Food Resupply in Olympic National Park

The Olympic Mountains are a popular destination for overnight hikers. The Olympic National Park backcountry hold a lot of possibilities for different types of camping. Most do their adventures in a weekend (one or two nights), but every so often there are a select few that want to go on a large Olympic Expedition type trip. Staying in the woods for that many nights, takes a lot of food! So I will share my backpacking food experiences with you through the years to help shorten your learning curve.

Breakfast in the Olympic Mountains (added fresh picked wild blueberries)

How Much Food Does a Hiker Need?

A hiker must bring his own food to survive long term in the Olympic National Park. National Parks do not allow excessive harvesting of resources, so you must bring the calories in your backpack. How much? That is your preference, since there are many variables to answer that question. Type of trip, personal caloric needs, etc, are just to name a few.

How Do You Fit All That Food in a Small Backpack?

Fitting a large amount of food in an overnight backpack, can be a real challenge, when you are first getting the hang of things. Additionally, Olympic National Park requires you to carry a Bear Proof Container {affiliate link} in many of its popular campsite locations and for all beach camping. This can be a huge headache.

I found that sticking to foods that you can compress or smash down is your best bet. Foods that do this well? I like to smash down various varieties of potato chips. I also eat a lot of pasta and dried instant rice. Anything that you can push negative space out of and store easily in an 1 Quart Freezer Ziploc {affiliate link}.

Can You Hike from the Trail Into a Town?

Do trails on the Olympic Peninsula lead into a town? No, this is one of the beauties of this area. It is remote and easy access is limited a small number of areas. You can however hitchhike or use public transportation to get into town for a resupply. For most trailheads, even public transportation is not an option.

Where Are Trailheads Located?

Most trailhead must be accessed by car or bicycle around the Olympic Peninsula. Roads lead off of the main Highway 101 a good 20 miles in most cases. There is some exceptions to that, where the trailhead is not far from a highway (Olympic Coast, Barnes Creek and the Bogachiel), and can be roadwalked. You are best to pre-arrange a lift or take your chances hitchhiking.

This makes food resupply a challenge, because once you come off the trail, you are still way out in the sticks. Its best to give yourself enough time to account for all the variables involved to account for the additional logistics.

Hiking food towns
Olympic Peninsula Hiker Friendly Towns for a Resupply

Which Towns are Hiker Friendly for Food?

I found that only certain towns are logistically hiker friendly, when you correlate them with coming out of a trailhead and getting to a town; all without a car. These towns all have fast food to eat as well!

Hiker Food Friendly Olympic Peninsula Towns:
  • Port Angeles - the largest town on the peninsula with a variety of food options
  • Forks - 1 large grocery store/outdoor equipment outfitter and a number of restaurants
  • Sequim - Multiple grocery stores and restaurants
  • Quinault - 2 small mercantiles and 2 pricey restaurants on South Shore Road by the lake. 2 small diners and 2 mercantiles on highway 101 at the intersections with South Shore Road and North Shore Road
  • Brinnon - 1 gas station/mercantile

Personal Challenge for You!

My challenge for you is to stay in the woods as long as possible. Get out for a long trip in the Olympic backcountry. One week, two weeks? Doesn't matter. Just make it happen. You will not regret it! Here is some great tips for planning your camping trip!

Article by Barefoot Jake

Disclaimer: This article contains ads in the form of affiliate links. There are other ways to get a food resupply, but I did not list them, because they are either frowned upon or rely on a private company. This also includes mailing yourself boxes using the USPS (thru-hiker style), but do not suggest that, because these towns listed have everything you need in them.