How to resupply on the pct hike is a common question. What are the best trail towns to resupply? Where to buy food and where to send a box of food.
There are so many trail towns to choose from to resupply. Like many hikers I prefer to buy my food from the local towns on the trail where possible. If you do too then you will be supporting local trail towns.
The method of buying and sending food along the trail, using bounce boxes and buying food along the way is something I have used on all my other thru hikes, including the Continental Divide Trail, Appalachian Trail and Te Araroa trail.
This resupply guide is to be used in conjunction with my main Pacific Crest Trail Guide Page which provides information on permits and includes my daily hiking blog. My Pacific Crest Trail Gear List may help with what gear you need to take.
Table of Contents
- Bounce Box on the Pacific Crest Trail
- General Delivery on the PCT
- PCT Resupply Strategy
- PCT Resupply town list
- 1.4 miles – Campo Resupply
- 20.0 miles – Lake Morena Resupply
- 42 miles – Mount Laguna Resupply
- 77 miles – Julian Resupply
- 110 miles – Warner Springs Resupply
- 152 miles – Paradise Cafe Resupply
- 152 / 179 miles – Idyllwild Resupply
- 210 Cabezon Resupply
- 266 Big Bear Resupply
- 342 Cajun Pass Resupply
- 369 Wrightwood Resupply
- 443 Acton KOA Resupply
- 455 Aqua Dulce Resupply
- 486 Lake Hughes Resupply
- 518 Hikertown Resupply
- 566 Tehachapi Resupply
- 566 Mojave Resupply
- 652 Lake Isabella Resupply
- 702 Kennedy Meadow
- 789 Kearsarge Pass – Independance / Lone Pine or Bishop.
- 906 Red Meadows – Mammoth
- 942 Tuolumne Meadows
- 1017 Sonora Pass – Kennedy Meadows North / Bridgeport
Bounce Box on the Pacific Crest Trail
A bounce box is a box that you continually send to yourself while hiking. For me it contained my computer, spare shoes and socks, extra clothes that you will not be wearing on trail. I have used bounce boxes on all my long distance thru hikes. I have not had a problems with lost boxes when using the US Postal Service.
There are also Trail Angels that might accept your bounce box for you or store unwanted gear or clothing while you are hiking. A Trail Angle is a term used to describe anyone helping out a hiker. It is an important PCT resupply option for those not wanting to carry every bit of clothing or equipment they have with them.
General Delivery on the PCT
It is possible to pick up mail from post offices located near the trail. The system is called General Delivery.
All General Delivery Packages should be clearly labeled with your Name, General Delivery, Name of the Town or City Post Office, the Zipcode and state.
You can get a tracking code for your box.
Town Name Post Office
Zip Code, State
PCT Resupply Strategy
The following is a Resupply guide for the PCT. I also posted a bounce box containing my computer and other assorted things I may need while on the trail. It was sent to places where I planned to have rest days. I took about 15 rest days on this hike at various towns along the way.
If I choose to not to pick up the bounce box at the post office forwarded it to the next destination free of charge, hence the name, Bounce Box!
The schedule below has me finishing the trail in about 26 weeks, including rest days, hopefully.
PCT Resupply Guide
B = Buying food in the towns / resorts / gas stations that I pass through or are near the trail.
M = Mail. I’ll pick up my supply from the post office or other location I use to mail food to myself.
|Section||Days||Distance (mi)||Total (mi)||Resupply|
|Campo to Mt. Laguna||3||42.9||42.9||B|
|Mt. Laguna to Warner Springs||4||66.6||109.5||B|
|Warner Springs to Idyllwild||5||69.9||179.4||B|
|Idyllwild to Big Bear City||6||95.6||275||B|
|Big Bear City to Wrightwood||6||94.5||369.5||B|
|Wrightwood to Agua Dulce||6||85||454.5||B|
|Agua Dulce to Tehachapi or Mojave||6||112||566.5||B|
|Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows||8||135.5||702.2||M|
|Kennedy Meadows to Independence||5||86.7||788.9||B|
|Independence to Tuolumne Meadows||9||153.6||942.5||B|
|Tuolumne Meadows to South Lake Tahoe||9||152||1094.5||B|
|South Lake Tahoe to Sierra City||5||103||1197.5||B|
|Sierra City to Belden||5||92||1289.5||B|
|Belden to Chester||2||45.2||1334.7||B|
|Chester to Burney Falls State Park||4||88.8||1423.5||M|
|Burney Falls State Park to Castella||4||83.1||1506.6||B|
|Castella to Etna||5||100||1606.6||B|
|Etna to Seiad Valley||3||55.5||1662.1||B|
|Seiad Valley to Ashland||3||63.9||1726.0||B|
|Ashland to Crater Lake Post Office||5||103.3||1829.3||M|
|Crater Lake Post Office to Shelter Cove Resort||4||83||1912.3||M|
|Shelter Cove Resort to Sisters||5||89||2001.3||M|
|Sisters to Timberline Lodge||5||106||2107.3||M|
|Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks||2||47.7||2155.0||B|
|Cascade Locks to White Pass||7||148||2303.0||M|
|White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass||5||99||2402.0||B|
|Snoqualmie Pass to Skykomish||4||74||2476.0||M|
|Skykomish to Stehekin||6||104.2||2580.2||M|
|Stehekin to Manning Park||5||88.6||2668.8||Finished|
PCT Resupply town list
Here are a complete list of resupply towns for the Pacific Crest Trail. The resupply towns include what facilities are available and the milage to the next resupply options. Most hikers do not stop at all these towns.
