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It’s time to start planning your itinerary for the Celebration Trek July 13–20. Whatever itinerary you come up with, you need to know the basics of itinerary planning at Philmont. Here they are. Get out your maps, start trail-talking with friends and soon you will have both a crew (seven person minimum, maximum twelve persons) and an itinerary. And remember, planning is half the fun!

The 9,000 foot rule

Philmont requires that the first three nights at Philmont be slept under 9,000 feet elevation. You can hike as high as you want on any day. The reason for this rule is altitude sickness prevention.

75 arrowhead patchYour itinerary must comply with this requirement. The night before reporting to the Welcome Center, July 12, must be spent in the Philmont area and that counts as the first night. The night of July 13, spent in Camper Tent City, counts as the second night. In order to be compliant with the rule, the first night on the trail must be spent at an official Philmont starting camp or one of the following staffed camps: Zastrow, Carson Meadows, Abreu, Urraca, Crater Lake, Miner’s Park, Clark’s Fork, Cito, Hunting Lodge, Harlan, Indian Writings, Ponil, Miranda or Dean Cow. Trekkers providing their own transportation to the Valle can spend the first night at Ring Place or Whiteman Vega. No exceptions, even if a camp is below 9,000 feet.

Itinerary length

Hikes on successive days should generally be in conformity with hikes found in approved Philmont itineraries. Itineraries with hikes substantially exceeding the length of those found in approved Philmont itineraries may be subject to disapproval by Logistics.

Even though your itinerary may comply with 9,000 foot rule and be in conformity with hikes found in the approved itineraries, your itinerary should be appropriate for the hiking abilities of your crew. Not everyone can do a super-strenuous itinerary.


Itineraries shall include the opportunity for 3 hours of conservation work. If the itinerary does not include a camp where the opportunity is offered, or if doing conservation at a camp where it is offered would substantially interfere with the crew’s ability to participate in program, the crew should ask at another staffed camp for an alternative service opportunity and have the camp staff sign the crew leader’s copy when completed.

Bus drop-off/pick-up points

Your itinerary planning must take into account the established bus drop off/pickup points. These points are Zastrow, Turkey Creek, Cito Turnaround, Rayado, Six Mile Gate, Ponil Turnaround, Lovers Leap and Bear Canyon.

In addition to the above, personal vehicles may be used to get you to and from the “parking lot” south of Whiteman Vega Camp in the Valle Vidal on Cerrososo Road east of McCrystal campground.

Personal vehicles may also be placed at the Maxwell turnaround.

Food pick up points

Your itinerary should provide for food pick-ups. You can pick up food at Ring Place, Rich Cabins, Baldy Town, Ponil, Ute Gulch, Phillips Junction, Miner’s Park and Apache Springs.


Your itinerary planning should include consideration of drop-off and pick up points, hiking abilities of crew members, food pick-up, and compliance with the 9,000 foot rule. The rest is up to you. Get your Philmont maps out, start planning itineraries, share those itineraries with friends, and join in the fun of planning! Your Celebration Trek experience starts now.

Full Celebration Trek details here.

Questions? Not yet have a crew? Contact your facilitators:

Doug Latimer at [email protected]
Chris Manheim at [email protected]
Lee Huckstep at [email protected]

Our standard terms and conditions apply:

  • Eligibility requirements: (1) Be a member of the PSA or Trek-eligible family member (2) Be a member of the BSA (3) Have a completed Philmont medical form (4) Be 14 years old OR completed 8th grade and be at least 13 years of age prior to participation.
  • Trek-eligible family members: Spouse, child or step child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew or in-law of PSA member who meets eligibility requirements above. The PSA member must accompany Trek-eligible family members on the Trek.
  • Cancellation policy: (1) Cancellation prior to the registration deadline of June 1, 2013 will receive a full refund. (2) Cancellation after the registration deadline will not receive a refund. Monies paid can be used for another PSA or Exchange Program event prior to the end of 2013 or can be contributed to the General Fund. (3) In exceptional cases, the Executive Director AND Vice President of Service can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.