Seconding prior recommendations...
Steve Roper's "Sierra High Route" - book available from Amazon. Car free access to any trailheads on the east side of the Sierra is easy.
easternsierratransitauthority.com stops at the Reno Airport and serves all the towns on highway 395. Hitching from 395 to the trailheads is consistently easy.
Roper's route description makes trip planning easy. But there are plenty of other options in the southern Sierra; get a copy of RJ Secor's The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails. This is not a list of popular recommended hikes; it is the definitive description of all peaks and passes, allowing you to assemble your own route and collection of peaks, based on whether you are limited to class-2, 3, 4, or 5 travel. General planning is best done with the map-set that covers the entire southern Sierra region: "A Guide to the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness", sold by the US Forest Service.
And, southern utah hikes as described in Steve Allen's Canyoneering-2 (and also Canyoneering-1 and Canyoneering-3) are super off the beaten path, spectacular, rough going. Canyoneering-2 routes are roughly a week in length each, and require some climbing skills (class 5.1 or 5.2). However, hiking in southern Utah canyons in August is not appropriate due to heat. You'll need to save that for April/May or late September/October.
Amy L, Palo Alto