CDT Towns, Miles and Resupply
Update 1 May 2008 - there is apparently now a shuttle between Deming, NM and Columbus, NM. The shuttle apparently goes south to a Family Dollar store that's very close to the border. This will facilitate transportation to/from Palomas. (hat tip to Heesoo Chung)
Benchmark Ranch operations have been taken over by Darwin and Shellie Heckman. See below for the new address.
There is a new hostel near Butte, MT 3 miles from Homestake Pass. Call them for pickup or walk down the road to find them.
One of the usual concerns on the CDT is: "How can I resupply?" And it's certainly a valid concern.
We started like a lot of others, looking for mileages between towns. We found it wasn't all that easy to find out. For example - at the time we were doing the planning for our 1999 thruhike, there was NOBODY who could give us a reasonable mileage between Reserve, NM and Gila Hot Springs. The numbers we got varied between 80 and 170 miles. So --- why? Well, part of it was that people took different routes, so their mileages were different. At that time there was no guidebook of any sort - so no one had even wheeled it on a map. And when I wheeled the route we intended to take, the distance was an "interesting" number in that it was obviously not right either.
You don't have most of those problems - because there are a number of people who've published reasonably good mileage numbers in various places. But still - YOU need to check the numbers you're gonna use for YOUR hike because very few CDT hikers follow someone else's exact route all the way. We're an independent lot - and many, if not most of us, are insistent on hiking our own hike rather than someone else's. So what we did - and what we will do - may not be something YOU want to do - and your mileages will be different.
So what difference does it make? Well, how hungry do you want to get? The tales of hikers running out of food, particularly in the area north of Gila Hot springs, are legion. One hiker was sorta rescued (partially resuppied) by a USFS Ranger in the Black Range.
Another factor here is that many hikers have thruhiked the AT and the PCT - and ASSUME that they can do the same kind of mileage that they did on those trails. Sometimes it's true - for some sections. But more often than not, those hikers overestimate their projected daily mileages. So - if you project your daily mileage between two towns to be 20 miles per day and the towns are 120 miles apart, then you might ASSUME that it will take 6 days to walk that section. But what if your daily mileage is only 15 miles per day? Then if you're carrying 6 days food, you're gonna be one hungry puppy on days 7 and 8.
So - why would you only be doing 15 mpd? Hmmm - how about altitude? Do you have any idea how much it can slow you down? Some people thrive at 11,000 ft - others die (or at least think they will).
How about errors in the maps? That can slow you down big-time - getting "lost" takes time - sometimes LOTS of time. Or how about that the guidebook/map miles are sometimes off (and generally lowballed) by anywhere between 5% and 20%, depending on which guidebook you're using and which section you're hiking at the time. How about SNOW? Have you ever walked on Colorado or Montana snowpack for 3 weeks? That'll really slow you down. So will a foot or three of September snow in Colorado. And if you hit a "real" blizzard, you might find yourself holed up in some remote valley in the high country for a couple-three days. How's your food supply gonna hold out for that? Then there are the 4 (or more) stream crossings per mile in the Gila.
And finally - where did you get your mileage numbers? If your numbers came from someone who planned a different route than you intend to hike, then why would you think their miles are a good basis for planning your hike? If you ain't planning your own hike, your own miles, your own resupply - then you ain't hikin' your own hike - you're hikin' someone else's hike. And you just may find some unpleasant surprises hidden in "their" hike.
Now - someone's gonna say: "Oh, that wouldn't happen to me." And I'm gonna say - you didn't read the 2004 journals on Trailjournals.com, did you? Or any of the other journals for the last 15 or 20 years, either. It DID happen. It DOES happen - every year - to someone. Do you really want that someone to be you? But then, it's not my problem, is it? I won't miss any meals if YOU miscalculate.
Resupply is generally not much more difficult than on the PCT. We usually were able to find a town every 5 to 7 days. Some of our longest stretches were about 150 miles between towns. For the most part, we were able to buy food as we went, except for a few very small towns or resorts, and in a couple of those cases, we could have hitched to a larger town and gotten what we needed. The biggest difference from the other long trails is that towns are often a LONG way off trail. Sometimes 15 miles, sometimes 35 miles. It can be a long wait for a ride.
Now - all that having been said - if you've hiked other long trails, you have your own resupply techniques. If you've got "special diet needs" or if you're a vegetarian or vegan, you're gonna have some minor problems on the CDT. Most groceries likely won't carry the kind of variety you're accustomed to and salad bars are few and far between, as are health food stores. Plan accordingly. Using your own dehydrator is a wonderful concept - and, to be honest, one we've never felt any real need for. But there are those who do. On a related note, this is cow country - so if you are vegan or vegetarian, you won't find a lot of options at most of the restaurants either.
Even for those who, like us, will eat anything that doesn't move fast enough when we're on the trail - there are places where maildrops are de rigeur unless you're into starvation as a lifestyle. Those places are specifically listed in the information that follows. But the number of maildrops you'll NEED is less than you might think. With that in mind, you might also check out Mike and Kam's Shop-As-U-Go" page for their 2003 thruhike on this same subject.
So - what follows is a summary of the numbers we used for planning our 2006 hike. Our 1999 hike followed different routes, so the mileage was different. Keep in mind that it IS OUR hike and these numbers can only serve as a general guide for what you might want to do - if you use them at all. If you choose different routes (i.e. the ‘official route’) your mileage may be very different. If you use these numbers without understanding what they mean, then you'll likely get what you deserve - an ADVENTURE (which is the usual consequence of ignorance). ADVENTURES - are bad things that happen to other people, far away. Or alternatively - dirty, nasty things that make you late for dinner.
There are three parts to this information: some general comments (which you've presumably already read), the updated towns/mileages table (which was originally generated in 1998) and the town descriptions (updated after our 2006 hike).
Note: If it looks like a link, then it is a link. Click on it for more informatioin.
