Philmont Scout Ranch covers over 215 square miles, the largest preserve of it's kind in the world. What many people don't know is that well over 20,000 hikers traverse hundreds of miles of wilderness trails each year. During the busy summer season, over 30 treks per day are launched from the Welcome Center. Each trek crew consists of 7 to 12 members so water and sanitation resources can be easily outnumbered in the fragile ecosystem of the back country.
To the credit of Philmont hikers and their honoring the wilderness pledge, the back country trails are quite pristine. To further protect the environment as well as the health and safety of the hikers, Philmont also has rules and services unique in the outdoor world. As a licensed master plumber, I was keenly interested in the back country water and sanitation systems on our recent trip to the back country of Philmont and offer this site as a brief report of the systems I encountered. This should not be construed as a "full" report nor is it authorized by Philmont or its staff. It's merely the observations of a plumber who loves the outdoors yet stands by the plumber's creed: "Protecting the health of the nation."