Forum Index » Pre-Trip Planning » Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound.


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Huan Huynh
(granolagrinder) - F

Locale: Central TX
Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/07/2013 13:14:20 MST Print View

Hi, i'm looking for logistical plannings to exit at John Muir Ranch and head back to either LAX or OAK. I'm from TX, and planning to hike JMT trail southbound late june 2014. There are going to be couple friends along the trip. We don't mind hitch hiking, but I'm looking for more of a reliable plan to exit at John Muir Ranch. Thank you.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/07/2013 13:22:53 MST Print View

Why don't you contact the JM Ranch and ask about a ride to town. I believe they do regular runs to town to pick up those food caches you will be mailing to them, among other thing/reasons to go to town. Perhaps they will give or sell you a ride. Or maybe they know of other sources of rides.

Once you are in town you can hitch or take a bus.

Bill D

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/07/2013 13:41:58 MST Print View

As you may have figured out by now, the Muir Trail Ranch is connected by trail to Florence Lake, and that sits at the end of a very long, slow, winding, narrow road from Fresno. I was on it a couple of months ago. Frankly, I hate to be on that road.

Some cars pass back and forth on that road, going and returning to Lake Edison and Mono Hot Springs. If you can make it from Florence Lake back to the intersection with the road to Lake Edison, then you will stand to hitch more rides back to civilization. If you can't get a ride back to civilization, maybe you can at least get a ride back to Fresno.

--B.G.--

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/07/2013 13:48:41 MST Print View

"If you can't get a ride back to civilization, maybe you can at least get a ride back to Fresno."

Wow! Now there's a shot at a valley town! :)

Bill D.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/07/2013 14:57:33 MST Print View

There is a shuttle of some sorts that leaves MTR and VVR - i personally didn't take it but we kept leapfrogging with two women whose companion bailed on them and they didn't have supplies past MTR. They hiked to Florence lake to meet that shuttle - confirmed it when we were all at VVR.

So may be worth contacting the ranch and/or VVR about a shuttle/cab/bus/something leaving from Florence lake.

Jim Fitzgerald
(jimfitz12000) - M

Locale: Southern California
Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound on 11/08/2013 16:45:02 MST Print View

I have stayed at and, more often, hiked by both VVR and MTR. I do not recall a vehicle shuttle from either VVR (Lake Edison) or MTR (Florence Lake) to/from Fresno; however, both facilities operate a summer boat shuttle on their respective lake. VVR is accessible by paved road and, therefore, there are vehicles at VVR and at adjacent campgrounds. MTR is accessible only by foot (can shorten the hike by taking the boat shuttle). My guess is, at VVR you could reasonably expect, on site, to arrange a ride to Fresno. MTR might be more difficult, but if you book your final night at MTR, they might be willing to arrange something. As suggested, contact both resorts by e-mail and/or by phone.

Have you considered exiting the Sierra to the east? Could exit via Piute Pass; hitch a ride to Bishop and take Eastern Sierra Transit to the Reno Airport. It is roughly 21 miles from the MTR cut off trail junction to Piute Pass (North Lake) trailhead. MTR to Florence Lake Resort (road end) is nine miles (five if boat shuttle used), so additional mileage is either twelve or sixteen miles. In addition, you would avoid Kaiser Pass Road.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/08/2013 17:25:02 MST Print View

"If you can't get a ride back to civilization, maybe you can at least get a ride back to Fresno."

That's the best line of the day.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Exit from VVR story on 11/08/2013 19:44:07 MST Print View

Sometime in the mid 1980s, I planned to backpack the JMT from Red's Meadow south, and exit at Lake Sabrina, in early fall. I dropped my car off with relatives in Bishop, hitched to Red's Meadow, and started hiking. In those days, my pack probably weighed over 40 pounds.

Two days later, camped near Silver Lake, I had bad blisters on both feet, a runaway bloody nose, and snow was falling. Message received loud and clear, I decided to bail out. But which way? Heading east required going much higher, a bad idea with snow falling.

So I headed west into the unknown, via Edison Lake. I was looking forward to taking the shuttle across the lake. Missed the last shuttle of the season by several days, and hiked all the way to VVR.

They were closing shop for the winter when I arrived. I bought the last beer they sold that season, and stepped outside to ponder my options as they locked the doors.

A few minutes later, I was standing in the rain on Kaiser Pass Road with my thumb out. No vehicles passed for over 30 minutes. Not looking good.

Then a pickup truck with two backpackers stopped. They offered to cram me in up front, but I was wet, dirty, and smelly, so I chose to ride in the open bed in the back. Not wanting to repeat an earlier hypothermic experience in the back of a truck, I put on all my warm clothing and rain gear, climbed in the back, and away we went down the infamous Kaiser Pass Road.

I barely remember the road, because I was fascinated by the storm raging around me, complete with thunder and lightning. Decades later I drove that road with white knuckles, and it took me quite a while to recall I'd been there before!

Eventually we stopped in Fresno, where they offered to drop me off. All I knew about Fresno was it was a pretty big city, and I was highly likely to get lost. They lived in a smaller town south of Fresno - Visalia? - so they dropped me off there at a Motel 6. The next day, after three Greyhound bus rides, I was back in Bishop. I spent the rest of my vacation car camping on the California coast, and had a great time.

Not sure this helps the OP, but the post did reactivate some long-dormant memories.

