11 Things Vegan PCT Hikers Should Know
As a vegan thru-hiker and a foodie, finding new vegan options wherever I am is always a priority. I will always alter my plans to try a new vegan place, whether that be wake up at 5 a.m. so I can arrive for lunch at Paradise Café, or power on so I make it to the Friday night farmers market in Wrightwood.
Here is the list of things to know in advance to help you plan accordingly.
1. Paradise Café near Idyllwild has a vegan burger.
One of the first restaurants NOBOs will hit is Paradise Café at mile 152. Most people stop here, as it is just a half-mile off trail and is well worth the stop. For me, the toss-up for best vegan burger on trail is between here and the pub at Stevens Pass in Washington.
2. There is a vegan café in Idyllwild.
Check out the Plant Food Supper Club for a yummy veggie meal. They offer a wide variety of healthy bowls, sandwiches, and veggie-loaded meals to get your veggie intake back up to where it should be. Enjoy!
3. Big Mouth Pizza in Agua Dulce has vegan cheese
I definitely did not have high hopes for eating out in a small town like Agua Dulce, but it goes to show that you should always ask because sometimes you will be happily surprised. This pizza was delicious, and you should definitely try it.
4. The Sobey’s grocery store in Acton is super vegan-friendly.
I would suggest resupplying there instead of the store in Agua Dulce (ten miles apart), which has little in terms of interesting vegan options. You can find vegan sausages, vegan cheese, many types of trail mix, protein bars, and more in Acton.
5. Check out the farmers market in Wrightwood
Every Friday from 4-7 p.m. there is an awesome market with lots of fresh veggies and a bakery with many vegan options. Think cinnamon rolls and apple strudels and deliciousness. The excitement in stumbling upon that market last year is still with me. Wrightwood is also one of my favorite towns on trail; the generosity and kindness of the locals is hard to match.
6. Top Ramen has two vegan flavors
Chili (the better option) and soy sauce are both vegan. Ramen isn’t my favorite meal on trail but it is cheap, easy to prepare, and can be found almost everywhere. Make sure to buy the Top Ramen brand as the other popular brand – Maruchan – has very similar packaging but is not vegan.
7. There is a donation-based vegetarian buffet at the Big Lake Youth Camp in Oregon
This vegan-friendly buffet is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have showers and laundry facilities. Check it out here.
8. Ashland, Ore., is a super vegan-friendly town
Ashland is one of my favorite towns on trail with great vibes, awesome eating options, and an awesome co-op. I would suggest sending any resupply boxes from here for the rest of Oregon, as some places ahead were lacking in vegan options.
10. Vegan options abound at the bakery in Stehekin, Wash.
This is perhaps the most popular and talked-about bakery on the PCT, but don’t worry, you don’t have to miss out on all the hype and deliciousness. How do muffins and chocolate souffle sound to you?
11. Most of you know this, but Clif Bars are vegan.
They can be found almost everywhere, have many flavors, and will satisfy your hunger until you can find something else. My favorite flavors are the white chocolate macadamia and the peanut butter banana chocolate. What are your faves? Everyone seems to love to the blueberry crisp except for me.
9. Here are the best places for vegans to send resupplies.
Warner Springs, Kennedy Meadows, Sierra City, Crater Lake, Shelter Cove, and Stehekin are the places that I would definitely send resupply boxes. They do not have a great variety of vegan options, and there are no easy, close-by places to hitch to good resupply stores.
I hope this list satisfies your hunger, and don’t forget to use the Happy Cow app to help you find veg options where ever you may be. Happy hiking.
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