Outback Hiking


Click image for more info regarding Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch.

“Somewhere out there is a trail with your name on it. Go find it.”Aerial of BTSR

Enjoy the challenge and the sights of the most beautiful canyons, highest peaks, and tallest cliffs in Texas during your week in the BTSR Outback. Created thousands of years ago, during the formation of the earth, volcanic activity sent the Davis Mountains over sixty-five hundred feet above sea level. Calderas and erosion left the rocky peaks two thousand feet above the valley floor, creating the Outback that BTSR Rangers proudly call home.


Treks consist of a week-long guided-hiking adventure based out of Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch (BTSR). Crews, which can be created two ways, hike on rugged, near-pristine trails with amazing views. Each crew will stay at pre-existing campsites where dinners and breakfasts, cook gear, and tarp-shelters will be made available. Once at the campsite, crews will have time for independent activities and exploration as well as arranged programming.

ORGANIZATIONRyland Prichard from Troop 91 at Guadalupe Mtns Natl Pk

The treks are week-long with no re-supply stops in base camp. Terrain is very rough and treks are physically challenging. Crews must follow trip age and experience requirements.

Each crew consists of six to twelve Scouts or Scouters and the assigned Ranger(s). There are two different ways to form an Outback Crew.

  • Option 1 – Troop or Crew signs up a minimum of 6 members, including 2 adult leaders, one 21+ for a trek.
  • Option 2 – Individual Scouts or Scouters sign up for Outback and are put into a trek as they become available.

The program is open to all Boy Scout groups and may be coed, with proper adult leadership.


Your assigned Ranger is your resource for local history, water sources, trails information, and safety tips. The Ranger’s experience should be a reliable resource to guide your crew through the not so distinct trails. The Rangers primary goal is to ensure a fun and safe week. He or she is NOT supposed to lead your group or set up Troop operations such as cooking, eating, or sleeping arrangements.


water crossing smDinners and breakfasts are already at outback camps, waiting for basic preparation. Lunches are the only meal which will be packed and they are packaged and require minimal, if any, preparation. Food is packaged for groups of four, so you can easily break into cook groups. Meals are designed to be healthy and meet the caloric needs of each group. It is recommended to bring along personal or troop food, like Gatorade or snacks, just be sure to package and store the additional food properly. As part of the Leave No Trace policies, each crew will be expected to carry out ALL garbage.


Water is available at several locations in the Outback, but it is scarce. Due to the arid nature of the area, five quarts of water per person are required. A water filter or purification tablets are also encouraged.


The weather in West Texas is very unpredictable. Most summer temperatures range between 75 and 95, however, temperature extremes may be as low as 40 and as high as 105. The humidity in the Davis Mountains is usually in the 20% range during the summer. Humidity can swing from lows of 5% to highs of 100%. The extremely low humidity makes high temperatures seem cooler. This often results in dehydration. All crews must be careful to ensure that the entire crew is staying properly hydrated. Most weeks the camp will not receive any rain, but all crews should bring rain gear.


Most members will be fine on most trails wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. All trails have their share of Cat’s claw, a feared brier bush only to be compared to ugly rose stems. Sensitive skinned members will prefer protection from the brush and sun. A hat and sun block is a MUST for all crew members. Clothing dries rapidly in the arid climate so washing is made easy; there is no need to sacrifice water capacity of extra changes of clothes. Deodorant and other items which will attract wild animals should be left at base camp.


trailAll crews going on the trail must have adult leaders; one must be 21 years of age or older, the other 18 years of age or older. Coed Crews must have coed leadership.


The fee for the Outback Program covers all food, program supplies, and a qualified staff. See Fees & Payment Schedule for current pricing information.


There are over a dozen trails that wind through the over 9,000 acres of rugged and beautiful BTSR terrain. Many of these trails were established almost 6 decades ago and still see traffic today as we continue to put hikers into our wonderful backcountry. They range from easy trails with little to now elevation change, to the most rugged and challenging trails that will test even the most experienced hikers. These are not roads or wide national park trails; they are very rustic trails that leave little impact on the surrounding beauty you will experience as you hike along these paths. Our itineraries are designed to utilize the most appropriate trail based on the experience level required for each program. Ranging from 4400 ft. of elevation in base camp, to over 5400 ft. at the top of Forbidden Mountain, there is something for everyone!

Click here to learn more about the variety of trails at BTSR

Click here to learn more about the Backcountry at BTSR