PhilCast - Museums

Visitors to Philmont are encouraged to visit our museums, which tell the area's story through artifacts and art.

The Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library may be visited any day during the summer, and weekdays the rest of the year. Tours of the Villa Philmonte must be arranged at the Philmont Museum. No fee is charged at any of these museums. During the summer, daily bus service for participants is available to visit the Kit Carson Museum at Rayado. There is no fee for bus service, and it can be scheduled in Logistics soon after your group arrives at Philmont. The Kit Carson Museum is open every day during the summer.

Photo by Danial Giles, 2011 Fall Photography Conference

Villa Philmonte

Waite Phillips built the Villa Philmonte as the summer home for his family on the Philmont Ranch. It was completed in 1927 and was designed in Spanish Mediterranean style. Restored to the period when Phillips owned the ranch, it now serves as a memorial to him and his generosity to the Boy Scouts of America. Guided tours are offered during the spring, summer, and fall.

The Villa Philmonte is open for guided tours spring, summer and fall. Please call the Philmont Museum (575) 376-1136 for available dates and times, reservations are required.

Philmont Museum

Current exhibits include:

  • Partners on the Ponil; crossing the fence to high adventure
  • The Flood of 1965
  • Outdoor Arrowmen; building a trail of service
  • Order of the Arrow; 1915-2015
  • Selected Art from Ernest T. Seton

Located at headquarters, the Philmont Museum houses exhibits related to the history, art, and natural history of the Philmont area.

Museum Gift Shop

The museum shop carries Southwestern Indian jewelry, Pendleton blankets, kachina dolls, pottery, and regional books.

Seton Memorial Library

The Seton Memorial Library is home to the personal art, library, and natural history collections of the founder and first Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of America, Ernest Thompson Seton.

Inquiries about tours, donations, archives and collections may be addressed to:

Philmont Museum
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714
E-mail: Philmont.Museum@scouting.org

Kit Carson Museum at Rayado

Philmont lies on part of a land grant given to Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda by the Mexican government in 1841. Mountain man Lucien Maxwell founded a colony on the grant on the Rayado River in 1848. A year later, he was joined at the settlement by frontiersman Kit Carson. Their ranch on the Rayado was visited by many traders traveling on the Santa Fe Trail.

In 1950 the Boy Scouts of America built an adobe museum at Rayado to serve as an interpretive area to portray its history and recount the exploits of Maxwell and Carson. It was named in honor of Kit Carson.

Staff at the Kit Carson Museum dress in period clothing and demonstrate frontier skills and crafts like blacksmithing, cooking, shooting, and farming. Each room in the museum is outfitted with reproduction furniture and objects typical of New Mexico in the 1850s. The Rayado Trading Company, located at the museum, sells books, maps, reproduction tools and equipment, moccasins, and blankets.

The Kit Carson Museum is seven miles south of Philmont's headquarters on New Mexico Highway 21. Summer hours are 8 AM to 5 PM daily. Admission is free. The museum is open only for special events during the rest of the year.

Historic Chase Ranch Museum

Founded in 1869, the Chase Ranch was successfully owned and operated by the Chase family for over 143 years. The historic adobe ranch house offers a glimpse of ranch life starting around the time of the Colfax County land grant war, through the territorial & statehood periods in into modern times. This ranch and the Chase family where instrumental in transforming western ranching into what it is today!

During the summer months, staff offer guided tours of the main house, grounds, orchards and tack room.

Site includes restrooms, picnic amenities and a gift shop.


About Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America's premier High Adventure™ base, challenges Scouts and Venturers with more than 214 square miles of rugged northern New Mexico wilderness. Backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs offer young people many ways to experience this legendary country.