Jun 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm #1303744
So I'm planning on doing the JMT this summer since it will be my last real chance to do it for a couple of years. I'm pretty busy this summer and have a lot of stuff going on, but am in pretty good shape and am sure I can do it at whatever speed I need to.
My timeline is as follows:
– finish some military responsibilities on July 22nd
– start trail the next day (will involve waiting early in the morning to get a permit)
– finish by August 5th and get to Las Vegas somehow for a August 6th AM flight to Bend, OR
I do have travel insurance on the flight to Oregon and can cancel/change the flight to the 7th or 8th of August if need be, but would prefer not to.
I'm not sure if I should hike NOBO or SOBO. I have family in Vegas and they have multiple vehicles, so I could easily drive up to Whitney Portal (4 hour drive), leave a car there, hike north, and then somehow get back. Or, I could fly into Reno on the 22nd, hike south, and then get picked up from Whitney Portal. However, I want to do this as efficiently as possible, because even one or two days of traveling to/from the trailheads shortens the time I have to hike considerably.
If at all possible I would prefer to drive from Vegas, park at Whitney Portal, and then get back down to the car from Happy Isles somehow, but I'm not sure if that's possible (the transportation systems really confuse me).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys ;)
edit: turns out my parents actually might be able to do the 7 hour drive to Happy Isles from Vegas and pick me up/drive me back when I finish. That would obviously be the best option.Jun 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm #1992941
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
That time of year, you have so many visitors…especially europeans of all ages!!…I can't imagine having any issues finding someone going south from or north to Yosemite who might enjoy your company and hearing about your adventure…sight seers in a parking lot, day hikers at a trail head, campground, even hitching. Go to the Whitney Portal Store website.
Give Doug Thompson a call (760) 876-0030 during the evening hours at the Portal Hostel if you don't believe me. He'll know EXACTLY what is available in terms of public transport as well…it's limited and it is a pain.
One person getting a ride in those parts should be a cinch. Our European visitors are a good bet.Jun 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm #1992949
I hitched from Whitney to Yosemite without much problem. Took a while because it is a long way. You should also look at the eastern Sierra transport buses. They run up the east side of the Sierra. Also, you may want to park in mammoth and bus it to Yosemite. That would make the return easier. Another option is to skip the car and take the bus from Reno to Yosemite then the bus from lone pine to Reno. I did part of this during my SHR trip.Jun 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm #1992950
if your parents can pick you up at Happy Isles that would be extremely helpful.
the following transportation from Happy Isles to Whitney Portal involves 3 legs and 2 full days, with a hotel or campground overnight in between.
from Yosemite Valley catch the YARTS bus to Mammoth. bus leaves Yose around 5pm I think and gets to Mammoth around 9pm.
spend night in Mammoth.
the next morning catch an Eastern Sierra Transit Authority bus from Mammoth to Lone Pine (these may not run 7 days a week).
from Lone Pine, hitch hike up to Whitney Portal.Jun 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm #1993443
Are your parents by chance flying to Bend, as well? They could pick you up at Happy Isles and then drive you there, instead. About 10 hours north from Yosemite.
This would be a real longshot, but you could try rideshare section of Craigslist/Bend to see if anyone will be returning there by car from Yosemite around the time you need to.
Vegas is a LOT of backtracking from the Sierras and especially from the northern end of the JMT. Could you fly to Bend out of Reno or Sacramento?
In the end, the most realistic scenario might be to drive from Vegas, park in Lone Pine, hitch to Whitney Portal, and hike as far north as you can get. Then bail and hitch back to your car. If you bail at Tuolumne (or earlier) rather than going all the way to Happy Isles, you save yourself some travel time spent extricating yourself from Yosemite Valley.
– ElizabethJun 6, 2013 at 1:10 am #1993815
Unless you're hard over on going NOBO, SOBO may make more sense (ie efficient public transport) transportation wise.
Drive or fly to Mammoth Lakes, take YARTS to Yosemite Valley, get your permit and start at Happy Isle. When you exit at Whitney Portal, it is very easy to hitch to Lone Pine. From there ESTA bus travels between all the little towns and Reno.
FWIW – if it's possibe to change your flight, it may be worth delaying your return so you have more time on the trail. it is very beautiful and is a shame to have to rush through if you don't have to do so.
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