Philmont's museums are open to the public for no fee. You can view operating/tour hours, explore our Photo Archive and Document Archive, support the museum expansion through the Buy a Brick Program, and learn more about each of the museums below.
Museum and Library Expansion
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. You can view guided tour hours and call us to make a reservation.
Located at Camping Headquarters, the Philmont Museum houses exhibits related to the history, art, and natural history of the Philmont area.
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
The museum shop carries Southwestern Indian jewelry, Pendleton blankets, kachina dolls, pottery, and regional books.
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.
Feel free to contact us with inquiries about tours, donations, archives and collections.
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.
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, guided tours are available of the main house, grounds, orchards and tack room. Site includes restrooms, picnic amenities and a gift shop.