P Post Office L Lodging G Supermarket g Small grocery M Meals D Laundry C Camping S Shower $ ATM I Internet NF Forest Office B BLM Office
Town Services Trail Miles Miles to next town Miles off-trail Waterton Lakes, AB M,L,g,C 0 104 0 East Glacier, MT 59434 P, M, L, D, I, G, $ 104 117 0 Benchmark Ranch (Fairfield, MT 59436) p, (M, L, S) No phone 221 52 1.5 Lincoln, MT 59639 (from Rogers Pass) P, M, L, G, D, I 273 61 20 Helena, MT 59601 (from MacDonald Pass) All services, incl outdoor store 334 91 (to Butte) 15 Elliston, MT 59728 (from MacDonald Pass) L, M 334 91 (to Butte) 7 Butte, MT 59701 (from Homestake Pass) All services 425 61 10 Whitehall, MT 59759 (from Homestake Pass) All services 425 61 10 Anaconda, MT 59711 (via Hwy 274) All services 486 94 0 - 17 Wisdom, MT 59761 (from Chief Joseph Pass) P, M, L, g, D 580 122 (to Leadore) 26 Salmon, ID 83467 (from Lost Trail Pass) P, M, L, G, D 580 122 (to Leadore) 46 Leadore, ID 83464 (from Bannock Pass) P, M, L, g, D, C, S 702 102 13.5 Lima, MT 59739 (from Monida) P, M, L, v. sm. g 804 71 (to Macks Inn)
95 (to West Yellowstone
via Henry's Lake route)
16 Macks Inn, ID 83433 P, M, L, v.sm g, C, D, $ 875 38 (to Old Faithful) 0 West Yellowstone, MT 59758 P, M, L, G, $ 899 55 (to Old Faithful
via Henry's Lake route)
7 - 15 Old Faithful, Yellowstone NP 82190 P, M, L, g, $ 913 (via Macks Inn) 103 0 Togwottee Pass Resort 83013 p, M, L, v.sm g, $ 1016 118 (to Big Sandy) 0-10 Dubois, WY 82513 (from Togwottee Pass) All services 1016 118 (to Big Sandy) 22 Pinedale, WY 82941 All services Three possible trailheads Variable --- Big Sandy Lodge, WY 82923 p, M, L, C, S 1134 50 2.4 Lander, WY 82520 All services --- --- 38 South Pass, WY 82520 p - snacks 1184 5 0 Atlantic City, WY 82520 p, M, L, phone 1189 117 (to Rawlins) 2 Rawlins, WY 82301 All services 1306 164 0 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 (from Hwy 40) All services + NF office 1470 79 18 Grand Lake, CO 80447 All services + NF office 1549 81 (to Silverthorne) 0 Winter Park, CO 80482 (from Berthoud Pass) All services 10 Silverthorne, CO 80498 All services, incl outdoor store 1630 76 0 Leadville, CO 80461 All services, hostel Access from Twin Lakes, Turquoise Lake or Tennessee Pass -- 10-15 Twin Lakes, CO 81251 P, M, L, v. sm. g 1706 81 2 Salida, CO 81201 (from Monarch Pass) All services 1787 85 20 Creede, CO 81130 (from San Luis Pass) All services, incl outdoor store 1872 15 (to Spring Creek Pass) 10 Lake City, CO 81235 (from Spring Creek Pass) All services 1887 117 25 Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 (from Wolf Creek Pass) All services, incl outdoor store 2004 76 25 Chama, NM 87520 All services 2080 88 8 Ghost Ranch, NM 87510 p, M, S, C 2168 55 0 Cuba, NM 87013 All services 2223 115 0 Grants, NM 87020 All Services 2338 90 0 Pie Town, NM 87827 P, M, C 2428 39 0 Reserve, NM 87830 (via Hwy 12) P, L, M, G, D, NF, I 2467 85 35 Gila Hot Springs, NM 88061 P, g, S, D, C 2552 49 (to Silver City)
146 (to Deming)
0 Mimbres, NM 88049 P, M, S, D, C --- --- Deming, NM 88030 All Services 2698 54 0 Columbus, NM 88029 All Services 2752 3 Palomas, Mexico All Services 2755
The End of Trail?
Go to the Pink Store for a beer 0 Silver City, NM 88061 All services 2601 80 (to Hachita)
51 (to Lordsburg)
0 Hachita, NM 88040 P, g?, C 2681 via Silver City
47 (to Antelope Wells) 8 Antelope Wells, NM C, water 2728
Another "End of Trail"
Hitch back to Lordsburg or Deming 0 Lordsburg, NM 88045 P, M, L, D, G, I 2652 92 (to Crazy Cook Monument) 0 Crazy Cook Monument none 2744
And yet another "End of Trail"
You probably get to walk out 28 miles.
Did you bring enough food?
Anaconda, MT 59711
The Anaconda cutoff is so named because it goes directly through Anaconda, MT. The "official" CDT route is about 100 miles longer and circles east of Butte, MT, rejoining the Anaconda cutoff at Goat Flats. (Both Jim Wolf and CDTA recommend the longer route.) Anaconda is also accessible via a 17 mile hitch (or walk) on Highway 274. If you follow the official trail, resupply in Butte via Deerlodge Pass, Homestake Pass at I-90, or I-15 might be a better option.
Anaconda is a spread out town but a good stop. When we were there in 1999, there were several motels, many restaurants, a laundromat, post office (in the center of town, an ATM, 2 large supermarkets (Albertsons and Safeway - ~2 miles apart), and at least one smaller grocery, as well as Internet access at the library (in the center of town near the post office). There was also a movie theater.
The lady at the post office was very ‘hiker-friendly’. We stayed at the Marcus Daly Motel and the owner gave us a ride to Safeway, waited for us and drove us back to the motel. It’s a ‘hiker-friendly’ town, though the grocery stores are each about a mile from the Post Office, one in each direction.
We didn't go to Anaconda during our 2006 hike, but I don't think much has changed.
Antelope Wells, NM / Crazy Cook Monument
Antelope Wells is some 40 miles south of Hachita, NM along a little-used highway (SR 81). Antelope Wells has been used as a southern terminus for the CDT by hikers for many years, but is not the “official” terminus. Antelope Wells is a Port of Entry at the Mexican border and there are no services except a water faucet. Most hikers who go to Antelope Wells end up roadwalking the first/last 50-100 miles, (from the border to Silver City). It is fast walking, but much less satisfying and pleasurable than hiking one of the desert routes. Plus it is really hard on feet and legs.
The “official” terminus is at "Crazy Cook Monument," which is on the eastern North-South border of the New Mexico bootheel. There are NO services at the “official” terminus although there's a windmill and tank two miles from the border (the water "quality" is a different subject). It is however, a very nice hike, much better than roadwalking the first/last few days of your hike.
Access to the Crazy Cook Monument is about 28 miles off the highway (SR 81), following dirt roads, and in 1999, access required a 4WD vehicle. Since then the road has been graded. In 2006 we got in all right in a Subaru Outback. Reportedly, the Hachita Food Mart "may" support hiker shuttles. There may be another private shuttle service available - ask about it.
Atlantic City, WY 82520
Atlantic City Mercantile
100 E. Main St
Atlantic City, WY 82520
The Atlantic City Mercantile is NOT a store – it’s a bar, with lots of beer and good, if limited, food. And it’s only open for lunch and dinner.