All care is taken to be accurate but I accept no responsibility for mistakes. Double check before committing to your own resupply. If there are any mistakes, please let me know.
1.4 miles – Campo Resupply
2/10 East of the trail. Has a Subway and Gas Station food. Not much of a place to resupply but it does have a Subway which should be enough food to get to Lake Morena.
Next resupply 18.6 miles.
20.0 miles – Lake Morena Resupply
4/10 mile east along the road is a small General Store with burgers and basic resupply which is enough to get to Mt Laguna.
Next resupply 22 miles.
42 miles – Mount Laguna Resupply
4/10 mile west of the trail is the popular and well stocked General store which is a great place for a full resupply. The cafe is legendary for its food and support of PCT hikers, a must stop for a meal. There is an outfitter which is well stocked with lightweight outdoor gear for those hikers that need a gear shakedown.
The post office accepts packages:
Mt Laguna Post Office
Next Resupply 35 miles.
77 miles – Julian Resupply
12 miles west of the PCT. Small grocery store, expensive hotels, restaurants and cafes and a post office which accepts General Deliveries.
Julian Post Office
*NOTE – 4 miles east of the trail is Stagecoach Trail RV Park
Next Resupply 33 miles.
110 miles – Warner Springs Resupply
EDIT: In 2021 Warner Springs Resource Centre will not be able to host or assist PCT hikers.
1.2 miles east of the Pacific Crest Trail is the Resource Centre at Warner Springs. Very hiker friendly with basic but very good resupply, showers, water and camping.
Nearby is the post office that accepts General Delivery:
Warner Springs Post Office
Next Resupply 42 miles or 69 miles.
152 miles – Paradise Cafe Resupply
Legendary meals on the PCT. Many hikers rate this the best food on the whole trail. The burgers will satisfy anyones hiker hunger which usually starts to kick in somewhere around here. The Cafe accepts packages but ensure you write your ETA on the box:
Your Name – Hold for PCT hiker – ETA (your expected date of arrival)
c/o Paradise Valley Cafe
61721 State Highway 74 Mountain Center
If sending a resupply package to Paradise Cafe most hikers will make Cabazon their next resupply, 58 miles away. Most hikers just get a meal at Paradise Cafe and hitch into Idyllwild.
152 / 179 miles – Idyllwild Resupply
There are two places to access this popular trail town. At mile 152 from Hwy 74 at Paradise Cafe or from a side trail at mile 179.
Idyllwild is one of the most popular trail towns on the Pacific Crest Trail for good reason. This hiker friendly town has good resupply, a cheap central campground with hot showers, hotels, many restaurants and an outfitter. This is a place where many hikers take their first ‘ZERO DAY’ to rest the body and eat lots of food. It is also a good place to wait out bad weather for the upcoming climb of Mt San Jacinto.
The Post Office accepts packages:
Idyllwild Post Office
Next resupply 58 or 31 miles.
210 Cabezon Resupply
4.5 miles west of the very busy interstate is the small town of Cabezon with a store and post office which accepts packages:
Cabazon Post office
Next Resupply 56 miles.
266 Big Bear Resupply
There are two towns here, Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake. Easy to get them confused even though they are only 5 miles apart.
EDIT: The Hostel is closed but it appears they are relocating but I do not have information as yet.
Make your way to Big Bear Lake and stay at the hiker friendly Big Bear Hostel. They can shuttle you around if you need and drop you off at the trail when leaving town.
Big Bear Lake is a full service town with restaurants, many hotels, many grocery stores and outfitters. Another great town for a ‘ZERO DAY’. Resupply packages accepted at Big Bear Lake Post Office.
Big Bear Lake Post Office
Next resupply 76 miles.
342 Cajun Pass Resupply
Not really a resupply town but it has McDonalds and a gas station which is good enough for a resupply until the next town of Wrightwood. Many hikers stay in the Best Western Hotel, specially when bad weather is forecast. No post office.
Next Resupply 27 miles.
369 Wrightwood Resupply
Wrightwood is a small hiker friendly town 5.5 miles east of the trail from hwy 2. Many hikers choose to hike the Acorn Trail all the way into town. There are grocery stores, hotels and restaurants. The friendly hardware store limited outdoor gear, canister gas and alcohol for stoves. The post office accepts packages:
Wrightwood Post Office
Next Resupply 74 miles.
