Continental Divide Alternative Routes and resupply points.
Starting at: Crazy Creek (Standard, the CDTC now has an official shuttle, picks you up in Lordsburg)
Or Columbus- Gila, New Mexico. 38 miles shorter. Skips two trail towns.
Mile 25.3 Hachita Good resupply.
Lordsburg at Mile 84
Silver City at Mile 157.7
Walnut Creek Alternative Silver City 157.8 to 169.3 Very pretty but no shoulder. Goldberg did it. He reports it as Not Safe. Take Main Trail instead.
Gila River Alt 169.1 to Mile 344.6 The Alternative is 106 miles long. Alternative route is 75 miles shorter, has water.
Mile 169.1/173.1 has two alternatives available:
Gila (the standard). 15 miles a day in the canyon, with multiple water crossings daily. Plan on 6-7 days.
Gila High Route (has only one water crossing).
Doc Campbells is the resupply. Mile 39.6 on theAlt. Maybe send a box, maybe not.
Mile 194 – Doc Campbells
Mile 198.6 Lake Roberts General Store
Mile 259.7 Winston
Mile 343.9 Gila River Alt North rejoins trail
Mile 366.3 Reserve Great little town, solid resupply. You go from Doc Campbells to Reserve for supply. About 94 miles. Hitch where the trail crosses Highway 12. No cell reception. At mile 367.
Right at 12Hitch to Reserve for resupply. Alternative to Pie Town starts about there. It is about a little more than 22 miles after Gila rejoins the red line trail.
Mile 368.7 Pie Town Dirt Road Walk. To Mile 415.2 Pie Town. Reserve to Pie Town is the resupply gap. Mail Box to Pie Town
Mile 401.6 Quemodo
Mile 411.2 Top of the World Store
Mile 414.2 Pie Town
Mile 443 Junction with Cebolla Alternative some dirt road, beautiful hiking. To Highway 117 at Mile 503.2 Note 14 to 25 is highway rather than dirt. But main train also is on 117 for 15 miles. Also has a ranger station and a museum. Can go up the escarpment on trail and avoid road unless a lightning storm (Goldberg hit lightning and stayed on the road).
Mile 524.7 Grants Resupply
Mile 628.9 Cuba – has a great store
Mile 688.4 Ghost Ranch
Mile 688.4 Albiquiu and Sante Fe
Mile 776.4 Chama
Mile 685.9 to 701.8 Ghost Ranch Cut Off. 2.5 miles shorter. More scenic. On trail resupply. Beautiful climb out of Ghost Ranch. Mail Box to Ghost Ranch
Mile 844.1 Pagosa Springs
Mile 920 Silverton
Mile 959 Lake City
Mile 858-973 Creede Cut Off. Shorter. Lower altitude. Less snow. Much less sketchy.
Collegiate East – safter, less exposure, less snow.
These are the leading contenders for lightweight tents for a thru-hiking couple:
Copper Spur….| 28 ^2 feet | 3lb 1 oz | $500*
Duplex…………..| 28 ^2 feet | 18.5 oz. | $669
X-Mid Pro 2 …| 30 ^2 feet | 19.6 oz. | $679*
Duo Off Set……| 31 ^2 feet | 19.7 oz | $769
Dipole li 2……..|32.25^2 feet|24.7 oz | $799
Triplex …………| 37.5 ^2 feet| 21.6 oz | $749*
For Triplex add weight of pole cups for .28 ounces for two. * for tents we own.
Out of range are the Double Rainbow Li (28.6 oz and 30.6 ^2 feet at $724. Optional double wall). HMG’s tents are either too small/heavy or have the support pole in the middle. Fine for two people but not for a couple.
Copper Spur included because five years ago it was the baseline highest rated tent in several surveys. Picture is of ours set up on a platform.
Tents announced but not yet out are the XMid Pro 2p+ (a larger Dyneema XMid) and the Offset Triplex.
I’ll note I’ve seen couples quite happy on long trails with the Copper Spur 3p (the size larger than we own with 41 square feet vs 28 square feet of space for the 2p) MSR tents (3p at 39 ^2 feet) and a huge variety of other tents. Comparison of 3p tents.
Space is very personal as to how much people need. There are couples who thru-hike with a single shared 1 person tent. 🤷♂️
Most find the standard 2p sizes ok for a weekend or maybe a week but too small for longer until you get past the 26 to 28 square foot range towards 30 to 32 square feet.
I generally have one for my toilet kit and one for electronics and medicine.
Toilet kit (in Lightheart gear bag):
Toilet paper (in a zip lock)
A disposal bag (just in case for carry out areas).
Other (in DKM bag):
Battery (x1 or x2 10mAmp depending on the area hiked).
Wall charger with folding plug (30 watt for fast charging)
Two cables (usb c to usb c and usb c to lightning)
Meds — vitamin D, ibuprofen and altitude sickness meds.
Additional bag; I’ve started carrying one more for water:
BeFree Katadyn filter (backup)
Platypus 3 liter bags —very light.
Chemical water treatment goes in a hip belt pocket. Moved from drops to tabs again.
I had started with it for carrying my shoes when I wore my water sandals but it has shifted to carrying water gear as I’ve left the sandals home and just gotten my shoes wet.
Sandals worked well on the Pinhoti Trail but they take time and for really swift water the shoes are better. I carry some bags I can put on after I cross so my socks (taken off before crossing) stay dry. Shoes dry out as I hike in them.
Having a dry bag for water stuff has worked out well to keep everything else dry.
For my sleeping bag I’ve gone to a $2.50 Nylofume bag. The ZPacks Dyneema bag liner wicked the water from the bottom of my pack into my sleeping bag. A dramatic fail for something that expensive.
I had used a special waterproof compression sack before but I lost faith in it after a lot of use. I think my pack loads better with things just stuffed into the Nylofume. Win uses Nylofume too.
We have 250 miles of the Sierra section left. Who knows what next year will bring. But I’d like to get that done and finish the PCT.