JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner
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Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 08:56:35 MDT Print View

Hello,
my wife and I are looking to thru hike the JMT in around 11 days next summer. We have started our planning now so we make sure we have every detail down. My main concern as funny as it is, is not the hike itself but the transportation issue. I understand that there is no way to take one bus from Happy Isle to Whitney Portal. I am been looking at all kinds of maps and wesbites and I am wondering if there is a shuttle that travels to and from a central airport? Looks like the Reno airport may be the spot. I understand having a car waiting at one point would be ideal, but renting a car to have it sit somewhere is a waste. Ideally I would love to be able to fly into one airport, stow our extra non-hiking stuff in a locker, take a shuttle to Happy Isle, hike to Whitney, find a way to a local town then get a transport back to that airport. Is this possible? Any transport suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edited by Jkrew81 on 08/04/2008 08:57:37 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 09:12:26 MDT Print View

try the Whitney Portal forum. There is alot of information about busses and shuttles. Hope this helps

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 09:37:37 MDT Print View

I'm heading out to the JMT in September from the east coast. After pouring through the available info, this is the best I could come up with.

On the way out:
-One way flight to Sacramento.
-Rental car one way from Sacramento to Merced, CA airport -MCE (Avis).
-Cab from MCE into town of Merced.
-YARTS bus from Merced to Yosemite Valley.

After Whitney:
-Hitch a ride to Lone Pine, CA.
-CREST bus from Lone Pine to Ridgecrest, CA.
-Rental car one way from Ridgrecrest to Vegas (you could also go to LAX or other options) (Avis).
-One way flight home from Vegas.

I'm sure this is only one of several options but worked best with the bus schedules for the time of year I'll be going. As far as non-hiking stuff, I'm going to send a box to the Lone Pine, CA Post Office that they will hopefully hold for me. Good luck.

Edited by smyth on 08/04/2008 09:38:31 MDT.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 10:15:49 MDT Print View

LAX seems to be easiest.

With family only 30 miles from Whitney Portal this isn't normally an issue for me, but this year they're out of town so I had to handle logistics myself. I'm hiking the JMT starting Saturday. I'm going public transit all the way from home and back. Here's my plan, changed to show transport from LAX instead of my house in Long Beach.

I think that LAX makes sense because it can be hard to get back to San Francisco from Lone Pine. "Open Jaw" type tickets where you arrive at one airport and depart another tend to be rather expensive.

From LAX take the "Union Station Flyaway" from just outside baggage claim to the LA Union Station railway depot. From there take the Amtrak (US national passenger rail) "San Joaquin" route to Yosemite.

You don't actually ride rail the whole way- Amtrak bus from LA to Bakersfield, then rail, then Amtrak bus from Merced to Yosemite Valley.

To see the schedules for Flyaway:
http://www.lawa.org/lax/LAXflyAway.cfm Cost is $4
For Amtrak:
http://www.amtrak.com Specify departing station LAX and destination YOS. I'm leaving LA at 10:45 AM and arriving 8:05 PM Saturday next. Cost was $50.

Getting back is more tricky- currently it takes three buses, a train, and another bus to get from Lone Pine to LAX. I'm hoping to just hitch a ride from a fellow hiker when I arrive at Whitney Portal, but use the bus as a fallback option. The bus schedules are designed to coordinate with only about 1/2 hour wait each time. CREST from Lone Pine to Ridgecrest, then two Kern County buses- Ridgecrest to Mojave and Mojave to the Lancaster Metro Rail station. Then Rail to Los Angeles Union Station, finally back on the Flyaway to LAX. This itenerary is only valid Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Jim

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 10:34:03 MDT Print View

Awesome feedback guys, keep it coming I have my paper and pen at the go...

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 12:01:27 MDT Print View

Im leaving from Manchester NH airport to San Fran.
Then its public transportation all the way.
The BART from San Francisco to Richmond Amtrack
to Merced (via Amtrack)
then YARTS to Yosemite.

Im hoping to offer to pay some or all of an LA Whitney weekenders gas to give me a ride to LAX or a bus station that will get me there.

Reno looks like a much longer train ride so I went with San Fran, my friend is leaving a week ahead of me and is going to Oakland.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 13:28:47 MDT Print View

so here is kind of a funny/stupid question from a newbie thru hiker, do you guys wear your hiking cloths out on the plane and on the way home, or do you take a change and stash them in a airport locker or somthing? I think after 11 days on the trail I would not want to sit next to myself on a plane...

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Buy a souvenier T-shirt on 08/04/2008 13:55:52 MDT Print View

This may give an idea of the non-lightweight world I've experienced: My wife typically brings an entire clean outfit to put on at the trailhead.

I suggest buying a souvenier T-shirt at the conclusion of your hike. Doug sells them at the Whitney Portal Store. That and a hot shower with soap ought to spiff you up pretty well.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Buy a souvenier T-shirt on 08/04/2008 14:14:08 MDT Print View

ah haa, thats a great idea. Thanks James

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 15:49:13 MDT Print View

Usually I find myself at a campsite or motel/hostel the day before I leave. If I cant find a laundry mat I will clean all my clothes in the sink or get water from a river. Then I use some Dr.Bonners to clean everything with special attention to socks, underwear (if any), and shirt. They will be as clean and fresh smelling as any from a laundry mat

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/04/2008 15:51:22 MDT Print View

> do you guys wear your hiking cloths out on the plane and on the way home,
For three months in France with no lockers available, we wore our hiking clothing TO France on the plane. We had to wait a couple of days for our flight home, so we a) bought at least a clean T-shirt and b) washed all our clothing at the hotel.

Anyhow, by the end of an international flight, the smell in the plane masks any residual odours from our clothing!

JAMES CALL
(Conductor) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
JMT Transportation for an Out-of-Towner on 08/21/2008 14:46:42 MDT Print View

I just completed the JMT a week ago! Woof! I had a ride to the trailhead, so here are my experiences returning to Reno. Note: be sure to take any schedules that include the Eastern Sierra Transportation Association (ESTA) with a grain of salt. They are in transition, and the information you get this year may not be valid next year, or next week.

Hitch hiking down from Whitney Portal was very easy. The car was stopping before I even got my thumb extended. I made it down to Lone Pine by 1600hrs and walked to Statham Hall. (To address another post, I stopped at the Drug Store and bought a can of Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder because of its Menthol and sprayed my gear and myself. It helped considerably.) I caught the 1700hr bus from Lone Pine to Bishop. If you tell the bus driver that you are continuing on to Reno, they will drop you off on the South side of town, and show you where the bus leaves from in the morning. I over-nighted in Bishop at a motel with a laundry. The next morning I caught the 0700hr bus to Reno, and was at the Reno airport by 1130! Pretty painless.

The ESTA bus leaves the Reno airport and retraces it route back to Bishop. If I had to go in that direction, I’d over-night in Lee Vining and catch YARTS to the valley floor.