Generally, you will be able to resupply every 4 to 9 days along the GDT via a mailed package and/or purchasing food from a local store. There are only two places directly on the GDT with stores that carry adequate food and supplies for long-distance backpacking (Waterton and Jasper) so preparing resupply packages is an essential part of a long-distance journey on the GDT.
Buying Food En Route
Supplementing your resupply packages by buying food along the way supports the local communities that you are passing through. Whether you’re buying ice cream, drinks, fresh produce, dairy or baked goods, buying locally is also a great way to add variety to your diet. Availability of food and hiking supplies varies from location to location:
- Waterton townsite has a small grocery store, an outdoor gear shop and several restaurants.
- There are small stores in Coleman, Boulton Creek Trading Post, Field and The Crossing Resort where limited food and supplies are available, catering mostly to vehicle camping.
- Jasper has two supermarkets, a few outdoor gear shops and several restaurants.
- Near the Mount Robson Visitor Centre is a cafe and a small convenience store.
- While not directly en route, Blairmore, Pincher Creek, Banff, Lake Louise and Golden all have supermarkets, outdoor gear shops and restaurants.
STOVE FUEL: Isobutane/propane cannisters, white gas and alcohol stove fuel are usually available in Waterton, Pincher Creek, Blairmore, Boulton Creek, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden, The Crossing Resort and Jasper. Backpacking stove fuel is not available at Field or Mount Robson Visitor Centre.
Mailing Resupply Packages
- Be aware of the hours of operation for the resupply locations. You may find yourself racing to beat closing time, or waiting for it to reopen.
- The standard policy is that the packages will be held for 15 days so write “Please hold for Great Divide Trail hiker” with your anticipated date of arrival to ensure the package will be there when you arrive.
- Allow plenty of time for shipping as some remote locations may take up to two weeks to receive a package.
- You will need government issued photo id to pick up your package from most post offices.
- For government Post Offices, mail your package general delivery.
- Large heavy packages might not be accepted. A good rule is maximum 25 lbs (11 kg) per package. If you are packing food for more than 2 people, split into 2 packages.
- If using a courier, only prepaid couriered packages will be accepted.
- IMPORTANT: Ensure your resupply package is tightly sealed (i.e. mouse-proof) and contains no perishable items or hazardous materials.
- When in doubt, call or email in advance to confirm that the resupply location will accept your resupply package.
- Note that Sunshine Village and The Crossing Resort charge holding fees of $25 per package.
Resupply Package Label:
- Your name
- General Delivery
- Mailing address of the resupply location
- City, Province
- Postal Code
- Your anticipated date of arrival – “Please hold for Great Divide Trail hiker on month/day/year”
A ‘bounce box’ is a package that you continually mail ahead to yourself as you travel along the trail, giving access to your desired personal items without having to carry them. The bounce box can include things like: books, maps, camera charger, town clothes, replacement shoes or socks, hiking gear, first aid materials, etc. Be aware that using a bounce box can be expensive.
*at or near a GDT trailhead access point (+distance from the GDT)
Mailing Addresses from South to North:
Waterton Lakes Post Office @ km 6.8 (+500m on Fountain Avenue)
102A Windflower Avenue
Waterton Lakes, AB
Waterton townsite has several hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, a small grocery store, a laundromat, an outdoor gear shop, a campground, a Parks Canada visitor centre and a shuttle service office.
Castle Mountain Ski Resort @ km 93.5 (en route)
Pincher Creek, AB
Tel: 403-627-5101 or 1-888-754-8667
Castle Mountain Ski Resort is a remote location and has limited/variable hours so call ahead to arrange resupply. Their guest services office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and the pub is open seasonally on weekends (Friday-Sunday) from mid-June to mid-September. The hostel is open daily in the summer.
Coleman Remedy’s Rx Postal Services @ km 144.5 (en route)
8335 – 20th Avenue
M-F 9am-6pm & Sa 10am-4pm
Coleman has two motels, a few B&Bs, several restaurants and a convenience store.
Blairmore Post Office (+5 km east of Coleman on Highway 3)
12537 20th Ave
Blairmore has a supermarket, two motels, a few B&Bs, a campground, several restaurants, and an outdoor gear shop.
A Safe Haven B&B @ km 144.7 (en route)
8126 20th Ave (on Highway 3)
PO Box 1209
Daily 8am-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. The fastest way to get to the B&B is when hikers get to the paved road, look N to the cell tower and head to the base of it. From there you can see below a house with a green, metal roof which is the B&B.
Boulton Creek Trading Post @ km 338.9 (+2 km on Kananaskis Lakes Trail)
Boulton Creek Trading Post does not accept resupply packages but has a small store that sells camping supplies and groceries, and a concession that sells baked goods and ice cream.
Summer hours: Su-Th 9am-8pm & Fr-Sa 9am-10pm
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Centre @ km 338.9 (+8 km on Kananaskis Lakes Trail)
Resupply at this location is currently unavailable but wifi is usually available.
Mount Engadine Lodge @ km 391.4 (+10.8 km on Mount Shark access trail)
The lodge is a new resupply location and is open in 2021, although meal service is limited to lodge guests due to health and safety restrictions. This a remote location and staff pick up packages in Canmore once per week so allow plenty of time for shipping as it may take up to two weeks to receive a package. Maximum 25 lbs (11 kg) per package. If using a courier, only prepaid couriered packages will be accepted. There is a $25 fee per package. Hikers wanting to stay overnight at the lodge are advised to make reservations in advance.
Sunshine Village is closed for the summer in 2021 and will not be offering a backcountry cache service or shuttle service.
To get to Banff, hikers can walk 5 km down to the base of Sunshine ski hill and walk 18 km to Banff townsite from the base.
Banff Post Office (+23 km from Sunshine Village) 204 Buffalo Street
M-F 9am-5pm & Sa 11am-3:30pm
Banff has many hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, a hostel, two supermarkets, a laundromat, several outdoor gear shops, a nearby campground, hot springs, and a Parks Canada visitor centre.
Field Post Office @ km 543.5 (en route)
312 Stephen Avenue
Field has a hotel with a restaurant/pub and coin laundry, several guesthouses, a cafe, a general store at the gas station, and a Parks Canada visitor centre.
The Crossing Resort @ km 650.2 (+1.5 km on Highway 93)
The Crossing Resort charges a holding fee of $25 + tax per package. This fee is waived if you spend a night at the resort.
Mail bag 333
Lake Louise, AB
The Crossing Resort has accommodation, laundry, a cafeteria, a restaurant with all-you-can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, a pub and a general store that carries camping supplies and some groceries.
Jasper Post Office @ km 839.3 (+400m on Patricia Street)
502 Patricia Street
Jasper has several hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, a hostel, two supermarkets, a laundromat, a few outdoor gear shops, a nearby campground and a Parks Canada visitor centre.
Mount Robson Visitor Information Centre @ km 940.5 (+28 km on the Berg Lake Trail) TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE
Tel: 250-566-4038 *This is a remote location with periodic package pick-up so call in advance to confirm arrangements for your resupply package.
Near the Mount Robson Visitor Centre is a cafe, a small convenience store and a campground.