East Side Transportation

All discussion related to transportation to, from and within the Sierra Nevada. Need directions or flight information? Info on road conditions? A ride to the trail head? Can you offer a ride, or do you run a transportation business or shuttle service for the Sierra Nevada? Come on in and post the details!
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Goat
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East Side Transportation

Post by Goat » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:57 am

Hi folks,

We are planning a trip entering at Horseshoe Meadows and exiting Shepherd Pass. I know there are some options for hiring shuttles, just wondering how some you experienced would plan this out.

We'll have an overloaded older Honda Civic with three burly men in it, so not exactly an off road beast. No option for a second car, unless rented.

My first thought is to leave the civic somewhere in Independence and hire a ride down to Horseshoe Meadows, hitching back down to Independence at the end. Other option would be to try to drive up toward the Shepherd pass trail and leave the car there. Appreciate any advice.

-Nate








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longri
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Re: East Side Transportation

Post by longri » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:38 am

It depends on what you're willing to spend and also how much time you have. The cheapest method is to drive to the start and then worry about hitchhiking back at the end of the trip (or drive to the finish and start your trip by hitchhiking). But that's also the least certain in terms of timing. A more expensive way would be to meet a shuttle at your finishing trailhead first thing in the morning and get driven to the start. That's the smoothest approach. A third method is to take two cars, but since you have only one that would mean renting. My guess is a shuttle would be less expensive but I'm not 100% positive.

I've done all of those methods in the past (minus the renting part). They all work; they all have obvious trade-offs.

Leaving your car in town might save you a little money but I'll bet it's less than you think. Price it out and consider what your time is worth since then you'll have to hitchhike as well as pay for a shuttle.

One final method that I've never tried is to stash a bicycle at the finishing trailhead. I think in your case it would be about 40 miles and probably not an attractive option.

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Re: East Side Transportation

Post by maiathebee » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:04 pm

In my experience it's a lot easier to hitch a ride if you are one clean pre-hike person sans pack rather than 3 dirty post-trip hikers with packs. I also like the security of knowing I'm hiking towards my car rather than away from it, and that I can just head home after my trip without extra hassle. So, I always try to stash my car at my exit trailhead and hitch from there to my entry trailhead. Timing can be an issue, best if you can stash in the afternoon the day before your hike so you can hitch from people exiting trailhead (easier to hitch out of a trailhead in afternoon, and in to a trailhead in morning).

None of this, though, takes into consideration your car vs the Shepherd's Pass Trailhead road. The last 1.5 miles or so are not paved, and I haven't been on it recently so I can't comment on how easily it'd be to get your civic up there. Hopefully somebody else can help with that part.
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Re: East Side Transportation

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:25 pm

The shuttle systems I have used prefer to take your car to the ending trailhead, and then transport you to the start. Shuttle companies do not want to be uncertain when you are actually coming out. Personally, I think they are correct in that I also prefer to hike back to my car. If it does not matter which direction I do a route, I prefer to park my car at the easiest to get to trailhead and let the shuttle company eat the cost of getting to the more difficult trailhead. Also, the shuttle cars usually are 4wd so can get up roads I hesitate to take my personal car on.

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Re: East Side Transportation

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:45 pm

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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Re: East Side Transportation

Post by markskor » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:10 pm

maiathebee wrote:In my experience it's a lot easier to hitch a ride if you are one clean pre-hike person sans pack rather than 3 dirty post-trip hikers with packs.
My experience...On Sierra highways, a one or a two having backpacks signifies they are backpacking...noble. Those without a pack, always a bit leery.
I prefer to pick up those who look like they are going somewhere mountain related...not so much city. A destination sign helps too.
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Re: East Side Transportation

Post by bobby49 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:42 pm

Everything stated so far is true. If you are not quite sure when you will get to the finish, then you could make an arrangement with a shuttle company in advance. Then when you see you are one day out or a half day out from the finish, you could contact the company via satellite communicator. Or, if you don't want to trust the company with your credit card number for that, then put your trust and credit card info with a family member. As you near the finish, have that person negotiate with the company and then send you a confirmation back via satellite.

I've driven the road to Horseshoe Meadow before, and I generally pick up one hitchhiker on the way up, and then pick up a different one on the way down to Lone Pine. That is a pretty standard stop for PCT backpackers.

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