planning

for the

TRAIL

 SUMMER 2019

 

gear

you need

21oz (595 g) / 55 L

Pros: This pack is ULTRA LIGHT! I had him add a front zipper and some extra straps to the bottom and sides. The waist-belt and all parts are customizable which is AWESOME. I'm tall and skinny, and wanted a pack that was built to my frame!

Cons: The frame is super fragile (hence ultra light). Halfway through NZ it broke and I had to have it rebuilt from other materials. I fixed it for the PCT and it worked great. (New frame added 9oz of weight).

Bottom Line: If you can splurge, this pack is worth it. I only patched the bottom where the pack was on the ground, but had no other tears on my trek!!!

18.7oz (531g) / 20 degrees

THIS BAG IS MY FAVORITE BAG I HAVE EVER OWNED!

Pros: It's lightweight, durable, fluffy, and mega warm. I never needed anything else for warmth. It's super packable and comes in it's own dry bag. You can order a customized length which is ahhh-mazing!

Cons: There aren't any.

Bottom Line: Everyone has a bag they swear by, and this is mine. I used a liner just to keep this bag nice and it's still as good as new (after a couple washings of course).

1lb 11oz (765g) / 86"x38"x38"

Pros: Easy set up/take down. Lightweight, great ventilation, and roomy to fit all my gear into.

Cons: Poles dont stand much of a chance in wind.

Bottom Line: I loved having my tent. It was easy and great to escape the misquitoes in California, and a great relief when the weather was bad. Pick something lightweight for your trek.

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1,330

kilometers

of food

Resupply Locations are detailed below: 

*at or near a GDT trailhead access point (+distance from the GDT)

** Please note extra field notes. Reserve in advance, and call before you mail boxes to make sure they still accept packages and that their policies haven't changed.

Mailing Addresses from South to North:

Waterton Lakes Post Office @ km 6.9 (4.28 miles) (+500m on Fountain Avenue) 
General Delivery
102A Windflower Avenue
Waterton Lakes, AB
T0K 2M0
Tel: 403-859-2294
M-F 8:30am-4:30pm

Waterton Lakes townsite has several hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, a small grocery store, a laundromat, an outdoor gear shop, a campground, a Parks Canada office and a shuttle service office.

Castle Mountain Ski Resort @ km 94.1 (58.47 miles) (en route)
Box 2721
Pincher Creek, AB
T0K 1W0
Tel: 403-627-5101 or 1-888-754-8667

Castle Mountain Ski Resort has limited/variable hours so call ahead to arrange resupply. Their guest services office is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 3pm and the pub is open Friday (3-10pm), Saturday (11am-10pm) and Sunday (10am-4pm). The hostel ($25) is open daily in the summer.

 

Coleman Remedy’s Rx Postal Services @ km 145.9 (90.65 miles) (en route)
8335 – 20th Avenue
Box 550
Coleman, AB
T0K 0M0
Tel: 403-563-3242
M-F 9am-6pm & Sa 10am-4pm

Coleman has two motels, a few B&Bs, several restaurants and a convenience store.

Blairmore Post Office @km 145.9 (90.65 miles) (+5 km east of Coleman on Highway 3)
General Delivery
12537 20th Ave
Blairmore, AB
T0K 0E0
Tel: 403-562-2977
M-F 9am-5pm

Blairmore has two motels, a few B&Bs, several restaurants, an outdoor gear shop, and a supermarket.

A Safe Haven B&B @ km 146.1 (91 miles) (en route)
8126 20th Ave (on Highway 3)

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1209
Coleman, AB
T0K 0M0
Tel: 1-800-290-0860
Email: asafehaven@shaw.ca
Daily 10am-10pm (except the first weekend in July)

Safe Haven owners, Alannah and Dan offer a discount to GDT hikers which includes meals, laundry service, wifi, a beer and they will drive hikers to Blairmore for supplies.

Boulton Creek Trading Post @ km 344.0 (213 miles) (+2 km on Kananaskis Lakes Trail)
Boulton Creek Trading Post does not accept resupply packages but has a small store that sells some food and baked goods.

Tel: 403-591-7226
Su-Th 9am-8pm & Fr-Sa 9am-10pm

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Centre @ km 344.0 (213 miles) (+8 km on Kananaskis Lakes Trail)
Attn Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre
Suite 201 – 800 Railway Avenue
Canmore, AB
T1W 1P1
Tel: 403-678-0760
Daily 9:30am-4:30pm

Sunshine Village @ km 442.6 (274 miles) (+1.3 km on Sunshine Village access trail)
Call or email Banff-Sunshine to make package delivery arrangements.
Tel: 403-762-6525
Email: guestservices@skibanff.com

Please note that White Mountain Adventures is no longer offering their free package delivery service or their shuttle service to Sunshine Village. Banff-Sunshine has taken over both of these services. Package delivery and storage costs $25 per week, per package. This fee is waived if you spend a night at Sunshine Mountain Lodge (which is now open during the summer). For more information, contact guestservices@skibanff.com or call 403-762-6525.

The gondola from Sunshine Village to the base of the ski hill runs Friday to Monday and costs $42. An alpine shuttle bus from the village to the base runs Tuesday to Thursday and costs $35. Alternatively hikers can walk down to the base of the ski hill (6 km) and catch the shuttle bus to Banff townsite from the base for $10 one-way or $15 return. For more information or to make a reservation, check out their website

Banff Post Office (+23 km from Sunshine Village)
General Delivery
204 Buffalo Street
Banff, AB
T1L 1A0
Tel: 403-762-2586
M-F 9am-5pm & Sa 11am-3:30pm

Banff has several hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, two supermarkets, a laundromat, a few outdoor gear shops, a nearby campground, hot springs, and a Parks Canada office.

