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It’s time to start planning your itinerary for the PSA Trek July 14–21. Whatever itinerary you come up with, you need to know the basics of itinerary planning at Philmont. Here they are.

The 9,000 foot rule

orienteering merit badgePhilmont 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.

Your itinerary must comply with this requirement. The night before reporting to the Welcome Center, July 13, must be spent in the Philmont area and that counts as the first night. The night of July 14, 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.

Note: there may be a new starting camp on the Chase Ranch. Details will be shared as soon as received.

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.

In 2014, conservation will be offered at the following camps: Beaubien, Buck Creek, Visto Grande, Harlan, Indian Writings, Rich Cabins, Baldy Skyline, and Whiteman Vega.

Bus drop-off/pick-up points

Your itinerary planning must take into account the established bus drop off/pickup points. There is a new drop off/pickup point in 2014. That new point is on the Ponil Road at the gate entrance to the driveway that leads to the Chase Ranch headquarters house.

Other drop 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 Trek experience starts now.

For further information contact:
Doug Latimer at [email protected]
Dave Romack at [email protected]
Lee Huckstep at [email protected]

Our standard terms and conditions apply. Cancellation policy:

  1. Cancellation prior to the registration deadline of June 1, 2014 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 2014 or can be contributed to the general fund of the cancelling participant’s association.
  3. In exceptional cases, the Executive Director and Vice President of Service of the PSA can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.