The Sagebrush Saloon is next door and serves breakfast and lunch. There’s another B&B in town but we didn’t check it out.
The other ‘services’ here consist of a public telephone (outside with the heat, dust, traffic and mosquitoes) and cabins (if available). In 1999, we managed to buy cheese and bread from the saloon to fill in the lunch menu for the next couple days. There is no post office here, but the Atlantic City Mercantile will hold packages for hikers. There is also no fuel at either Atlantic City or at South Pass. And the nearest gas station/ mini-mart is 38 miles away in Lander, WY.
Atlantic City was a resupply stop for us in 1999. In 2006, we were northbound and just had lunch before moving on to South Pass City and hitching into Lander.
In 2006, a sign at the Sagebrush Saloon said that they had some groceries, but we didn't check it out. There was also a For Sale sign, so I wouldn't count on this without talking to them first.
Benchmark Wilderness Ranch
Update 1 May 2008
Darwin and Shellie Heckman
422 County Line Road
Fairfield, MT 59436
UPS directly to this address
MAILDROP - FEE, call/write first. You may be able to hitch to Augusta (but returning to the trail may be a problem.)
Benchmark Ranch – was different. It’s a very small ranch resort.
1 May 2008 update - Darwin and Shellie Heckman have taken over Benchmark Ranch operations and are very interested in continuing the good relationship that Benchmark has established with the hiking community over past years.
On our first thruhike (1999), we got there on a Sunday afternoon in early season when no ‘guests’ were there, so Beverly had gone into town. Eventually someone told her we were at the Ranch and she came back out (bearing salad fixin’s and ice cream). We got showers, rented a cabin, ate dinner and repacked for the Bob Marshall Wilderness. We bought some Coleman fuel from the handyman/hostler, but I wouldn't count on that. There is no phone. We left early the next morning. Note: she applies only part of the ‘package fee’ to cabin rental. There may be a per person charge rather than a per package charge. You really want to call and check out the deal here before committing to it. We consider it to be a wonderful service - but some hikers have failed to do their homework and have been unpleasantly surprised. Packages should be mailed a couple of weeks early, and it is a good idea to check at the previous town to make sure that it actually arrived before you go there.
In 2006, our maildrop was in a metal box on the porch, but no one was home when we arrived, and water had been turned off to the shower building, so we picked up our maildrop and left.
Augusta has a post office, grocery, camping, motel and restaurant. It's about a 30 mile hitch from the trail. Not so hard to get out, but it may be a problem getting back to the trail.
Big Sandy Lodge 82923
Big Sandy Lodge
#8 Spotted Tail Circle
Rock Springs, WY 82901
MAILDROP $25, contact the Lodge before sending anything. (2006 info)
In 1999, Big Sandy Lodge came after a long, beautiful stretch through the Wind River Range from Togwotee Pass. We were told at first that our mail drop wasn’t there, but Tim found it when he checked again – it was hidden in the back of the pile. We got there early (noon), took a shower ($7.50 ea.), camped out across the lake (free), ate dinner ($12 ea.) and breakfast ($6 ea.) and left the next morning. The ‘package fee’ ($25) was applied to our bill. There might be cabins available, but they’re expensive ($70 and up). Tim sold us some cheese (expensive!!) and gave us some Coleman fuel – but don’t count on the Coleman because he doesn’t normally have any available. There was no phone.
Southbound from Big Sandy (in 1999) we went through the Cirque of the Towers and the Popo Agie Wilderness. We definitely recommend that route as an alternate.
All of the above applied to our 1999 hike.
On our second hike we were northbound and came in over Temple Pass. We just picked up our box, stayed for dinner and then left, camping about a mile away. The prices have changed - upward. Rooms start at $70 and dinner is now about $14.75 (2006 prices).
One issue here is that some thruhikers have gotten to Big Sandy and been surprised by the prices - or the lack of conveniences - or the lack of concern for their welfare. That's not the fault of the people at Big Sandy - it's either ignorance or inflated expectations on the part of the hikers.
Ignorance means you didn't do the research you should have done. Big Sandy posts most of their services and prices on the Internet. Call them to be sure they'll hold your maildrop - and to find out what they charge for the service.
Inflated expectations - is a personal problem (not theirs). Big Sandy is willing to provide a service for thruhikers(for a price), they're willing to feed the hikers (for a price), and they're willing to rent cabins (for a price). They're not a charity, they don't owe you anything and if you don't know the price before you get there, it's because you didn't bother to check it out, so don't complain. If you can't afford the price, then figure out a different way to get resupplied. If you don't want to pay the price, then don't go there.
Butte, MT 59701
Butte is one of the larger towns in Montana. There are motels, restaurants, supermarket, post office, ATM’s, etc. - ALL services. It is very spread out.
There are three major ways into town from the Trail - from Pipestone Pass (MT 2), Homestake Pass (I-90) and Elk Park/Trask on I-15. All of them require a 5 to 16 mile hitch. No matter which way you hitch in, you'll probably want to get off at Exit 127 (Harrison Ave) which is where most of the motels are clustered near the freeways. Wal-Mart is about a mile east on Harrison. There are a couple of good outdoor stores as well.
There is a new hostel near Butte, 3 miles from Homestake Pass. Call them for pickup or walk down the road on the west side of the pass to find them.
Whitehall (20 miles east of Pipestone Pass) and Anaconda are easier towns for hikers to get around, but have less in the way of entertainment/services.
Chama, NM 87520 (from Cumbres Pass)
March 2009 - the Chama grocery was closed for for a while but has now re-opened. See here
Chama is the first town in New Mexico for southbound CDT hikers and the last for north-bound hikers. For those who are doing the road-walk to the south (or come in that way), Chama is on the trail. For those who are doing the CDTS route through the mountains, the easiest access is from Cumbres Pass in Colorado. It’s an eight mile hitch and shouldn’t be hard, but traffic on the road is light and it may be a while before the first car/truck comes along.
The route through the Carson Forest is a nice high country walk, much better than roadwalking to Ghost Ranch.
The Post Office is on 5th St in the middle of town (near Fosters Hotel) and a bank with an ATM is close by. Fosters is a good restaurant, but there are several good restaurants on the south end as well. A good grocery, a campground with a laundromat, a mini-mart and several motels are also on the south end of town.
The north end of town has a laundromat and campground about 0.75 mile north of Fosters Hotel. Fosters is one of the least expensive places to stay but as one hiker put it: Fosters is the Doyle of the CDT.
