objectives of this Web Site

This Web site will be useful to Boy Scout or Explorer leaders making plans for their Philmont Scout Ranch expedition to spend some extra time in New Mexico. It may also be helpful to those planning a family vacation in conjunction with a Philmont trip.

Even if you have never been to New Mexico before, have only passed through, or have only seen the state on a Philmont-only trip, this Web site will give you much of the information you need to plan a successful two or three day New Mexico tour for your Philmont expedition. The links at the left lead to information on what to see, how to make travel arrangements, and how to manage your tour. There are many possiblities for designing a tour that meets your group's interests, available time, and budget. As an example of what is possible, this site includes a sample itinerary for a three day pre-Philmont tour.

I spent my youthful Scouting days camping and backpacking throughout New Mexico and I have visited and vacationed in the state at least once a year since leaving in 1972. In 2001 I coordinated a tour of northern New Mexico as part of a Philmont trip with 34 scouts and adults from the Yankee Clipper Council in Massachusetts. I also helped a troop plan a trip on this model in 2004. With this Web site I hope to pass along information that will help you enrich your Philmont trip with a few extra days of Scout or family touring in New Mexico.

Additional Help

This Web site and its links should provide enough information to get you started with your travel planning. If you have further questions about organizing a New Mexico tour for a Philmont Scout Ranch expedition, I would be happy to answer questions or comment on your tentative plans. Contact me by E-mail: Tom at

Have a great trip,
Tom Grannemann

"I thought it was all great and other Scouts should want to see it too."
Jason, Troop 51