transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City?
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Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City? on 06/03/2008 12:55:45 MDT Print View

Hi all,

I’m flying into Reno in early July to start a six-week southbound PCT section hike. I’ve been researching ways to get from either Reno or Truckee to Sierra City and haven’t had much luck. I’d like to start in Sierra City, but if transport proves too difficult I’ll just start at Donner Pass. Do any Sierra locals or PCT alums know of a shuttle/bus system that runs from either of these towns (Reno or Truckee) to Sierra City? I'm open to suggestion, and help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt from Minnesota

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
sierra city. on 06/03/2008 14:09:45 MDT Print View

hi there.

i don't know of any public transportation that goes that way, but there might be something. sierra city is a bit out of the way on hwy 49. maybe hitch-hiking up to the summit from reno, and then hitching north on 89 and then west on 49 would be the best way? or just starting from donner. there's a good deal of traffic in the summer, so the hitching might not take toooooo long.

someone from up in tahoe, etc. might have more ideas.

Edited by DaveT on 06/03/2008 14:11:18 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City on 06/03/2008 15:13:09 MDT Print View

There is no public transportation available to the PCT from north of Truckee until you get to Burney (the town, not the state park).

Do yourself a big favor and start from Donner Pass. Then if you ever decide to go the other direction, you can get to (or from) Donner Pass again fairly easily.

FWIW, 6 weeks = about 600 miles. 600 miles north from Donner Pass will take you to I-5 just south of Ashland (Callahan's); 600 miles south to highway 58 by Mojave/Tehachapi (easy access from Bakersfield).

Personally, I'd fly or take the train into Bakersfield, bus to Mojave, and go north to Donner Pass. The trail angels there can help you get into Reno to go home. Section F gets really hot in August and September. Best to get it out of the way early. Your hike; your choice.

Wandering Bob

Edited by wandering_bob on 06/03/2008 15:18:42 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
sierra city / pct on 06/03/2008 15:18:15 MDT Print View

matt,

where are you trying to get to on your section hike? are you trying to complete a certain chunk of the pct? where are you finishing? how are you getting home? etc.

600 miles would be easy in six weeks for sure - that's only 14 miles a day average! of course, there's no reason to rush through the northern sierra and the high sierra, to be sure.

Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
PCT section hike on 06/03/2008 15:35:09 MDT Print View

First, thank you all for your insightful replies - they are much appreciated.

Basically, this section hike started as a JMT hike that grew: when my girlfriend and I realized we could get six weeks off we knew we had to run with it.

We are flying in/out of Reno (plane ticket purchased a long time ago, so transport before and after the hike are a consideration), and we don't really have a specific mileage goal: we are going to enjoy the trip and take things as they come. Someday a full through hike will be in the works, but for now we aren't worried about crossing off a certain section.

My estimation is that for the two of us, 15 miles a day with a few zero days/town stops built in would be about right. Currently, I'm considering whether it may just be more fun to add a few side trips rather than push straight through until we hit the desert. My concern is that the section south of Kenedy Meadows (the southern one) may be extremely hot and dry in early August...is this probable? If so, it may make sense to time the trip to finish in Kennedy Meadows and take a bus back to Reno from Ridgecrest.

Thoughts?

Matt

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
PCT hike on 06/03/2008 16:02:41 MDT Print View

Hi Matt,

Yes, the southern Sierra / Piute Mountains are really arid and dry, especially that late in the year. When I did the PCT, I went through there in May and I thought it was one of the driest spots on the entire hike. So I definitely would think about bailing after the High Sierra. Whitney is only a couple of days north of Kennedy Meadows, so it wouldn't be bad to summit Whitney and then just head down to Whitney Portal to hitch down into Owens Valley. Or go to Kennedy Meadows, or to Hwy 178 at Walker Pass and hitch-hike down.

Six weeks south from Donner will give you lots of time to go leisurely through the Yosemite hinterlands and the High Sierra. Nothing wrong with that. If you are adventurous, you could add in parts of Roper's Sierra High Route, to get you off trail and keep you up above timberline, instead of some of the down-in-the-valley JMT sections. Would also get you away from some of the crowds. There are some good, easy peak climbs along the way too. And lakes to nap on warm granite by. Etc. I'm happy to share some ideas if ya want 'em.

Sounds like a great trip!

Edited by DaveT on 06/03/2008 16:11:42 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City on 06/03/2008 16:15:30 MDT Print View

When is your flight back from Reno?

There is no public transportation out of Kenedy Meadows - you'll have to hitch into Ridgecrest. There is a taxi service in Ridgecrest who will run to KM, but his quoted fare last year was $80. With gas between $4 and $5 per gallon in CA, who knows what he'd charge this summer.

Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
spicing up a PCT section hike on 06/03/2008 16:24:19 MDT Print View

Dave - Ideas would be nice - I've taken a brief look at the High Route, but don't yet know enough about it to talk intelligently. I'll dig up some info soon, but for the meantime, what are your thoughts? My initial impression is that we'd like to spend at least a little time off the PCT and on the high route if it is feasible. What I'm envisioning is arming myself with some extra maps and information and having the freedom to make minor reroutes while on trail and see as many interesting places as possible..or stop walking and read a book for half a day if that is what we are in the mood for. We are typically up for a little adventure, and ideas of some "easy" peaks or more isolated alternative routes/places would add some welcome spice to our trip.


Thanks for all of the replies!