The problem with the town from a hiker’s point of view is that it’s spread out over about 2.5 miles. We stayed at the Chama Suites on both hikes, which was entirely non-smoking and served a free breakfast. The Branding Iron is newer, but it's also expensive. Chama was a really good stop for us – especially since in 1999 the owners drove us back to Cumbres Pass. In 2006 we had other options. We found Internet access at the Library.
Columbus, NM 88029
Columbus, NM - is a small compact town. It has a post office, at least one B&B, a couple restaurants, a small grocery, a library with Internet access and a gas station/convenience store. It also has camping, water and showers at Pancho Villa State Park. Columbus is just 3 miles from the border and Palomas, Mexico. If you’re southbound, Palomas is a good place to have a beer and possibly a meal - lots of bars, restaurants & pharmacies. It’s an easy hitch back to Columbus or Deming. There used to be a motel - but it may not exist any more.
Creede, CO 81130
Creede, CO – can be accessed from either San Luis Pass (11 mile walk) or by a long hitch (35 mi) from Spring Creek Pass. Both Lake City and Creede are accessible from San Luis Pass, one in each direction. Many hikers walk through Creede as part of the San Juan Cut-off. If you aren't sure whether you will do the cut-off, then send your maildrop here rather than Lake City, so you keep your options open.
Creede is a more hiker friendly town than Lake City as well, since it is so much smaller. There’s a grocery, post office, good outdoor shop, several restaurants and B&B’s, a hotel, motel, gas station, live theater and laundromat. Many of the restaurants and other businesses close about the first of October.
We arranged a ride back to the trail through San Juan Sports, the Outfitter. They're amenable to providing shuttle service whenever possible.
Cuba, NM 87013
Cuba is a town that CDT hikers walk through. Again, it’s spread out, but only over about ¾ mile.
The north end has a motel, laundromat, a couple restaurants, and a mini-mart. The south end has several motels, a laundromat, a couple restaurants, several mini-marts and the Post Office. In between there are several small grocery stores and 2 fairly large groceries. Internet access is at the library, which is right in the middle of town. There is a hostel, but it is about 5 miles out (north). of town.
Deming, NM 88030
Deming, NM was a pleasant surprise. The town is spread out, but the essential hiker services are all in a fairly compact area. The post office, a couple motels, a couple laundromats, several convenience stores, Super Wal-Mart, a number of restaurants, a bar, gas stations, an ATM, a pharmacy and the library (with Internet access) are within 6 blocks of the center of town. Deming also has both Greyhound and Amtrak service, as well as being directly on US I-10.
Dubois, WY 82513 (from Togwottee Pass)
Dubois is a tourist town, but still a good stop. Lots of motels, restaurants, a laundromat, fairly good grocery, Internet access at the library, lots of tourist shops, a book store, and a post office. Overnight service is NOT available in Dubois except via FedEx.
The owner of the Cowboy Cafe (and his son) thruhiked the AT some years ago. The Cowboy Cafe puts out some really good food – including a killer pie a la mode. Hitching into town can be slow, especially since it is illegal in Wyoming. But Dubois is still a better stop than Togwotee Lodge. It is relatively compact and easy to get around.
We stayed at the Black Bear Inn in 2006 - but they're out of business now. We stayed at the Trail Inn in 1999 and 2007. They're friendly and just might take you back to the trail.
Don't go French on us - it's pronounced "doo-boyz".
Brooks Lake Lodge is reputedly NOT hiker friendly - they do maildrops only and don't like hikers to stay too long - reportedly it upsets the "paying" guests. It is, however, right on the trail.
One note - the local police have a rep for hassling hikers. We talked to them about it. Seems that if you "look like a hiker," they likely won't mess with you. But if you "look like a vagrant" (meaning - a refugee from a homeless shelter) you may have to explain yourself. In other words - clean up your act. The torn dirty T-shirt isn't a good idea here.
East Glacier Park, MT 59434
We stayed at the Whistling Swan Motel on both thruhikes. Mark Howser is the owner. He thruhiked the AT in 1992 and he’s ‘hiker-friendly’.
In 2006, East Glacier had several motels and two hiker hostels, a couple of decent (but small) groceries (the East Glacier Trading Company is the biggest), a laundromat with Internet, several very good restaurants, a post office, an ATM at the Lodge, transportation to Waterton Lakes, Canada (Glacier Park Shuttles) and Amtrak access. Of course, there’s also Glacier Park Lodge, beautiful but expensive.
The chili at the Two Medicine Grille was the best we found on the CDT – as were the huckleberry milk shakes. Amtrak took us from East Glacier to Shelby, where we caught the Rimrock Stage bus to Butte. You can also rent an Avis car from Mark Howser.
There are at least three good alternate routes through the Park to East Glacier Park from the border. You must get a permit to hike in Glacier NP. Generally the rangers have been friendly for the last several years. That hasn't always been the case. Don't piss them off -
The permit process has changed several times over the last ten years. The most recent incarnation required that the permit be picked up at Two Medicine (~12 miles) or St Mary's (~40 miles). But check with the Park about the procedure. You can also pick up a Blackfeet Recreation Permit at the Backcountry Desk. In 2006 the backcountry offices closed at St. Mary's and Two Medicine in mid-September. If you arrive after that, you may have to go to West Glacier to pick up your permit.
There are two very small stores inside Glacier NP: one at Two Medicine and one at Many Glacier. There's also a lodge, a motel and a restaurant at Many Glacier/Swiftcurrent, a motel and restaurant at Rising Sun and a lodge, grocery and several restaurants at St. Mary's.
During August - October of 2006 a fire burned much of the Red Eagle Lake area and hikers were forced to walk around the burned area via St. Mary's. It is possible that hikers in June of 2007 will find the trail still closed. We hiked from Reynolds Creek to Sun Point on trail, then followed the paved road 10 miles out to St. Mary's Lodge. There is a motel, campground and restaurant at Rising Sun, along the way (closed when we passed through). St. Mary's had a couple of motels and several restaurants (the Park Cafe was the best) as well as a large grocery store. The next five miles south on the highway were burned and are on the Blackfeet Reservation, so camping is not really a great option. If you intend to camp along the highway, it would be a really good idea to get a Blackfeet Recreation Permit. We followed the highway 14 miles from St. Mary's, then took a graded road to Cut Bank Campground (no backcountry permit required but it is a fee area.) From there we followed Park trails to East Glacier.
Elliston, MT 59728 (from MacDonald Pass)
Hitch west to Elliston, which has a cafe/motel but no grocery. Some hikers have had maildrops at the Post Office in Marysville. There are apparently no other services.
Ghost Ranch, NM 87510
Ghost Ranch Abiquiu
HC77, Box 11
Abiquiu, NM 87510
MAILDROP ONLY. No outgoing mail.
