Jan 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm #1284160
Hello my partner and I are planning our through hike of the PCT for the 2012 season. We have just got together all of our gear and are now moving on to the trip planning part. The one huge question we have been having are which re supply points are necessary/ a good idea to send a re supply box to, and which re supply points would it not be necessary to send anything to. We have a list of all the current re supply points and address and were just wondering an outsiders perspective of those who know which and which are no necessary. So far the necessary ones we have come up with are
– Kennedy Medows
Anyone have any suggestion of any other resupplies we should look into? Thank you so much for all the help!
-DragonFlyJan 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm #1826541
Cascade Locks has a decent but slightly pricy full size grocery store. If you are buying your stuff on trail and shipping it ahead, you may consider going to Portland to buy food for all of Washington.
If you resupply at Bridgeport by Sonora Pass, I would highly recommend a box. Poor selection and expensive grocery store. I forget if KM North accepts packages or not.
I remember shipping about 8 days of food total to two places from Lake Tahoe. The Grocery Outlet there was super cheap. I forget where they were sent though.
For the Sierras, the general consensus I heard was that people were more satisfied resupplying with a box at Muir Trail Ranch despite the upfront fee rather than those getting discretely fleeced at VVR. With 2 people, the box at MTR makes much more sense.
Everything else looks good to go to the best of my memory.Jan 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm #1826549
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
RE-supply locally or by pre-shipped box; that is always the question. The answer depends on how flexible you are willing to be. If you need to KNOW that the stuff you need if available, ship it to yourself. If you're willing to settle for whatever's available at the moment, go for the local buy option.
Sierra City can be a hard resupply when the herd goes through. That's a fairly small country grocery store out in the sticks, and while they stock a wide variety of items hikers want, their inventory level of each is also small. You could find the hikers ahead of you have picked it clean. (The same thing happens in Belden, but their store is even smaller and carries fewer items, although there is a hiker box.) The Sierra City PO is right next to the store, so I'd suggest you cover your bases and ship a box there and hope to find some fresh fruit and dairy items at the store.
Going northbound, definitely use Muir Trail Ranch – if its open. They also have a hiker's box and sell every kind of fuel you can imagine, including Esbit tablets. Their ultra-tiny "store" might be able to sell you bandaids, batteries, and lip balm, but NO FOOD.
MTR is about 1.5 days SOUTH of Vermillion Valley (if it's open) so you don't have to carry as far from Kennedy Meadows (or from any intermediate resupply point like Horseshoe Meadows or Onion Valley).
Reds Meadow Resort (if it's open) is only 4 days north of MTR (or 2.5 days from VVR). You can do a full resupply from the resort store, including fuel, and there's a GREAT cafe, hot springs CG, and laundry facility for hikers. If the Natl Park Shuttle is running, you can go into Mammoth Lakes, stay in a warm, dry motel, sleep on a REAL bed with clean sheets, eat REAL food at REAL restaurants, visit the outfitter for gear, etc., and really have a ball
Snow conditions will dictate when MTR, VVR, and Reds are able to open. Either way, you MUST send a box to either MTR or VVR, but not to both.
Most of the near-trail resorts in Oregon have small stores that caters to fishermen. Only the truly desperate would try to resupply out of them. Most resorts will hold packages for you; take maximum advantage of that.
You'll have no problem doing a full resupply at the large grocery store in Cascade Locks. The only things you can't get in CL are freeze-dried meals and stove gas canisters; ship those to yourself via the PO (right across the street from the store). There is a Best Western motel right by the Bridge of the Gods and next door to the Charburger Restaurant, so you can get an expensive room if desired. There are 2 other far less elegant and less expensive motels in town down by the store. Be advised, there's no public transportation in or out of Cascade Locks. If you take the road walk from CL to Panther Creek Campground, you have the option of resupplying at the large grocery and/or PO in Carson, WA – halfway between CL and PCCG. It saves you 7 miles of asphalt with a full pack.
.Jan 19, 2012 at 10:58 am #1826710
John McBPL Member
I was at these three PCT resupply locations summer of 2011. Snoqualmie Pass hotel is where you can send a package if you want to. They also serve great meals after coming off the trail from White Pass. The gas station has typical gas station food. For a lot of hikers that's all they need for the three days the Stevens Pass (72 miles). I didn't see freezed dried meals. I mailed myself alcohol fuel and freezed dried meals to the Hotel at Snoqualmie Pass.
At Stevens Pass I mailed 5 days of food to get me to Stehekin. You can mail it to Dinsmores Hiker Haven….awesome place! They have a room set aside for hikers with beds, videos, a TV, internet, etc. It sleeps around 8 hikers. Across the street from them is the local post office/corner store. You can get a nice meal there, but not enough food for the continued hike to Stehekin (98 miles) You have to hike 23 miles to Dinsmores from Stevens Pass. I was picked up by the first car each way. It's a busy pass over the Cascades. I mailed myself freeze dried food, alcohol, candy bars, map, etc.
Stehekin is a gem. What a beautiful little town right on the north tip of Lake Chelan. You can mail a package to the P.O. there. They have a store with food to get you to Manning Park (Border). I don't remember seeing alcohol there. I mailed freeze dried meals and alcohol there. It's obvious I wanted to have those two items at all times. I also always mailed my maps for the upcoming section. The local bakery has loads of heavy foods that most hikers stuffed into there packs. I'm talking seeing one hiker put 6 ciniman rolls in his pack….and they are large. The town also has a killer resturant with beer.Jan 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm #1826817
Buck NelsonBPL Member
Covers lots of invaluable information including what you're looking for. Numerous people discuss resupply points with a chart(s) summarizing it all.
The Handbook answers important questions you haven't thought of yet.Jan 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm #1826820
Link .BPL Member
@annapurnaJan 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm #1826853
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
As long as we're listing sites for info — I certainly agree that Yogi's guide is well worth getting for this sort of thing and many more. You can also get some relevant info on postholer.com, to include his resupply list:
MTR: I agree with the consensus, though I've only heard good things about VVR (I've not been there). I liked the fact that I didn't have to diverge much or spend a lot of time off trail to pick up food resupply at MTR. And there's a hot springs in the area too, if I recall correctly (didn't do that either, sadly).
If this is your first thru-hike, note that a very common experience is to find along the way that you prepared too many boxes; I certainly did. In particular, have a care that you factor in which post offices are still open in any given year and what days and hours they're open.
In part it's a matter of how well you think you can resupply at the likes of a gas station mini-mart; most thru-hikers, I think, pick up this "skill" whether they start with it or not.
But get Yogi's guide and decide from that.
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