2019 Gorham High Adventure... Backpacking and More!

Perfect for Older Boy Scouts (14 years of age or older) and Venturing Crews (co-ed Crews are welcome, too)

Are your older Scouts or Venturers looking for a peak outdoor experience? Gorham is ideally situated to offer your Scouts and Venturers a week of High Adventure.

Gorham’s property is bordered to the east by the Pecos Wilderness Area. The Pecos is 223,667 acres with hundreds of miles of trails. Two trails directly link to the camp at the north and south. This allows crews to be dropped off at a distant trailhead, and spend 4-5 days hiking back to the camp.

Even though the schedule is typically 5-7 miles per day, these trails are not for the faint of heart (literally). Most trailheads start at 9,000 ft. and go up from there. It is possible to stand on top of a mountain over 12,000 ft. and watch an airplane fly below you in the valley. Temperatures can vary from 80 F during the day, to below freezing at night. There will be hail, and thunderstorms. You will hike along river bottoms, across alpine meadows above the tree line, and traverse across boulder fields.

Other trail options include the Jemez Mountains and Wheeler Peak. Treks that are not in the Pecos Wilderness will require the crew to provide its own transportation to and from the trailhead (unless the Pecos Wilderness is closed).

Even if someone has never been backpacking before, it can be achieved. Even if someone has been to Philmont before, they will find the Pecos challenging. We teach Leave-No-Trace ethics at Gorham, including how to cook and clean properly, trail etiquette, waste management, and how/why to hang a bear-bag. Many people have never camped with these stricter guidelines.

What about whitewater rafting? The Rio Grande River is only a short drive from camp. If a group would like to go rafting or kayaking along the Rio Grande, the camp will be happy to assist in coordinating with a local river tour company. We highly recommend the Los Rios River Runners for these outings. Any fees for a river trip, must be paid separately, and are not included with your camp fees. Transportation is required to get to the river. Los Rios can pick crews up, and return them to Gorham for an additional fee.

Reserve your high adventure experience today. Our weekly program (available all five weeks) is first come, first serve, and we expect spots to fill fast!

Our capacity for the High Adventure program is 11 participants per each crew. This must include at least one, preferably two, adults. Minimum is two youth and one adult. Very small crews may be combined by the camp to form a larger, single, crew.


List of Opportunities Available

5 day Pecos Treks: 5 days and 4 nights in the wilderness. Treks will start at a distant trailhead, in the north or south of the wilderness, and crews will hike to camp. It is also possible to hike through the wilderness from the north to the south, requiring transport to and from the trailheads. Depending on the trails chosen, 1 or 2 side-hikes to peaks or lakes can be incorporated.

4 day Pecos Treks: These shorter trips allow the crews to participate in activities other than backpacking during the week. Typically white-water rafting on Monday or Friday. (Other activities could include rock climbing, horseback riding, zip line…)

Whitewater Rafting: Los Rios River Runners offers one-day and multi-day river trips. There is an additional cost for river trips. Your group can do backpacking for 4 days, and add a day of whitewater rafting to complete the week.



Things to do to prepare for a Pecos Trek:

            Hike. A lot. Preferably carrying your gear, even for a day hike. (See ‘What to pack’.) Try for altitude, even a few hundred feet elevation change is better than staying flat. Go camping at least once a month, again with the gear you plan to backpack with. You will quickly learn that backpacking requires different gear and different skills, when you don’t have a vehicle to haul things with.

What to pack:

            Due to the independent nature of backpacking, the camp is unable to provide most of the equipment necessary to make a comfortable week. The camp will provide food. We also have available stoves, pots, water purification, bear bags and rope, and a handful of tents. This is not nice equipment. Please try to provide your own gear. Borrowing is a perfectly acceptable way to acquire gear for your first backpacking trek. Whether you borrow someone else’s gear, or purchase your own, please use it prior to arriving at camp. It is going to be a long week if it turns out the pack is the wrong size, or you are breaking in new boots, or you don’t know how to set up your tent and it’s about to rain. Please, please, please, do not arrive with your gear still un-opened in its new packaging. You will regret this. Know what you have, and how to use it.

Individual Gear

Sleeping bag

Ground Pad


Rain Jacket or Heavy-duty Poncho

Rain Pants*


Pack Cover*

Brimmed Hat

Trekking Pole/Walking Stick*

Several Bandanas

Bowl or Cup


Small Sack for personal items


Small Pocket Knife



Personal Medications


Water Bottles – at least 2 Liters (if using a bladder, bring at least 1 hard bottle)



2-3 Tee Shirts (not cotton)

2 Shorts/Convertible Pants (not cotton)

1 Set Long Johns (for sleeping)

2-3 Pairs of Socks (not cotton)

2-3 Pairs Sock Liners*

2-3 Underwear (not cotton)

Hiking Boots

Camp Shoes/Sandals





Day Pack*


Group Gear



Bug Spray

Toilet Paper



Spare Gallon Zip-Locks

Hand Sanitizer




Cooking Pot



First Aid Kit

Water Purification


Bear Bag and Rope

Baby Wipes*


*Recommended, not mandatory





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5841 Office Boulevard NE | Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
Telephone (505) 345-8603 | Toll Free (800) 368-9218
Fax (505) 345-4201 | Scout Shop Fax (505) 345-3193