Ghost Ranch is a good place for a mail drop. If you hit it right, you might be able to get a meal, a shower and/or a campsite. If not, they at least have water, Coke and snack machines – and they will hold packages for hikers. Contact them before you mail it though. When we got there on our first hike (1999), they were in the middle of a conference and had no room, so we took our mail drop, loaded up on Coke and snacks and kept on moving. On our second hike (2006) we slept at the campground, did laundry, took a shower, used the Internet and enjoyed dinner at the dining hall. In 2006 the camping, shower and Internet were free.
Gibbonsville, ID 83467
Hitch from Lost Trail Pass - could also go to Salmon, ID or Sula, MT or Darby, MT.
We haven't checked out any of these, but given the relative sizes, I suspect that Salmon, ID would be the best place for resupply.
Gila Hot Springs, 88061
The Wilderness Lodge
Gila Hot Springs
HC 68, Box 85
Silver City, New Mexico 88061
Doc Campbell’s Post
Rt. 11. Box 80
Silver City, New Mexico 88061
MAILDROP. You may be able to mail to Doc Campbells Gen. Store or to the B&B in Gila Hot Springs or to the store at Mimbres. (Mimbres has small store and several B&B type places.) You can no longer mail to NF offices.
Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center - has restrooms and water but will no longer hold packages for hikers. There are no other services here.
Gila Hot Springs is 3 miles south of the Gila Visitor Center. Doc Campbell’s Post has a very small grocery, microwave sandwiches, home-made ice cream, unleaded gasoline, water and a phone. It also has showers and a laundromat in back (ask about these). There are a couple of campgrounds nearby and a mile south of the Post on Access Road is the Wilderness Lodge B&B with reasonable prices (breakfast included), comfortable beds and a hot spring in the front yard.
Grand Lake, CO 80447
Grand Lake has all necessary services including an outdoor shop, laundromat, restaurants, motels, and a hostel. Both groceries and the post office are on the western edge of town. The groceries (2 of them) are small but can be used for long term resupply. Shadowcliff Hostel is one of the best hostels we've run into anyplace. Grand Lake is a ‘walk-through’ town – and the hostel is about 30 yards off the trail as you're headed south into town. There’s also Internet access at the library and a repertory theater for those so inclined.
Good trail town, great hostel.
Grants, NM 87020
Grants – is another town that you walk into/through. It has NF and BLM offices, a Post Office on 3rd St with a register. Unfortunately the Trail Angel at the Post Office is no longer there. On the east side of town, on the main street (Santa Fe) there are a number of motels, several banks with ATM’s, a SuperWalmart, a Pizza Hut with an AYCE buffet at noon, a Chinese restaurant with AYCE buffet and the Uranium Café which serves really good breakfasts. The grocery is Smith’s – about a mile off Santa Fe, but you pass it on the way into or out of town on Lobo Canyon Road. Internet access is available at the library. Again, the only problem with Grants is that it’s a Western town and is spread out.
In 2006 the Cibola Forest was closed both north and south of Grants except for roadwalks. Northbounders (generally) walked the highway (or hitched) into town. For the roadwalk north of Grants we needed a permit. The Forest Service Office is on the left on Lobo Canyon Road if you're headed out of town. The permits were free and hikers were restricted to specific Forest roads. It was made more palatable by the water drops that were put out for the hikers by a local Trail Angel.
Hachita, NM 88040
Hachita Food Mart
4398 Highway 9
Hachita, NM 88040
Hachita used to have a gas station mini-mart that was very hiker friendly, but we don't know the current status. The phone number is above - use it. We were told Hachita has a bar with uncertain hours. If you reach Highway 9 and are desperate for water, hitch to town and you should be able to get water and possibly something to eat.
Again - we didn't go here in either 1999 or 2006.
Helena, MT 59601 (from MacDonald Pass)
In 1999 we stayed at one of the many motels in Helena and used a taxi (expensive) to get back to the trail the next day. In 2006 we stayed at the same motel but called The Base Camp (outfitters) and arranged for a shuttle back to the Trail with one of their employees.
Helena is a large city, very spread out. It has a couple of outdoor shops, lots of motels and restaurants, supermarkets, post office, shoe repair – anything a thruhiker might need including a bus system that’s slow, but cheap. We stayed out by the freeway on the far side of town. We didn’t investigate Internet access in 1999, but presumably the library would have it. Nearly every town along the trail either had Internet access or was getting it in 1999. In 2006 the motels had it, but it was time-limited.
Lake City, CO 81235 (25 miles from Spring Creek Pass)
The Creede cut-off lops about 100 miles from this section. Don't take it unless weather is really bad as this is a beautiful stretch of mountains.
Lake City, CO is another long hitch from the trail and somewhat spread out. We haven't been there since 1997, so our information is a bit stale. We would appreciate updates, if you do visit there. Both groceries were small but could be used for resupply. The outdoor shop had Coleman fuel (expensive) but wasn’t really hiker oriented. There are several B&B’s and restaurants, a post office and a laundromat, as well as a campground that might provide shuttles back to the trail. Our understanding is that there's Internet, but it's dial-up (slow).
Lander, WY 82520
Lander is another town that is quite a ways from the trail, but can be worth the long hitch because of its location in the hike - between the long wilderness stretches of the Wind River Range and the Red Desert. It has “all services” including a good outdoor shop, motels, 2 groceries, a book shop, auto store, hardware store and the regional BLM office. The BLM office may have current information on the water sources for the Great Basin. You WANT that if you're headed south - and if you can get it. It’s definitely a better town stop than South Pass/Atlantic City, which have no groceries, fuel or laundry. But it’s also a long hitch. The town closes down somewhat on the weekend, but not as badly as Rawlins. We were able to access Internet at one of the bookstores, since the library was closed. It is an easy town to walk around and generally hiker friendly.
Leadville, CO 80461
Leadville is another town that is quite a ways from the trail, but is worth the hitch. It has “all services” including the Leadville Hostel and the Colorado Mining Museum (for those who might be interested). The Hostel is a gem - Wild Bill and Cathy are great hosts. Don't miss it.
Leadore, ID 83464 (from Bannock Pass)
Leadore was an easy hitch from Bannock Pass in that the first truck picked us up – but it was over 2 hours before that truck came along. It's not a heavily traveled road. Leadore is an old mining town (which is the origin of the name: lead + ore). In 1999 it had 2 small groceries, a post office, gas station, 2 restaurants (one of which is not always open), a laundromat, a Forest Service office, a motel (3 rooms) that was full when we got there. The grocery across the street from the motel has a grassy area where we camped ($1 per night) and a shower ($1 each – no soap or towels). The Leadore post office also has a hiker register. There’s free camping at a city park north of town, but we didn’t investigate that. The town is compact and easy to get around. It may sometimes be easier to walk to/from town than to hitch.
