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Mount Williamson Motel, Independence

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Mount Williamson Motel, Independence

Postby oleander » Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:44 pm

I will post this under "Transit" since, although this is more of a motel review, the motel provides a new transit option for eastside starts and finishes.

The Mount Williamson Motel in Independence is under new ownership (changed hands ~18 months ago). The new proprietors, Doug and Strider, are bending over backwards to make it the new eastside hiker haven. They charge a base price that is less than average for eastside motels; this includes breakfast, and I mean a FULL breakfast (eggs, bacon, coffee, etc.) where you can exchange stories with all the other guests (who are also mostly hikers). You can mail your resupply there, so that you're not dependent on the hours of the Independence post office. Proceeds from the resupply business are directed to bighorn sheep restoration. There are hiker boxes with food, medical supplies, etc. that people have left behind. There is laundry service.

The properietors will pick you up or drop you off at your trailhead if it is nearby. I got picked up at the Shepherd Pass (stock) Trailhead, which was a lifesaver, as it is really not easy to hitchhike from! You can arrange for that prior to your trip, or just call from your trailhead (Verizon, AT&T, others seem to have reception at most trailheads, even Onion Valley). I think they will sometimes venture further afield (Taboose? Cottonwood?), but call and ask - they may or may not add to your motel base price for this service.

It was a lot of fun staying there. It is a real gem.

So I 'm surprised I haven't heard anyone here mention this motel, before. It seems to be very well-known among the JMTers already.

Independence is not the greatest town to get equipment fixes or a real supermarket, but there are daily public transit options going to Bishop and Lone Pine, or other guests who are driving to those towns who could give you a ride. I actually found a lot of what I needed in the motel's hiker boxes.

The motel has free internet, and the library down the street (behind the courthouse) lets you use its computers for a half hour at a time.

I've been wanting to do a round-trip, trans-Sierra hike: Park on the west side; hike across to the east side; Zero Day to rest and re-supply; then hike a different route back west to my car. Always wondered how to pull that off logistically. Now I know for sure I will use the Mount Williamson.

- Elizabeth

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Re: Mount Williamson Motel, Independence

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:00 pm

Backpacker friendly place, nice, clean rooms. Can also be used as a re-supply
point for JMT or PCT. :thumbsup:
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Re: Mount Williamson Motel, Independence

Postby Jim F » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:48 pm


This is valuable information. Thanks for sharing.

In 2004 my daughter and I stayed at the Mt Williamson Motel when Henrietta and her husband were the new owners. It left us well positioned prior for our Onion Valley to Mt Whitney hike. We had a favorable impression and Henrietta's cooking lived up to its excellent reputation.

In June of last year at the junction of the JMT and Kearsarge Pass Trail I came across a flyer (addressed to PCT hikers) for the Courthouse Motel/Hostel (760-878-2123), also in Independence.

For the long distance hiker seeking resupply/recharge, the exit over the relatively friendly Kearsarge Pass Trail seems inviting. Good to see that there are now more resources in Independence.


PS: Also it is awesome to feel the overwhelming presence of Mt Williamson nearby.
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