Rocky Mountain Columbines by Lookout MeadowLookout Peak
is a peak located on Philmont Scout Ranch
in Northern New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains
. Lookout Peak just barely has 350ft of prominence and is somewhat overshadowed by its higher neighbor Burn Peak
. Lookout Peak is an easily accessible peak with a very well maintained trail going over it's summit. It is located in an awesome, low traveled portion of Philmont Scout Ranch's southern backcountry. Views from the summit include much of the the terrain south of Philmont's boundaries along with the Rayado Creek area and Beaubien Meadows. It is often popular to combine Lookout Peak with Burn Peak, Crater Peak and Rayado Peak in a day.
Lookout Peak from Lookout Meadow
Nice trail through the woods to the summit
The summit of Lookout Peak
From the staffed camp at Beaubien, one can follow the trail east towards Lower Bonito Camp and towards Webster Pass. You can also gain Websters Pass from Crater Lake and by going over Fowler Pass and then into Beaubien Meadow. Both of these locations are best accessed from the Lovers Leap Turnaround. From here, follow the trail east just under half a mile and 400ft feet to the summit. The trail goes right over the top so you can't miss the summit. One could also access the peak from the Rayado Creek area by starting at the Zastrow Turnaround. Doing this, you could access the peak at Websters Pass once again or hike up the steep Bonito Creek from Abreau and follow the trail to Lower Bonito Camp. From here, one would just follow the trail coming up Lookout Peak's east slope. Most people hiking this peak will most likely be on a Philmont Trek already so this will probably just be another day in your 12 day trek.
Philmont is around a 4-5 hour drive from Denver or Albuquerque. It is located just a few miles south of Cimarron, New Mexico.
Take Hwy 21 south for about five miles. Philmont Camping Head Quarters (CHQ) will be on the right side. This is where you will go if your a camper at Philmont. If your staff or if you have permission to hike Crater Peak, you can drive just a little past CHQ and take a right onto Lovers Leap Road. You can then park at Lover's Leap Turnaround and start hiking from here. Or, you could drive to the Zastrow Turnaround and hike from here. Both Turnarounds (trailheads) are similar distances from Lookout Peak.
Rayado and Lookout Peak-both deep within Philmont's backcountry
You are only allowed to hike this peak if you are on a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, are part of the staff, or have special permission from Philmont to do so. To contact Philmont, you can reach them at:
Address: Philmont Scout Ranch
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714
Phone: (575) 376-2281
Fax: (575) 376-2602
Winter hiking is a no go. Philmont does offer a winter program called Kanuk
, however, the winter activities are most limited to things around Camping Head Quarters (unless your staff or have special permission). Essentially, this peak can only be hiked during the summer (May- August) when Philmont's summer program is in operation.
When to Climb
The main season to climb lookout is when Philmont is in full operation, so that is late May through mid August. After that, access is limited unless you are in a special Philmont program that starts after the season is over. Also, in the summer be sure to be off the summit before afternoon thunderstorms roll in.
Thunderheads rolling in over the area
while coming down from Burn Peak
Camping can be down in a few places close by. Since this peak is on Philmont Scout Ranch, you have to camp at designated campsites. At Philmont, a staffed camp offers program (mostly western activities such as shooting, logging, homesteading, etc...) and has water. Trail camps are your basic back-country camp with a Philmont twist to it. Beaubien (a staffed camp) is is located to the North of Lookout Peak (many who hike this peak will day hike it from there). Another close staffed camp is Fish Camp and Abreau, located to the west and east, respectively, down along Rayado Creek. Lookout Meadow and Lower Bonito are two trail camps that are close by as well.
Cows in Beaubien Meadows
Philmont Scout Ranch
Lots of great information about Philmont.
Current Weather Conditions
Current weather conditions for Lookout Peak as forecasted by NOAA
If you have any more additional information or photos, please contact me or add them to this page. Thank you!