443 Acton KOA Resupply
2/10 mile to the east of the PCT. Camping, showers and a jacuzzi to rest the tired muscles. Has a small store. Very basic supplies. We ordered a take away Pizza from the nearby town when we stayed there. Sometimes they allow resupply packages but best to wait until the next town of Aqua Dulce which has a fully stocked grocery store.
Next Resupply 12 miles.
455 Aqua Dulce Resupply
Aqua Dulce is on the trail and has a good resupply from the grocery store. There are several choices of restaurants.
Next Resupply 31 miles.
486 Lake Hughes Resupply
A basic store, restaurant and limited hotel rooms. The post office accepts packages:
Lake Hughes Post Office
Next Resupply 32 miles.
518 Hikertown Resupply
This strange place offers a place to stay and accepts packages:
Hikertown 26803 W. Ave. C-15
Next Resupply 48 miles.
566 Tehachapi Resupply
9 miles west on Hwy 58. Tehachapi has every service a hiker would want, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants. A great town to take a ‘ZERO DAY’. Packages are accepted at the post office:
Tehachapi Post Office
Next Resupply 86 miles.
566 Mojave Resupply
11 miles east on Hwy 58. Mojave has the cheapest Motel 6 on the trail plus a good grocery store and many restaurants. The post office accepts packages:
Mojave Post Office
Next Resupply 86 miles.
652 Lake Isabella Resupply
Lake Isabella is 37 miles west on Hwy 178. There is a grocery store, a couple of hotels and restaurants to chose from.
Lake Isabella Post Office
Next Resupply 50 miles.
702 Kennedy Meadow
Celebrate the legendary end of the desert and start of the Sierra. This is the place to chill out, have a meal and a couple of beer. There is free camping, showers and food at the General Store. Packages are accepted but there is a holding fee charge, best to send them to Grumpy Bear Retreat (Address below).
Be sure to visit nearby Grumpys Bar for a meal and beer, maybe even rack up some balls on the pool table. They accept packages free of charge:
Your Name – PCT Hiker – ETA
c/o Grumpy Bear’s Retreat
98887 Kennedy Meadows Road
Inyokern, CA 93527
Kennedy Meadows is a vortex that will suck hikers into staying longer than expected. Many hikers stay here waiting for a break in the weather before hiking into the Sierra.
There was a time when people needed to send a resupply package to Kennedy Meadows but things have changed. There is a good selection of resupply options at Triple Crown Outfitters located opposite Grumpy Bears Retreat. They stock Bear Cannisters, Ice Axes and Microspikes for the Sierra.
Next Resupply 87 miles – you can take side trails prior to Kearsarge Pass if you want or have an emergency.
789 Kearsarge Pass – Independance / Lone Pine or Bishop.
Kearsarge Pass is an 8 mile detour from the PCT. From the ccarpark it is usually an easy hitchhike down the hill to the town of Independence. There is not much there except a Post Office and several Takeaway food shops. After your first taste at altitude and cold you will likely be starving and in need of calories. There is no grocery store in Independence, so if you need to buy food you need to leave town.
Lone Pine and Bishop are better options if you want to take a zero day. More food and accomodation options. Lone Pine is one of my favorite trail towns.
Special Note: Buy Bug Spray, you are about to get into the areas with bugs around Red Meadows unless you are very early or very late in the season.
Next Resupply 17 miles
906 Red Meadows – Mammoth
You could grab some snacks and do a simple resupply at Red Meadow if you want. There is not a lot of choice but there is certainly enough to get to the next resupply at Tuolumne Meadows.
Full resupply town in Mammoth including Outfitters, Large Grocery Stores and way too many accomodation options.
Next Resupply 36 miles
942 Tuolumne Meadows
Grab a burger and a beer while you socialize with the other Thru Hikers. No rush to leave here. Grab your resupply box, from the General Store, set up the tent for the night and chill. Plan a day down in Yosemite Valley. Either hike there (30 miles) or take the shuttle. By now you are probably starting to feel the mosquitoes so if you haven’t already purchased bug spray, now is the time.
There is a good General Store here but most people post a package here.
Yosemite National Park
PCT Hiker ETA
Next Resupply 75 miles
1017 Sonora Pass – Kennedy Meadows North / Bridgeport
No need for Bear Canisters beyond this point. Time to post it back home or return it to whomever you borrowed it from.
Kennedy Meadows North is the preferred option and easier to hitch hike. They sell nice food and have reasonably priced accomodation. By now you are certainly annoyed by the bugs on the trail.
This guide is a work in progress. A complete guide to the Northern California and beyond is coming soon for 2021. Stay tuned.
Got any questions or updates on PCT resupply? Leave me a message below and consider sharing this post or signing up to may email list.
Enjoy the trail.
Cheers Shepherd – PCT15, CDT16, AT17, TA18-19 and still hiking.