Lima, MT 59739
Lima, MT – in 1999 it wasn't on our original schedule, but it looked a lot easier to resupply there than to carry 10 days food, so we sent a maildrop from Leadore. Lima can be hard to get to – the trail runs 4 miles south of Monida, which is the nearest Interstate access. Lima is a 16 mile hitch north of Monida, which gets (maybe) 6 vehicles per day using that exit. In order to get to Lima in less than 6 days (we didn’t have that much food), we had to actually get ON the Interstate to hitch. Since then, Mike and Connie Strang at the Mountain View Motel & RV Park (phone: 406-276-3535; 866 812-7407) have emerged and will pick up hikers at Monida. Call from the lone phone in town. Lima has a post office (friendly postmistress), a gas station/mini-mart, a restaurant with a couple cabins, and a motel. There was another restaurant and grocery in town, but they may be closed.
Mike and Connie Strang are very helpful and friendly and will accept mail drops: c/o Mountain View Motel and RV Park PO Box 277, Lima MT 59739.
But call first.
If you're southbound, this is a good place to call Yellowstone for a permit. The phone for the backcountry office is 307-344-2160 or 307-344-2163. Mack's Inn or West Yellowstone might be a little late.
Lincoln, MT 59639 (from Rogers Pass)
Hitching in and out of Lincoln from Rogers Pass wasn’t bad at all (about ½ hour each way). There are three ways/passes into town.
Lincoln has motels, a laundromat, camping at the local park, ATM, restaurants, and Internet access at the library. There’s a hiker register at the Post Office that goes back 30 years or more. The Sportsman Motel is hiker friendly - we stayed there both hikes, although it changed hands several times since we were there in 1999 and was for sale again when we were there in 2006.
Lincoln was a nice stop and a good trail town – friendly people and good food. It's fairly compact, spread out along the highway, but not very far.
Lincoln weather was "interesting" when we were there in June of 1999. It ranged from warm sunshine to rain to sleet and snow - all at 5 to 10 minute intervals. In September 2006 there was just a cold fog.
Lordsburg, NM 88045
Lordsburg, NM 88045 is a desert town right on I-10. It is on the newly designated BLM route, about 90 trail miles from the border. Lordsburg is a typical freeway town, with several motels, a few restaurants, grocery, drug store, library, a Family Dollar store, etc. No soap at the laundry and no change either, but you can get soap at the dollar store and change at the car wash. The grocery is closed on Sunday.
Macks Inn, ID 83433
Macks Inn is very small, but it was a total zoo when we got there in 1999. It’s a resort and this was the height of tourist season, so there were no motel rooms. But they have a campground, gas station/mini-mart, laundromat, post office (with a trail register), motel (if you can get a room), a restaurant and a dinner theater. There are also a few groceries and an ATM at the resort office. We walked into and out of Mack’s Inn because we followed Jim Wolf’s route. The dinner theater was good (and included an AYCE dinner). For those so inclined, there are also the resort activities – fishing, canoeing, rafting, etc. It’s very compact and easy to get around. I would recommend a mail drop here since the mini-mart is very limited. Or you could hitch 15 miles or so to West Yellowstone (all services) for supplies.
Marysville, MT 59640
Marysville is about three miles off trail. Post office only.
Mimbres, NM 88049
Mimbres, NM is truly small-town America (Population ~ 600) . So small that it's difficult to even find it. Lodging apparently consists of a B&B and USFS campgrounds.
There are several restaurants listed, but the closest seems to be the Spirit Canyon Lodge and Cafe. We didn't end up going there on either hike.
We have heard that Mimbres is very spread out - not very convenient for hikers. Doc Campbells is a better bet.
Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park has a post office, several reasonably good groceries and restaurants, an ATM, VERY limited backpacking equipment, lots of interesting sights to see and LOTS of tourists. The Park uses a reservation system for backcountry camping. Call from Togwotee Pass or Dubois if you’re headed north or from Lima if you’re headed south – they will take phone reservations from thruhikers. The phone number for the backcountry office is 307-344-2160 or 307-344-2163. But watch what they give you – they gave us a 28 mile day that we didn't want.
There is no camping at Old Faithful Village, just a lodge. The nearest campsites are 5 miles south or 8 miles north.
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 (from Wolf Creek Pass)
Pagosa Springs is a relatively easy hitch from Wolf Creek Pass. The town has all necessary services, although it’s really spread out. Like most western towns, it’s built for people with cars. But there’s a laundromat, good outdoor shops, restaurants, motels, post office, several large groceries, gas stations, a movie theater, a pharmacy and ATM’s. Pagosa also has hot springs for those who are so inclined. They have a Folk Music Festival in early June and another in August.
In 1999 we got a ride back to Wolf Creek Pass with a friend. In 2006 the outdoor shop set us up with a ride - ask.
You could go to South Fork instead (M, L, g, P) but Pagosa Springs has better services.
Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico
Palomas, Mex is the end (or beginning) of the trail for most people. For a few it's just another stop on the way to Tierra del Fuego or Point Barrow, Alaska or a walk around the world.
In 1999, we left our packs at the border crossing, walked into Palomas, got a beer at the Pink Store and then got a ride back to Columbus with a Mejicano who spoke no English. And you have no idea how rusty our Spanish was.
The other attraction in Palomas is medical (cheap drugs) and dental work.
Pie Town, NM 87827
Pie Town has a post office, free camping at Jackson Park and either the Pie-O-Neer Café or the Daily Pie Cafe One or both may be closed on Monday and/or Tuesday, depending on who you listen to, what year it is, what day it is, the weather - whatever. Both have been open (and closed) at various times. In spring of 2006, the Daily Pie served a very good breakfast, but neither restaurant was open for dinner. Both serve excellent pies, of course. There is a public phone next to the café. There are no other services - not even a Coke machine in town. Pie Town is very hiker friendly, with several Trail Angels. Ask at the Post Office or the cafes whether Nita and Don's place is still open to hikers, or just look for the house with the toasters on the gate. If not, there is camping at the park across the street from the Pie-O-Neer.
Quemado, NM is about 15 miles west. We didn’t go there but we’ve heard that it’s a good stop. But it can also be a hard hitch.
