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Simon Weiss
(SimonGtr) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
Logistics/Shuttle for Kings Canyon to Whitney - help? on 08/03/2011 17:04:22 MDT Print View

Hi Gang,
a friend and I are hoping to drop in X miles north of Mount Whitney in order to do a few days hiking on the JMT down to Whitney, and then hike up Whitney.

A couple years ago we were going to attempt something similar, but a late tip and early snowfall limited us to doing the beautiful Rae Lakes loop.

The hardest part of this trip is logistics. I live in the Bay Area, and our first thought is to start at Kings Canyon (park), hiking up to the JMT, then straight south. The hard part is, how do we get back to our car after we finish at Whitney??

We have just less than a week for this trip - really more like 5 days +/-.

Are there reliable shuttle services that could help us with this? Is there a better put-in location?

Another thing we considered was meeting in Las Vegas, renting a car, and putting in on the East side of the JMT. This doesn't solve the issue of having to get back to the car, but I think it makes the drive shorter. More expensive because I'll have to fly and rent a car... but want to keep our options open.

Would love any advice/info available!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Logistics/Shuttle for Kings Canyon to Whitney - help? on 08/03/2011 17:42:19 MDT Print View

"Another thing we considered was meeting in Las Vegas, renting a car, and putting in on the East side of the JMT. This doesn't solve the issue of having to get back to the car, but I think it makes the drive shorter. More expensive because I'll have to fly and rent a car... but want to keep our options open."

Putting in on the East Side would definitely simplify things for you, say Baxter, Taboose, or Sawmill Pass. I gather you don't own a car, because leaving your car at Whitney Portal and taking a shuttle to your starting TH would be a very tidy solution to your logistical problem. You could do the same with a rental car out of Vegas, but it would be relatively pricey. Given that you have a time constraint of a week, it may still be the best solution because there is no quick way that I know of to get from Whitney Portal to Roads End in KCNP.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Logistics/Shuttle for Kings Canyon to Whitney - help? on 08/03/2011 18:15:36 MDT Print View

Last year I flew into Las Vegas and drove across Death Valley to the east side. We parked a car at Taboose Pass TH and had Mt Whitney Shuttle take us to South Lake TH. Worked great. Have only used the guys once, but it worked great.

The bonus for us was the driver was a retire highway patrolman who covered the area. He was one of the four that arrested Charles Mansion back in the day. Really cool guy and I think he helps the owner out when he has several shuttles on the same day.

You can bag Mt Whitney (highest point in CONUS) and then go to Badwater (lowest point in CONUS) on the way back to the airport.

I'm sure others will have other recommendations.

Brad Fisher

Simon Weiss
(SimonGtr) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
East side vs West side on 08/03/2011 22:34:54 MDT Print View

"Putting in on the East Side would definitely simplify things for you, say Baxter, Taboose, or Sawmill Pass. I gather you don't own a car, because leaving your car at Whitney Portal and taking a shuttle to your starting TH would be a very tidy solution to your logistical problem. You could do the same with a rental car out of Vegas, but it would be relatively pricey. Given that you have a time constraint of a week, it may still be the best solution because there is no quick way that I know of to get from Whitney Portal to Roads End in KCNP."

Hi Tom,
I do own a car. Looking at driving directions, it seems that driving from Whitney portal to a put-in on the West side seems agregious (many miles). Am I missing something?
1) where would you put in on the West side if this is logistically possible?
2) I've never used a shuttle service - how/where/who?

The driving directions I found from Whitney Portal to King's Canyon on Cedar Grove are for 350 miles of driving! Or perhaps the only better way is on the East side...

Thanks!

Simon Weiss
(SimonGtr) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
Mt. Whitney Shuttle on 08/04/2011 16:49:37 MDT Print View

Looking at our timing and the Mt. Whitney Shuttle, it seems like getting dropped off at Sawmill Pass TH might be the best option. <10 miles from trailhead to the pass, then 55 miles from the Pass to Whitney Portal.

Anyone dropped in at Sawmill TH?

For Whitney Shuttle - what kinds of services, prices, and timing do they offer?

-s

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: East side vs West side on 08/04/2011 17:50:46 MDT Print View

I do own a car. Looking at driving directions, it seems that driving from Whitney portal to a put-in on the West side seems agregious (many miles). Am I missing something?"

Hi Simon,

Oops, I guess I must have confused you. I was referring to one of the East Side trail heads I mentioned, i.e. Baxter/Sawmill/Taboose. I sure didn't mean to suggest driving all the way over to Roads End. You're right, that would be egregious. What I meant was to drive your car to Whitney Portal and arrange for a shuttle to take you up to one of the above mentioned East Side TH's. I haven't used a shuttle in a long time down there, as I generally do trips that start/end at the same TH, but the Mount Whitney Shuttle Service(760-876-1915) seems ot get good reviews on www.highsierratopix.com. There are other shuttle services, but this one is located in Lone Pine, and would have the shortest driving distance(and, therefore, likely the lowest price) between Whitney Portal and one of the East Side TH's we're discussing. It might be worth calling them to find out. This kind of arrangement would definitely be cheaper than flying to Vegas and renting a car. Good luck.

Tom