Thanks.

-- Rex

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Exit from VVR story on 11/08/2013 19:55:28 MST Print View

"camped near Silver Lake"

Silver Pass Lake?

--B.G.--

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound on 11/08/2013 20:41:20 MST Print View

VVR does/did offer a shuttle service from both Edison and Florance Lakes. From MTR it's about a 5 mile walk to Florance Lake and then a ferry ride to where you can get the shuttle. You'll need to check with VVR if they will continue the service. The place was and I think this is up for sale. More info here:

http://www.edisonlake.com/hikers/transportation


Also consider going out the east side over Piute pass from Muir Trail Ranch. It's not difficult to hitch a ride from there to Bishop then riding the bus, hitching or using a shuttle service you can get to the Mammoth Airport for a direct connection to LAX. Catching the bus to Reno is another option.

There are shuttle services that can pick you up at just about any exit trailhead.

http://climber.org/data/shuttles.html

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound. on 11/10/2013 14:33:16 MST Print View

Go east. It's going to be much easier to get where you want to go if you come out on the east side. Either go up Mono creek, over Mono Pass and out Rock Creek, or go slightly longer and go up Piute Creek and over Piute Pass to the North Lake Trailhead. From there it's an easy hitch to Bishop and you can catch a CREST bus to Reno and fly out of there, or get a Greyhound from there to Oakland or wherever.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound on 11/10/2013 15:05:08 MST Print View

Muir Trail Ranch is not known for "going the extra mile" for thru-hikers (to say the least!). They *might* be willing to talk to you if you book a night or two with them (then you're a "guest"; aot "hiker trash").

VVR appears to be a lot better, but if it's for sale, that could be a game-changer!

Piute Pass is a definite option (the trailhead at North Lake is very popular; plus there's a campground, so lots of potential rides to Bishop, which is less than 30 miles away). However, if you exit at Piute Pass, remember that it will be a very long, steep day (or 2 days, depending on your normal speed) from MTR, and the likelihood of getting a ride will depend a lot on time of day you arrive at the trailhead.

Also -- for those of you who know the area well -- my understanding was that the rough road to MTR was a PRIVATE road, with no access allowed to anyone except MTR staff and guests. Has this changed now?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: RE: Re: Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound on 11/10/2013 15:47:46 MST Print View

"the rough road to MTR was a PRIVATE road"

I believe that is correct. I think they use it only for hauling in supplies and hiker packages to MTR. I was on it a couple of months ago.

--B.G.--

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Further Clarification on 11/10/2013 16:16:48 MST Print View

Bob G. - you said you were on the MTR private road recently -- were you on foot, or do they allow non guests/staff to drive on it now?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Further Clarification on 11/10/2013 16:56:35 MST Print View

I was on foot.

This rough road appeared to have only one set of tire tracks on it, and that coincided with the 4WD vehicle that MTR uses for hauling supplies and hiker packages from the ferry dock.

Besides, I can't imagine how you would get a private vehicle back in there.

--B.G.--

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Trail on 11/10/2013 17:05:24 MST Print View

There is a trail from the east boat dock to MTR in addition to a gutted road used by the old military vehicle. It is a major enough trail that I ran into a misplaced PCT hiker at the boat ramp that thought the trail was the PCT.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Carsickness on 11/10/2013 17:18:52 MST Print View

If you are at all prone to become carsick as a passenger on winding mountain roads, beware of Kaiser Pass Road! I would definitely recommend exiting on the east side. West will guarantee you a very rough day.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: Exit from VVR story on 11/10/2013 20:07:07 MST Print View

My memory is bad. I was camped below Silver Pass Lake, near Silver Pass Creek. I think. Maybe.

BTW, California has 12 lakes or reservoirs with official names which are variants of "Silver Lake".

You too can have fun looking up place names at: geonames.usgs.gov

-- Rex

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Logistical exits at John Muir Ranch - JMT going southbound on on 11/10/2013 21:16:25 MST Print View

The road into the Ross property (west of and next to the MTR) and MTR is accessible by/to bpers. I was there a few years ago with a young man who basically grew up in that area during his summers. If nothing else, contact the market at the lake, they should be able to fill you in.
If you exit North Lake too early in the morning, no one hardly is out and about, I had to hike past Aspen before anyone picked me up for a few miles ride, so I could then hitchhike to my car at South Lake. I was still able to gas up and leave Bishop before noon.
Duane

PS: It's not that far to the boat ramp from MRT, a few miles at the most.

Edited by hikerduane on 11/10/2013 21:17:35 MST.

Huan Huynh
(granolagrinder) - F

Locale: Central TX
exit options on 12/06/2013 11:25:17 MST Print View

Thank you so much for overwhelming replies. I'm planning this trip for 5 members, and potentially a few more. I really think that a solid exit statergy must be in place before considering hitch to town.

I just don't think it's easy to get a hitch for more than 5 hikers at the one time. Personally, I wouldnt feel comfortable to pickup a party more than 2, but hey...I'm from Houston, TX...when can we get to pickup a hitch hiker ^_^

I'm seriously considering to compensate MTR to provide a friendly ride. If not, the second option would be hike 5 mile from MTR to Florence Lake, then use the ferry to the shuttle pickup. If all else fails.........We will have to shorten the trip and stop at Devil's Postpile.

Thanks again for your input.