Colorado Trail: My Hitchless Resupply Plan
As a solo female hiker, I would like to avoid getting into strangers’ cars while on the trail. When I started planning to do the Colorado Trail, this was something that worried me. I didn’t know that it was even possible to resupply without hitching a ride. I dreaded the idea of having to stand on the side of the road, thumb out, hoping that whoever picks me up has good intentions, or that I even get a ride into town in the first place. Since I am going alone, I can’t afford the luxury of feeling safe hitching. After doing some research, I have found the perfect resupply strategy for me that doesn’t require hitching. My strategy is specifically for resupply boxes since this is how I plan to resupply.
So, what’s the plan?
Bailey (Mile 40)
The Two Bridges Lodge allows hikers to send resupply boxes and also offers to shuttle you to and from the trailhead for an additional fee. They offer some flexibility to thru-hikers in regards to your schedule if you are staying in the hostel portion of the lodge. If I am running a bit faster or a bit behind, I can contact them and see if they have my new scheduled arrival date available. To me, this seemed like a no-brainer and a great option to start the trail a bit slower with a lighter pack before picking up my resupply at the lodge.
Breckenridge (Mile 103)
At this point, I can take a bus into either Breckenridge or Frisco. The Summit Stage app shows all of the bus stops in Breck and Frisco, so it is an easy resupply with no guessing involved. I decided on Breckenridge because there is a hostel there called The Bivvi that accepts resupply boxes for thru-hikers and offers a cheap night’s stay.
Twin Lakes Village (Mile 177)
There is a spur trail that leads directly to the Twin Lakes General Store which accepts resupply boxes. There are a few small lodges to stay in if needed. This is just an overall easy breezy resupply stop. This will be my heaviest resupply because the next portion of the trail will be my longest food carry through the Collegiate West.
Monarch Crest Gift Shop (Mile 253)
The gift shop is just a short distance off-trail in the middle of CW-5. They accept resupply boxes for thru-hikers! I hear that sometimes they decide to take a year off from resupply boxes, so I am very lucky and thankful that they decided to accept them this year. They also have a limited supply if I want to buy some snacks, as well as ice cream. Spoiler alert- I will be getting ice cream.
Gunnison or Saguache (Mile 303)
This is where I stray from the norm and cheat a bit. My family will be meeting me to hand me a resupply box and give me a place to stay for a night as a morale boost. If they weren’t doing this for me, I would have to find an alternate resupply point or opt to use the volunteer shuttlers list which you can request on the Colorado Trail Foundation website. I know my tired body will be thankful for a good night’s rest (or two) in a good bed. Seeing them will be the big boost I need to energize me for the last 200 ish miles of the trail.
Lake City (Mile 358)
There is a free daily volunteer shuttle that only picks up hikers at the trailhead at 12:30. If I miss the bus, I’ll have to find another way to get there. I will have to be very diligent about making sure I don’t miss this shuttle to get to town. There is a post office and a laundromat in town, as well as a hostel called The Ravens Rest. I’m also pretty sure there’s a pizza joint there, so… hell yeah.
Molas Lake (Mile 412)
Last stop- Molas Lake Campground, which allows resupply boxes as well as coin-operated showers. The campground is right off the trail, so there are no long walks or rides necessary to get to my resupply. If you are wanting to buy groceries to resupply, you will need to find a way to get to Silverton from this point. If I need to get into town, I plan on using the volunteer shuttlers list mentioned above. After this last resupply, I’ll be on my way to Durango (woop, woop!) to finish the trail, and probably do a little happy dance or cry or something.
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