Resupply on the CDT

Resupply Strategy for Hiking the PCT

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How to resupply strategy on the pct hike is a common question. 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. It may narrow my choice of foods and might cost me more but I’d prefer to support the locals where possible. I have used this same method on all my 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 to provide a complete guide to hiking the PCT. Including my daily hiking hiking blog.

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 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.

Your Name
General Delivery
Town Name Post Office
Zip Code, State

Resupply strategy for the PCT

The following is my resupply strategy for hiking 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.

My Resupply Guide for the Pacific Crest Trail

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
Totals:  146 2668.8

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Resupply Towns on the Pacific Crest Trail

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:
Your Name
General Delivery
Mt Laguna Post Office
CA 91948

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.
Your Name
General Delivery
Julian Post Office
CA 92036

*NOTE – 4 miles east of the trail is Stagecoach Trail RV Park

Next Resupply 33 miles.

110 miles – Warner Springs Resupply

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:
Your Name
General Delivery
Warner Springs Post Office
CA 92086

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
CA 92561

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:

Your Name
General Delivery
Idyllwild Post Office
CA 92549

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:
Your Name
General Delivery
Cabazon Post office
CA 92230

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. 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.

Your Name
General Delivery
Big Bear Lake Post Office
CA 92315

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:

Your Name
General Delivery
Wrightwood Post Office
CA 92397

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.

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 and most people stay with the the Saufley’s who are the legendary trail angels in town. They also accept resupply packages:
Your name – PCT Hiker – ETA
c/o The Saufley’s
11861 Darling Road
Agua Dulce
CA 91390

Next Resupply 23 miles.

478 Casa de Luna

Not really a resupply option but the Andersons are legendary PCT hosts only 2 miles west of the trail. Enjoy a shower, taco salad dinner and camp out the back.

Next Resupply 8 miles.

486 Lake Hughes Resupply

A basic store, restaurant and limited hotel rooms. The post office accepts packages:

Your Name
General Delivery
Lake Hughes Post Office
CA 93532

Next Resupply 32 miles.

518 Hikertown Resupply

This strange place offers a place to stay and accepts packages:

Your Name
Hikertown 26803 W. Ave. C-15
CA 93536

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:

Your Name
General Delivery
Tehachapi Post Office
CA 93581

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:

Your Name
General Delivery
Mojave Post Office
CA 93501

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.

Your Name
General Delivery
Lake Isabella Post Office
CA 93240

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.

Other Useful PCT Information

This guide is a work in progress. A complete guide to the Sierra and all areas further north is coming soon. Stay tuned.

Click below to return to the Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hiking Page.

You might want to read:

Lightweight hiking gear list
Complete Continental Divide Trail Blog
Complete Appalachian Trail Blog
Te Araroa Trail Blog

Where to buy all the best gear for hiking:
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Traveling Overseas to go Hiking?
World Nomads Travel Insurance

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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.

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  1. How much did your resupply change once you were on the trail? Are there any changes you would make to the schedule you created above?

    1. I made a couple of changes. I tried to buy food locally if I could. I only sent packages to Kennedy Meadows, Burney Falls, Crater Lake, Shelter Cove and Sisters. I was able to get a descent resupply at all other places, even the places in Washington where everyone said it’s not possible.
      I also made a stop at Mammoth Lakes after Independence/Lone Pine as I was hiking with an awesome group who planned to go there, so I bought less food in Lone Pine. If I sent packages all the way along the trail I would have lacked the flexibility to do such a thing.
      On some sections I hiked faster than the days I thought it would take. I planned 146 days and took 147.
      If I hiked the trail again I would make few changes. Just the stop at Mammoth Lakes that I mentioned.
      Good luck with your hike.

  2. How long did it take for you to prepare for PCT? I am also from Australia, I have no idea what to do first… & still don’t know if it is something I should do soon or in the future?

    1. It took me about 12-14 weeks to plan. That’s from the time I made the decision to hike till the time I set foot on trail. If you need any specific advice on hiking the PCT as an Aussie I am willing to help out with all the info you will need and answer any questions you might have. If you want further info send me a message on my ‘contact me’ page. I can help you after I have finished hiking the CDT mid September. I will be helping/mentoring several hikers next year.

  3. When you get to Sisters, Or., there is a huge food market, “Rays”. Everything you could want, and then some. Of course Sisters is an 18 mile hitch from Santiam Pass but is really the last worthwhile resupply until you get to Mt. Hood which will require a mail drop. Also, Sisters is one of those tourist traps, if you need a break and like looking at art galleries and such.. Lots of rv’s and fat Americans. On the west side of town just passed Rays is nothing but wide open forest. A short hike in and you can stealth camp.
    My suggestion for the high sierra is KM then Muir Ranch then Tuolumne. MR is charging a whopping $70, but that is cheaper and easier than a motel in Independence. Also, don’t plan on 20 mile days in the high sierra. That’s tough given rocky terrain and high altitude. What’s more, it is the best part of the whole hike. Gotta savior the moment.

  4. P.S. BTW, I went over Kearsarge Pass which in a very very long way off trail (about 8 miles with a 15 mile hitch) into Independence CA where I took a zero and went to Bishop CA by bus. So for me it was KM to Independence to VVR to Tuolumne Meadows.

    1. Tartan, thanks for the tips. I was trying to avoid the longest of detours, if possible, so VVR looked like a good option. I’ll call them while on trail later this year to get the latest info etc. I’m familiar with all the towns on the eastern Sierras as I cycle toured there last year. Great towns with everything I’ll need and transport between towns but I was trying to avoid, Lone Pine, Independence, Bishop and Mammoth if possible. Time will tell what I eventually decide. I’m hoping for only 1 re-supply between Kennedy Meadows and Tuolumne Meadows.
      If you would do it again where would you re-supply and why?

      1. Since I am not a multi-time PCT hiker, nor do I live in the area, I can only talk about what I did. Looking at Craig’s PCT Planner ( I see that the only options from Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows is: (1) Lone Pine, (2) Independence, (3) Muir Ranch, (4) VVR, and (5) Reds Meadow/Mammoth. The overall mileage is 239.9 which is too far to go in a single hike. As I said I broke it into KM to Independence (87.4 miles), Independence to VVR (87.0 miles), and VVR to Tuolumne Meadows (65.5 miles). Recently I’ve heard on the PCT mailing list and/or Facebook pages about using Muir Ranch which is 1.5 miles off trail (per Yogi’s Handbook), however, the Handbook says they don’t have any resupplies there, whereas, VVR is further off trail, but does have a store where you can buy things. The choice is yours. Sincerely, Tartan

  5. VVR is also hard to get to. Lake Edison has been drained and you need to walk about 2 additional miles to where the boat can pick you up. Also I think they only do one pickup/drop off per day – this past year I was lucky and they took me back out later in the afternoon. Then it’s 2 miles back to the trail, argh! Overall I would verify everything I’ve said and if true I would consider another resupply spot. Overall, on my thru-hike this passed year I got really spoiled whenever I had to go very far off trail – so, having to get to VVR was, to me, a pain in the ass that I hadn’t expected until I got there. Sincerely, Tartan PCT 2014.

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