Matt

Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
re: KM on 06/03/2008 16:28:03 MDT Print View

Bob - thanks for the insight regarding Kennedy Meadows - that is exactly the sort of thing I wouldn't find out on my own. I fly into Reno July 2nd, and back out on August 13th (i think). I was assuming a hitch down to Ridgecrest from KM wouldn't be too bad, but i am guessing that getting down from Whitney portal would be easier.


Matt

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
hitching from KM on 06/03/2008 16:32:02 MDT Print View

i don't know about hitching from KM. if i had to guess, i'd think it wouldn't necessarily be easy. other than the great store, it's an odd little place.

you could end in grand style by climbing whitney, or you could continue on a bit and climb mt. langley also/instead of, and exit over old/new army pass or cottonwood pass and hitch down from the trailhead. or continue on to hwy 178 at walker pass if you wanted a bit of aridlands and a highway to hitch from.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: spicing up a PCT section hike on 06/03/2008 17:44:27 MDT Print View

Hi Matt,
Here are 3 ideas for very short little side trips that will get you into some very nice country: 1) Darwin Canyon is about a 1-2 mile hike off the PCT just as it comes up out of McClure Meadows, about a mile north of Evolution Lake. Do a rising traverse northeast up to Darwin Bench and the Canyon is laid out before you. There is a string of lakes with lots of camping opportunities and BIG trout. A delightful place. 2) Wright Lakes Basin is a spetacular high wild valley about a 3 mile hike east from the PCT along a boot track that follows Wright Creek. It is 4-5 miles south of Forrester Pass. 3) Wallace Lake Basin is another high wild basin about a 4 mile hike east up Wallace Creek off the PCT along a faint boot track. It is 3-4 miles south of Wright Lakes Basin. All 3 places are easy to get to if you know what to look for, but not that often visited, and really nice places to hang out for a day or 2, and all have good fishing. Hope you have a great time.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City on 06/03/2008 18:42:47 MDT Print View

Going down the Mt Whitney Trail from Trailcrest to Whitney Portal requires a Whitney Zone entry permit.

What kind of permit do you have for your hike? Sierra City to Crabtree Meadows is less than the 500 mile minimum required for a PCTA Through-hiker Permit. Are you hoping to score a walk-in JMT permit at Tuolumne Meadows? I sure hope you've done your homework because the rangers in Yosemite will check you, especially if you stay in the backpackers' campground at Tuolomne Meadows. I'm told the rangers stationed atop Whitney and at TrailCrest will also check - especially at Trailcrest since that's the border of the Mt Whitney Zone.

Edited by wandering_bob on 06/03/2008 18:51:59 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
pct section. on 06/03/2008 18:59:13 MDT Print View

matt,

not sure about your plans, but i'd plan for a 500+ mile hike on the PCT, and get a permit. make sure to get a whitney stamp if you want to climb it. if you climb whitney and want to keep going south, i'd descend the sand slope to upper crabtree lake, go over the cross-country pass into mitre basin, and rejoin the pct to the south.

with that much time, i'd hike from donner pass to kennedy meadows, or to walker pass. i'd do some side trips and easy peak bagging.

bob's right about the permits. make sure you are covered. the 500+ mile pct permit (with whitney stamp if you wish) is the way to go. and remember the bear canister.

dave.

Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
re: PCT section on 06/03/2008 19:56:52 MDT Print View

Thanks guys - good insight surrounding the permits. Fortunately, what you are describing (the 500+ mile PCT permit with the whitney stamp) is exactly what we've got. Also, given our time frame we should be able to fit in exactly what was mentioned: at least 500 miles of the PCT with some side trips/goofing off...I do have every intention of making good on the 500+ miles required to apply for the PCT permit.

Its funny: for a minute I started to feel stressed over getting the start/end logistics of this trip taken care of, but then suddenly realized that having to decide just which portion of the PCT to walk hardly qualifies as a "problem"! All of this planning is getting me excited...

Matt

p.s. Also, our BearVaults are ready to go!

Edited by matt_f on 06/03/2008 19:59:37 MDT.

JAMES CALL
(Conductor) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City on 06/06/2008 13:47:11 MDT Print View

Matt,
When are you coming into Reno? If it's on a Weekend, I could give you a ride to either trailhead. If it's on a Friday, who knows, I might feel a cold coming-on (cough,cough):) If you're interested, please let me know your logistics, and I'll see if I can help you out.
Jim

Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
reno to sierra city on 06/06/2008 16:08:16 MDT Print View

Jim,

Thanks for the response. We (two of us) are flying into Reno sometime around noon on July 2nd (a wednesday, I believe). So, I'm guessing this makes things tougher on your end, but let me know if your cold might coincide with an extended 4th of July break! :)

take care,

Matt

JAMES CALL
(Conductor) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City? on 06/06/2008 16:48:17 MDT Print View

In the Draconian Corporation I work for, if we call-in sick before a vacation, we don't get paid for said vacation. What time is your flight into Reno on 07/02?
I could run you up that night. You'll have plenty of light, and traveling south from Sierra City is up long wooded canyon with lots of sites and very close to water. Should we be knocking-out the details via PM? Either way, I'm about to go home and won't be able to respond until Monday.

JAMES CALL
(Conductor) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
transport from Reno or Truckee to Sierra City on 06/06/2008 16:51:16 MDT Print View

Oops, I just noticed the "around noon" comment.