Pinedale, WY 82941
Again, we didn’t go to Pinedale, but it may be a better stop than either Dubois or Togwotee Lodge. Pinedale reportedly has all services including an outdoor shop. There’s also a shuttle that runs to three different trailheads in the Wind River Range – although it may be expensive. In 2006 several hikers ran into problems with full motels because of the oil boom in the area. The town is full of gas/oil workers, which can cause some conflicts with their tourist base.
Rawlins, WY 82301
For both hikes we took the BLM designated route around the northern edge of the Great Basin and then down into Rawlins. In 1999, it took us 4 days and 4 hours to walk here from Atlantic City. The town has a post office, laundromat, library (with weekday-only Internet access), lots of motels (but not necessarily cheap), pharmacies, ATMs, a good grocery, and enough restaurants to keep us fed, although many of the restaurants and some of the stores in town close on weekends. Sanford's was the restaurant that seemed to most consistently open - good food and lots of beer (130 varieties). There’s even a movie theater in town for those so inclined. The town is spread out over about 3 miles – the supermarket, the nicer motels, the movie theater, and some restaurants are on the east side of town. The post office, library and downtown area are in the middle and some motels, restaurants and a laundromat are on the west side of town. The new BLM office is on the trail/highway north of town. Rawlins isn't set up for hikers, but it's not an unfriendly town as Wamsutter was consistently reported to be. There's also a taxi service for those who don't want to walk.
For both hikes we stayed at one of the cheaper motels in the center of town. Not that it was that much cheaper - the gas/oil boom has created a demand and the prices have increased accordingly.
Reserve, NM 87830
Reserve can be a tough 35 mile hitch from the CDT. There are 2 motels, several restaurants (some or which are closed on Monday and Tuesday), a laundromat, a bar (the only source for beer in town), two small groceries and Internet access. The town is spread out but not unreasonably so. The Village Motel and Elk Country Café are at the south end of town. The Rode Inn and Cara's Cafe are at the north end. The Black Gold Emporium has groceries and a book exchange program. The library is up the hill behind the high school (ask for directions) and the Forest Service office is 2 miles west of town on NM 12. Everything else is in the main part of town.
Salida, CO 81201
22720 West Highway 50
Monarch, CO 81227
Salida, CO 81201 is a long hitch out of Monarch Pass. Salida has all the necessary services including good restaurants, an outdoor shop, supermarket, ATM, movie theater and pharmacy, but it is really spread out. The commercial district is a one-mile walk from the motels and most of the restaurants. That’s also where the post office and library (with Internet access) are located. In 2006 we stayed at the American Classic Motel and the owner drove us back to the trail for gas money. Again, it was a good town stop in spite of a few drawbacks.
Alternatively, Monarch Lodge which is a few miles from the pass has been known to hold packages (No fee). But check with them first. A number of past hikers have found that either their package didn't get there or the Lodge was closed when they arrived. UPS might be better than USPS.
Salmon, ID 83467 (from Lost Trail Pass)
Our stay in Salmon in 1999 was unplanned, accidental (literally) and limited. We spent nearly all our time at the Salmon Valley Baptist Church where Ginny was recuperating. But we did explore enough to know that Salmon has motels, a large supermarket, ATM, outdoor stores, several restaurants, a laundromat, medical facilities, a movie theater and a post office. In 1999 our entry and exit from Salmon were unusual – Mike and Michelle Palmer drove us into Salmon (with a side trip to the emergency room) from near Rock Island Lake. And Bob and Sue Martin drove us directly to the Divide above Jahnke Lake, so we can’t comment on the hitch either from or to Chief Joseph Pass. We have heard that it can be a long wait. We didn't get to Salmon in 2006.
Hitch from Lost Trail Pass - you could also go to Gibbonsville, ID or Sula, MT or Darby, MT.
Leaving Salmon - there used to be a local bus:
206 South Saint Charles
Salmon, ID 83467
(Public Bus Transportation)
Call before you go to see if they are still running.
Separ is located just off I-10 and has a gas station (Continental Divide Gasoline) that sells snacks. Get water from the faucet outside. This is no longer on the official route (which now goes through Lordsburg instead) but hikers using the Westcliffe guidebook may end up passing through here.
Silver City, NM 88061
If you follow the official or semi-official routes to/from Antelope Wells, you will pass through Silver City, which has all services, including a reasonably good outdoor shop. This is a relatively large town and very spread out. Internet access was available at the University or at a graphics shop on the main street.
In 2006 we stayed at the Drifter. We found the best burger at La Cucina, the best Mexican at Nancy's and a Brewpub near the outfitter. There's also a boook store.
Pinos Altos is a small tourist town just off the official trail north of Silver City that has a post office, motel and restaurant. And an ice cream parlor.
Silverthorne, CO 80498
Silverthorne/Breckenridge/Dillon is the last of the ‘yuppie’ areas. The towns have all services – again including outdoor shops and a free transportation system to all the towns in the area – Silverthorn, Dillon, Frisco and Breckenridge. Jim Wolf’s route goes right through Silverthorne which also has a hostel close to the trail. The “official” route passes about 10 miles west of Silverthorn, near Frisco which has a post office and grocery, among other services.
There are free buses to the neighboring towns of Frisco and Breckenridge, as well as Copper Mountain.
All services are also available in Breckenridge including a hostel and outdoor store, but it is a very upscale and expensive town.
In 2006 we stayed at the Super 8 in Dllon which was convenient to everything we needed including the Dam Brewery (good restaurant/brewpub).
Copper Mountain Ski Area is also on the trail. It has a very small grocery and several restaurants. But you’ll need to keep moving to find a place to camp. This isn’t a place to stay unless you’re independently wealthy. Copper Mountain no longer accepts hiker mail drops.
Note: none of the northern Colorado towns are hard to get around – many have free public transportation. All of them provide ample services for resupply and equipment replacement. All of them are expensive.
South Pass City, WY 82520
South Pass City State Historic Site
125 South Pass Main
South Pass, WY 82520
South Pass City, WY is at the south end of the Wind River Range. It’s possible to send a mail drop here, but don’t count on sending anything out. There is a trail register at the General Store/Post Office. They will hold packages (no fee). They used to allow camping outside the Park, but the water has been declared nonpotable, so that may no longer be possible.
We took the tour of the historic site, Ginny got some coffee and we got some soda and ice cream at the VERY small and limited store in ‘town’ but there are no other services here. Reportedly, some of the locals have been Trail Angels to some of the hikers, but for both hikes we walked the 5 miles to/from Atlantic City. In 2006 we got a ride from the Park to Lander.
