Celebrating National Pizza Month on the Trail

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Korrin Bishop | Oct 05, 2021

As I’m sure our Gossamer Gear community already knows, October is National Pizza Month. It’s a sacred time for hikers, as this perfect food group has carried so many of us through post-trail bliss and fueled us for the miles ahead.

To celebrate this esteemed month, we turned to our Gossamer Gear community with the following life-affirming questions:

  • What is your favorite pizzeria and what's your go-to order post-hiking? Why is it so delicious?
  • Why do you think pizza is the ultimate post-hike food?
  • What's a memory you have of eating pizza following a hike? What was the hike? Where were you? Where'd the pizza come from? What was on it? Put us in the scene.
  • Freestyle: Anything else you want to share about the relationship between pizza and hiking that you think is important to share with our GG community / the world?

Below are some of their responses. Get hungry, friends.

Emily Schrick on a Magnificent Curry Village Creation

Pizza is a staple in my backcountry adventures. From all-you-can eat pizza bars in towns on a thru-hike, to packing out cold pizza for that first dinner (or, who am I kidding, breakfast) on the trail, to devouring a delicious build-your-own pizza after an arduous trip.

I've tried all kinds of pizza: trendy, new-age gourmet pizza with fun ingredients, a classic pie from Dominos or Round Table, frozen stuffed-crust pizzas from the grocery store, and amazingly delicious authentic pizza throughout Italy. But one of my favorite places to get pizza is the Pizza Deck at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. It's not the best pizza in the world, but it always hits the spot after (and before) every single hike. And even when I'm hiking in another state or park, I'm dreaming about gobbling up the Curry Village Pizza after my trek.

My love of Curry Village's pizza was cemented after my most impressive athletic feat at the time—hiking to the top of Half Dome and back. It was the longest and most strenuous hike I had ever done in a day, and it took all day long. As I was hobbling down the John Muir Trail at dusk, I had one thing on my mind: food. And nothing sounded more appetizing than a nice, big pizza. It was here that my "usual" make-your-own order was created: red sauce, cheese, sausage crumbles, pineapple, and mushrooms. And of course, red pepper flakes were a necessary add-on. After my first multi-night backpacking trip in Yosemite the next summer, I ordered this magnificent creation again. And from then on, it became a staple of my visits to Yosemite—whether I was backpacking or just doing some sightseeing.

John Haffner on Pizza ~Feels~

Too much to write! Pizza is one of my main emotions!

Sirena Rana on Pizza Along the AZT

On the Arizona Trail/Grand Enchantment Trail, there’s a magical place called Old Time Pizza in Kearny. The owners, Gary and Lorraine, are amazing trail angels and will deliver pizza to the trail at the Gila River bridge.

One time, I was celebrating my birthday at a remote spot and, unfortunately, my Jeep’s battery died. Gary came and found us to help us get out of there and brought pizzas, iced tea, and appetizers! My favorite from there is called “Buffalo Chips.” It’s a pizza with buffalo wing sauce and cheese served with ranch.

Steven Shattuck on Trail Town Pizza Magic

What is your favorite pizzeria and what's your go-to order post-hiking? Why is it so delicious? 

SJS - Brown Dog in Telluride, Colorado. I'm a huge fan of pizza, and Detroit style is my favorite. Brown Dog (sister to Blue Pan in Denver), is an amazing pizzeria that specializes in Detroit style. The Brooklyn Bridge is mine and Grace's go to pizza! A close second is Moonlight in Salida, Colorado. The pizzas are well-balanced with great crust and a zesty marinara sauce that is to die for.

Why do you think pizza is the ultimate post-hike food? 

Throwing the softball at us, eh? Feel free to take out the “why” and just have it be a statement. ;-)

What's a memory you have of eating pizza following a hike? What was the hike? Where were you? Where'd the pizza come from? What was on it? Put us in the scene. 

It was mine and Grace's first thru-hike together, the Hayduke Trail. It's mid-march, and we just finished seven days from Moab—four and a half of those rafting the Colorado River from Moab to Spanish Bottom, and two and a half hiking from Spanish Bottom to Hanksville through the Maze district and Happy Canyon. We would have our first real town stop in the bustling metropolis of Hanksville, Utah. It was Grace's first ever trail town experience. She was a bit beat up, and hobbled into town with a limp. Once we got a hotel, she set down her pack, shuffled out the door, and ran/skipped/limped with her hands in the air signifying victory. We got gas station pizza that surely wouldn't be good by regular standards, yet it was all we needed to feel as though we were in heaven. Looking back at it, maybe we were?

Freestyle: Anything else you want to share about the relationship between pizza and hiking that you think is important to share with our GG community / the world?  

When I hiked the PCT, I used to get full pizzas in town all to myself. I would eat maybe half of a large pizza, and take the rest out of town with me and eat it on the first day out of town. It felt like a nice way of extending the “town” experience, yet I was on the trail making miles and being in the woods. Highly recommend this technique!

Arlette Laan on Surprise Pizza

During our month-long winter backpacking trip of New Hampshire’s 48 4,000 footers, friends surprised us with a pizza! Ultimate trail magic moment at Lafayette campground.

Hit the Trail. Order a Pizza. Or, Order a Pizza. Then Hit the Trail. Or, Hey, Do Both!

We hope that you have beautiful, pizza-filled plans for your outdoor adventures this month. We’d love to hear about your pizza trail stories, so make sure to tag us on social media (@gossamergear) and use the hashtag #takelessdomore with your photos and tales!