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Cool things to sightsee before Philmont?
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Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Cool things to sightsee before Philmont? on 06/06/2013 12:16:35 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,

My son and I have recently signed up (with our troop) to go to Philmont in July of 2014.

Our scoutmaster is plannig to have us fly out several days early so we can sightsee and acclimate to the altitude & climate. He has given us a large map of the area around Philmont with a ten hour drive's radius. Having gone twice before (both as a youth and a young adult), I only have a vague recollection of a few things we did.

I am very much interested in the collective wisdom of this group. Any good suggestions of cool things to do within a day's drive of Philmont?

Thanks much,


sights on 06/06/2013 19:17:15 MDT Print View

Only all of Colorado and New Mexico, and west to the Grand Canyon falls in that range.

Theres more interesting stuff to see in New Mexico than any other state I know.

Just google national monuments and national parks in NM. More than I can list. From old forts, to dormant volcanoes like Capulin, to lava tubes at Malpais. Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs, the Navajo reservation and all the trading posts at Gallup, Sandia peak at Albuquerque, white sands, Ruidoso, etc

Taos is only 30 miles away. The town, the Taos Pueblo, Check out the Rio Grand gorge west of town, or can raft on the Rio Grande as well. Carlsbad caverns, Bandeleir national monument, Santa Fe is loaded with history too, I think theres horse back riding at Taos ski valley in summer too.

You dont have to leave NM.

Edited by livingontheroad on 06/06/2013 19:19:41 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Cool things to sightsee before Philmont? on 06/06/2013 20:17:52 MDT Print View

* Tour the Air Force Academy

* Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. Several firms operating out of the Buena Vista, CO area ... 90 miles by road west of Colorado Springs

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
"Cool things to sightsee before Philmont?" on 06/07/2013 07:34:07 MDT Print View

Check out the site - in particular the discussion category - 'Pre- or Post-Philmont Activities' for information directly related to what you are looking for. Here is the direct link to the 'Pre/Post-Philmont Activities' page -

Some of the conversations are older, but the information for the most part is relevant or will atleast give you some ideas of where to look.
Browse throught the rest of the site and you will find other suggestions, just posted in the wrong category.
Narrow your search to near the airport you are flying into, because like the others have said there is PLENTY to do!!

Enjoy your trip!!! IWTGBTP!
Hopefully Philmont again in 2014!

CRF071913E - SeaBase Coral Reef Sailing
617D8-2012 - Trek 21
620D3-2010 - Trek 25
2006 - PTC Faculty
2004 - PTC Participant

Edited by SCKuhn on 06/07/2013 07:36:11 MDT.

Kirk Almquist
(kirkalm) - MLife

Locale: Cascade Foothills
NRA Whittington Center on 06/10/2013 20:49:58 MDT Print View

Another option is the NRA Whittington Center; for camping, museum tour, etc. Right on the way to Philmont, open to the public...

Crew 710V1, 2012

Dan Lee
(scoutbuff) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Denver to Santa Fe... on 06/13/2013 16:12:04 MDT Print View

As a SM living in Colorado Springs, here are a few suggestions north to south for consideration...
1. Denver: Red Rocks amphitheater, Rockies game, REI Flagship store, 16th Street Mall, Denver Museum of Natural History, Mile High Sports Authority Field, Denver Buffalo herd at Genesee Park (west of Denver)
2. Castle Rock: Quick hike up/around the rock
3. Colorado Springs: USAFA (hike part/all of the 13-mile Falcon Trail (VERY much like Philmont), Visitors Center, Chapel, etc.), U.S. Olympic Training Center, Garden of the Gods Park, and a drive up Pikes Peak (it's 13 miles and 7500' if you want to hike it), Barr Trail up to Barr Camp (half way up Pikes Peak) is 6 miles and only 3500' gain
4. La Junta, CO: Koshare Indian Museum, with Scouts)
5. Cimarron: Monster cinnamon rolls at Heck's
6. Santa Fe: Bandolier National Monument (cliff dwellings), White Rock Overlook of the Rio Grande, Los Alamos Nuclear Lab, Old Santa Fe, Palace of the Govenors, NM History Museum, Loretto Chapel, Basilica of St. Francis

Within 10 hours of Philmont, there's a ton to do/see... I know I'm missing things like the Great Sand Dunes, Four Corners, Mesa Verde National Monument, etc. Good luck deciding...

Edited by scoutbuff on 06/13/2013 16:14:17 MDT.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Near Philmont on 06/13/2013 16:28:30 MDT Print View

You can walk up Wheeler Peak; its a fun day hike and close by.

The Rio Grande Gorge is close as well.

A little further north you have the Sangre de Christos, which look great, and the San Dunes. You could climb a 14er there.

You could run over to the San Juans of southwest Colorado. I recently rode the train from Durango, got off at a trailhead, and walked into the Chicago Basin. It was spectacular. I understand there is plenty of other nice backpacking there. Highly recommended.

Of course, further west into southern Utah and the Grand Canyon is pretty special too.

Have fun.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Thanks! on 06/20/2013 07:30:38 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the suggestions. We have a pre-trip meeting tonight where the boys will pick their favorite selections.

It is their choice, so we shall see what rises to the top!

All the best,

Matt Dirksen