MAILDROP. Or you could hitch to Lander, WY (35 miles - All services)
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 (from Buffalo Pass)
Steamboat Springs is an expensive stop but has everything a thruhiker might need, including several outdoor shops, ATM’s, a large grocery, post office, restaurants, laundromat, motels and Internet access at the library. And it has free transportation to get where you need to go. There are also public hot springs – both free and paid. This is the first real ‘yuppy’ town headed southbound. It’s also one of the few with a movie theater. There are two ways into town: Buffalo Pass and Hwy 40, 15 miles beyond. On our first hike we easily got a ride out of Buffalo Pass – but it was a holiday weekend. In 2006 we decided to hitch to/from Highway 40, because we didn't want to risk reaching the trailhead late afternoon and not getting a ride. It was a wise decision. Although it makes a shorter stretch to/from Rawlins, getting a ride from Buffalo Pass is less certain than from the highway. Leaving town we took the bus as far out of town as we could (about 3 miles) and then hitched to the trail. It didn't take long.
Encampment (all services) is a possibility for breaking up the section between Rawlins and Steamboat.
Sula, MT 59871
Sula has campgrounds and a store.
You could also hitch to Gibbonsville, ID or Darby, MT. Or to Wisdom, MT from Chief Joseph Pass.
Togwottee Mountain Lodge (at Togwottee Pass)
PO Box 91
Moran, WY 83013
MAILDROP. Or hitch into Moran, WY or Dubois, WY
Togwottee Mountain Lodge accepts maildrops. But in 1999 ours didn’t show up there, which may have been for the best. The Lodge has a good restaurant, a gas station, a VERY small grocery and expensive cabins. Reportedly, they "may" give hiker discounts for lodging. Ask.
In 1999, it was a really hard hitch into Dubois. We got into town with the help of a friend of one of the waitresses at the restaurant. Tom runs dog sleds in winter (he keeps about 85 dogs) and works at the resort in the summer.
In 2006 fire closed the trail at Sheridan Pass, so we walked the Union Pass road to the highway into town, and hitching wasn't difficult as it was only 10 miles to town.
Twin Lakes, CO 81251
Twin Lakes, CO is 3 to 6 miles from the trail, depending on which route you take. There’s a very small grocery with a post office in back, a couple B&B’s, the Nordic Inn and 2 restaurants (one of which is at the Nordic Inn). Don’t plan on resupply here except via maildrop, but it’s a good place for an overnight stay if you can afford it. There’s a small laundromat and motel 6 miles east.
In 2006 we stayed in Twin Lakes just long enough to get breakfast (second breakfast) at the Wildspirit Cafe and eat some ice cream.
MAILDROP. Or go into Leadville In 2006 we hitched into Leadville from Turquoise Lake. It has a great hostel with laundry and internet, groceries, and several good restaurants. Tennessee Pass is also a good place to hitch into Leadville.
By reputation, Wamsutter is NOT hiker friendly (we didn’t go there). It’s strictly an industrial town and has little in the way of hiker services. We’ve known a number of thruhikers who have gone there – none of them have expressed any affection for the place.
The route through the Great Basin to Wamsutter is a bit shorter, but water is more of a problem.
Warm Springs, MT 59756
Warm Springs has a VERY small and VERY limited grocery with VERY limited hours. It also has a bar which apparently closes at sundown – or when the last customer leaves, whichever comes first. The bar owner allowed us to set up our tents on his lawn in back of the bar, but again – ask nicely. He doesn’t owe it to anyone – even to thruhikers. You can get water there though. If you are doing the Anaconda cut-off you will pass by the store/bar.
The Montana State Hospital is at Warm Springs. Be sure to get a picture of yourself at the sign - as thruhikers, it's appropriate.
Waterton Lakes, Alberta
Waterton is a small town on the Canadian side of the border. There are restaurants, lodging post office, grocery and a campground. Other services are available (dependent on season) but we didn’t go looking for them. This is a ‘tourist” town.
The Prince of Wales Lodge is an upscale, pricey (and beautiful) lodge that stands prominently at the head of Waterton Lake.
Transportation is generally a fairly expensive shuttle from East Glacier Park, MT although there are other methods of access (including hitchhiking). The border crossing "can" be difficult, especially if you've had previous problems with the law. Don't forget your passport.
There are three good alternate routes from the border to East Glacier. One of them starts at Waterton, two of them start at the Chief Mountain border crossing. There are also alternate routes from Waterton that don't go through East Glacier.
There are two very small stores in Glacier NP - one at Two Medicine and one at Many Glacier.
For permit information - St. Mary Ranger Station, 406.732.5572
West Yellowstone, MT 82190
West Yellowstone, MT – We didn’t go there for either thruhike, but we did go as part of our trip to the Beartooth-Absorokas. It’s a busy tourist town and has “all services” including an outdoor store.
Whitehall, MT 59759 (from either Homestake or Pipestone Pass)
Whitehall is a possible resupply alternative to hitching into Butte. It's a little longer hitch but Whitehall is a much smaller town with most of the same services as Butte. It has a grocery, motels, laundry, restaurants, post office, library with Internet and several bars. Whitehall is a lot smaller than Butte - and less spread out. It's also somewhat cheaper. For that reason, among others, we highly recommend Jane and Gabi's Legion Street Grille if you ever get there.
Winter Park, CO 80482 (from Berthoud Pass)
Winter Park is a possible resupply stop, but expensive. It’s basically a ski town for the very rich. We don’t qualify. But it has everything a thruhiker might want (including a movie theater) and it’s not a difficult hitch into town. Getting out was just a little harder.
Wisdom, MT 59761
Wisdom is accessed from Chief Joseph Pass. In 1999 it was a tough hitch – over 3 hours to get into town and other hikers had much the same experience. Wisdom had 2 motels (one of which was of the really “cheap” variety), a small grocery (be very creative), a laundromat (although the dryers didn’t dry), post office, 2 restaurants (one of which had the best cinnamon rolls in Montana), and a bar that actually had good pizza. Wisdom also had the most prolific mosquito population of any town we visited. Keep in mind that Wisdom is a ‘working’ cattle/horse town. Tourists and hikers are considered nothing more than an outside source of income. For available services and ease of access, Salmon, ID would be a better choice for a thruhiker.
From Chief Joseph Pass you could also go to Salmon, ID, Gibbonsville, ID, Darby, MT or Sula, MT via Lost Trail Pass.
Home | About Spiriteagle | Contact Us | Links
The Thruhiking Papers | Trail Journals | CDT | GDT | Bun-bun
Southern New Mexico | Resources | Maps | Towns, Miles and Resupply
Wyoming Water Sources | 1999-2005 Trail Information
Created: Fri, 06 Jan 2004
Revised: 15 Nov 2009
Copyright © 2004-2009 Spirit Eagle