Resupply Plan

I am not sure how other people feel towards resupply boxes, but I found this to be the most challenging part in preparation. Trying to decide in advance what I would want to eat and what supplies I would need far in advance is rather overwhelming! I’ve read stories of hikers who pack the similar foods in each box and quickly growing tired of the monotony in variety. Even though the AZT is a much shorter trail, I did not want to grow tired of food! Additionally, how do I decide what trail town to send the box? It almost felt like throwing a dart at balloons at a carnival. In my mind, I won’t know how far I will hike for two days, let alone five or six, so how can I plan for 800 miles?! For these reasons, I changed my resupply plan multiple times. A few months ago, I joined the Facebook group ‘Arizona Trail Class of 2021’ and found two people post their personal plans (thanks Mac and Gary!). This was extremely helpful to me to understand how long a typical person can expect to be on the trail in between towns. I did some math (crazy right!?) and based on my easy day hiking mileage (14 miles) and my toughest (24 miles) I can do an average of 15-20 miles a day and hoping in an increase in mileage towards the northern terminus (where the AZT ends at Utah). Is this a stretch? Maybe, but I am stubborn.

Once I had the average figured out I was able to determine roughly how many days hiking at that average (20 miles) would take. For example, from the new Southern Terminus (mile 0) to Patagonia (mile 51) at 20 miles per day would take about 2.5 days. Again, only an example as I will not be hiking that far starting out!

Off to a good start!
I thought I bought enough food, then quickly realized I only had enough for four boxes- such a rookie mistake!

So naturally as I am preparing my resupply boxes and finally decide on a plan and 90% complete the boxes, I find out about 33 miles of the trail (a section of the Four Peaks Wilderness between Roosevelt Lake and Pine) will remain closed through March due to the recent wildfires in 2020. Oh my frustration!! So I had a choice to make: do I hike to Roosevelt Lake and attempt to catch a ride around the 33 miles to Sunflower, AZ, or (thanks to Gary!) attempt a brand new route he created. Over the past two months, Gary scoped out the trails, added waymarks, and thoroughly mapped out the new “un-official” Cherry Creek Bypass Route. This travels East around the lake, a 130 mile trail that conveniently has three resupply areas, reliable water sources and follows roughly “45 miles of single track mixed with 90 to 100 miles of remote double track backroads”.

Cherry Creek Route heads East around Roosevelt Lake bypassing closed Passages

I’ve decided to go with the game time decision once I get closer to that area. You will notice I included these optional bypass towns on the resupply plan shown below, so I can have the box of supplies sent to either Pine, AZ or to Christopher Creek Lodge.

Mile MarkerTrail TownBox NumberAddressDays of Food Needed (20 miles/day)
51Patagonia1General Delivery Patagonia, AZ 856243
119Colossal Cave2c/o Colossal Cave Mountain Park 16721 E. Old Spanish Trail Vail, AZ 856414
183SumerhavenN/AIn-town Options1
198Oracle3(name) General Delivery Oracle, AZ 856234
263Kearny4General Delivery Kearny, AZ 851372
300SuperiorN/AIn-town Options2
344Roosevelt Lake5(name) General Delivery 18762 N. AZ Highway 88 Roosevelt, AZ 855455
463Pine6(name) AZT hiker c/o THAT Brewery and Pub P.O. Box 90 Pine, AZ 855443
414 (Bypass)YoungN/AIn-town Options1
444 (Bypass)Christopher Creek6 (If bypassing)1355 E. Christopher Creek Loop Payson, AZ 855414
538Mormon LakeN/ASupplies inside Lodge2
570FlagstaffN/AIn-town Options5
688Grand Canyon South Rim7(name) General Delivery Grand Canyon Village, AZ 860234
762Jacob LakeN/AGas station convenience store2

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