Thank you so much for your reply. As you have deduced, I am just learning about the area. I looked briefly into the shuttle, however, the income of two college students doesn't amount to such luxuries. I have got a few questions for you, if you don't mind me picking your brain for a few moments. We (two of us) have Monday morning to Saturday morning to drive down (7 1/2 hours from Bend, OR), hike the trail and drive back. We are both physically quite fit and can keep a good pace. Therefore, I think we'll be hiking at the least 10 miles a day. This being said with no previous experience of multi-day backpacking. What do you think about trying to go for a loop, hiking the beach south then looping into the mountains back north? Is that even an option this time of year? Are we likely to see very many people along the trail?
Thank you so much for your insights Ken, I really appreciate the outlook of someone who has done the trail before.