Field Post Office @ km 552.4 (342 miles) (en route)
General Delivery
312 Stephen Avenue
Field, BC
V0A 1G0
Tel: 1-800-267-1177
M-F 9:30am-1:30pm

Field has a hotel, several B&Bs, a restaurant, a cafe that sells some groceries, and a Parks Canada office.

Fireweed Hostel @ km 552.4 (342 miles) (en route)
PO Box 37
313 Stephen Ave
Field, BC
V0A 1G0
250-343-6999
Daily 9am-9pm
(Courier service is not recommended for package delivery to Field.)

The hostel books up in the summer, so if you want to stay overnight reserve in advance.

The Crossing Resort @ km 658.0 (408 miles) (+1.5 km on Highway 93)
Mail bag 333
Lake Louise, AB
T0L 1E0
Tel: 403-761-7000
Email: info@thecrossingresort.com
Daily 9am-8pm

The Crossing Resort has accommodation, a cafeteria, a restaurant with all-you-can eat lunch and dinner buffets, a pub and a general store that carries basic hiking supplies and some groceries.

** LONGEST STRETCH HERE **

Jasper Post Office @ km 850.0 (528 miles) (+400m on Patricia Street)
General Delivery
502 Patricia Street
Jasper, AB
T0E 1E0
Tel: 780-852-3041
M-F 9am-5pm

Jasper has several hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, a supermarket, a laundromat, a few outdoor gear shops, a nearby campground and a Parks Canada office.

Mount Robson Visitor Information Centre @ km 950.6 (590 miles)(+29 km on the Berg Lake Trail)
Box 605
Valemount, BC
V0E 2Z0
Tel: 250-566-4038 *Call in advance to confirm arrangements for your resupply package.
Email: MountRobson@shaw.ca
Daily 8am-5pm; after June 15: Daily 8am-7pm

Near the Mount Robson Visitor Centre is a cafe, a small convenience store and a campground.

I found an awesome blog from a girl that legit detailed every food item she brought. I am planning my hike based on my own experience, but I found her breakdown incredibly helpful...so I am posting it below. Clicking any graph will take you to her blog. *Graph credit to Dorothy aka Bacon Bit *

 

Navigate

the

trail

Paper maps, trail notes, GPS data, Phone Apps and Google Earth files are incredible helpful when planning the route you are taking, understanding the terrain and the gear you need, and being safe. The best maps I have used for planning this adventure are below:

 

PERMITS

to get

There are several permits for the GDT that each hiker needs to get, and they vary depending on the route you take. The 3 most common permits you need for the entire hike are:

If you want to camp in the backcountry (which you will), this permit has you covered.

Gives you access to 80 parks in Canada (8 of which you pass through)

Covers most camping fees.

Because you are passing through multiple National Parks, it's advised that you call each park separately INSTEAD of using their online system to make sure you have all the camping permits you need, info is below:

National Park Backcountry & Campground Reservations:

Banff: 

  • Online reservations for Banff National Park’s backcountry camping open on March 1, 2018.

  • Telephone: 403-762-1556

  • Email: banff.vrc@pc.gc.ca

  • In person at a Banff National Park Visitor Centre

Jasper: 

  • Online reservations for Jasper National Park’s backcountry camping open on January 24, 2018.

  • Telephone: 780-852-6177; press 2 (not 1) to reach someone in Jasper

  • Email: jnp.backcountry@pc.gc.ca

  • In person at a Jasper National Park Visitor Centre

Kootenay: 

  • Online reservations for Kootenay National Park’s backcountry camping open on March 1, 2018.

  • Telephone: 250-347-9505 (seasonal)

  • Email: kootenay.info@pc.gc.ca

  • In person at a Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre

Waterton Lakes: *The GDT is CLOSED in Waterton Lakes NP due to damage from last year’s Kenow wildfire.

Yoho: 

  • Online reservations for Yoho National Park’s backcountry camping open on March 1, 2018.

  • Telephone: 250-343-6783 (seasonal)

  • Email: yoho.info@pc.gc.ca

  • In person at a Yoho National Park Visitor Centre

Provincial Park Backcountry & Campground Reservations:

Three Provincial Parks require backcountry campground reservations. Hikers planning a long-distance trek through multiple parks will have to make all required campground reservations separately. 

Peter Lougheed:

  • Peter Lougheed Provincial Park backcountry campgrounds reservations are available up to 90 days in advance.

  • Telephone: 403-678-3136

  • Online – $12 per person/night + $12 reservation fee

Mount Assiniboine:

  • Starting April 10, 2018, reservations will be required during peak season (June 26 – September 30) for all overnight stays at Magog Lake and Og Lake campgrounds. Reservations can be made up to 4 months in advance of your arrival date via the BC Parks Discover Camping Reservation Service – $10 per person/night + reservation fee.

Mount Robson:

  • Beginning October 1, 2017, backcountry campgrounds on the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park are 100% reservable from June 17 to September 17, 2018.

  • Online reservations only – $10 per person/night + $6 reservation fee

  • Permits and reservations are not required for backcountry campgrounds along the Moose River in Mount Robson Provincial Park.

All other Provincial Park backcountry campgrounds do not take reservations and have first-come first-served self-registration (free to $10 per person/night).