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Public Transit and the JMT

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Public Transit and the JMT

Postby BSquared » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:07 pm

Hi, Folks,

I wonder if anybody on this board has flown into and out of California and done the JMT (or a trip with similar north-south breadth) within the last couple of years and made their way to and from the trailhead on public transit. I'm contemplating a JMT trip next summer, and there are plenty of resources on the web but most of them are fairly old. I'd really appreciate hearing from someone who's actually done it, preferably fairly recently. For example, I should I fly in to Reno, Sacto, SF, or LA (probably not LA for a N-S trip)? I could take a train/bus combination from Sacramento to Yosemite or a combination of YARTS and CREST from Reno; is there anything else? I could fly out of LA or Las Vegas or Reno -- which one's best? Lots of choices!

-B2



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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby PhilB » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:12 am

I haven't been over for a couple of years but I have flown into SFO 4 or 5 times then caught the Amtrak/Yarts combination to Yosemite. Always found it very easy, punctual and good value.

Getting back to SFO from the east side would be more of a problem. I have used Crest and Yarts a fair amount but linking between them at Mammoth involves a night layover due the the late pm arrival of yarts from Yosemite and the early am departure going back. When I have been heading back to SFO I have always taken the Crest bus south to Ridgecrest and rented a car one way to the airport.

Flying into Reno has never been an option for me but if you can get flights to tie in with the Crest schedule your return to the airport may be easier.

Crest schedules etc at http://easternsierratransitauthority.com/wb/
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby BSquared » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:53 pm

Thanks, Phil. When we did the trail in 2004 we rented a car one-way in Ridgecrest and drove to LA, where my brother-in-law lives, and as I recall the one-way was not any more expensive than a regular rental (they must get a lot of one-way cars at Ridgecrest because of the China Lake base). That's a good idea. Two questions: is there an easy transfer from SFO to the Amtrak/YARTS (Amtrak actually leaves from Oakland, doesn't it?), and how long (roughly) does it take to drive from Ridgecrest to SFO -- I'm guessing it's a very long day.

-B2
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby PhilB » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:59 am

BSquared wrote: Two questions: is there an easy transfer from SFO to the Amtrak/YARTS (Amtrak actually leaves from Oakland, doesn't it?),

Yes - there is a train link, http://www.bart.gov , from the airport international terminal. Amtrak have a bus that picks up in various downtown locations before crossing the bay to connect with the train at Emeryville. The BART station at Embarcadero is close to the Amtrak office/bus stop near the ferry building.
As long as your flight arrival gives you enough time to fit with the Amtrak schedule the combination runs well. If you arrive too late, the earliest departure time the next day will get you to Yosemite at lunchtime.

BSquared wrote: and how long (roughly) does it take to drive from Ridgecrest to SFO -- I'm guessing it's a very long day.

I have always taken a few days or more to do some sightseeing on the way back. It must be 350/400 miles from Ridgcrest to SFO so yes, that would be very long day.

Maybe we should start a campaign to bring back the daily LA to Reno Greyhound!
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby BSquared » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:39 pm

Ah, BART, yes I should have remembered about that. Also, I checked Google Maps, and they said only about 6 1/2 hours from Ridgecrest to SFO, which surprised me a lot. Anyway, thanks so much for the infromation!
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby eaglepdub » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:30 pm

BSquared,

I am excited for your hike on the JMT. I have been traveling to the Sierra's from Idaho for the past three seasons. If you ask 10 different people about transportaion you will get 10 different answers, so here is mine. I like to fly in and out of Reno, NV. This will keep you on the Eastern side of the Sierra's. The Crest Bus leaves the Reno Airport @ 1:20 p.m. and will let you of in Lee Vining @ 4:15. Lee Vining is at the base of Tioga Pass, the Eastern route into Yosemite. It is a easy and I mean very easy to hitchhike from here into Yosemite as everyone on this road is outdoor minded and going to the same destination. If for some reason you don't want to hitchhike you can stay the night and take the YARTS bus which goes all thru Yosemite the next morning.

When you exit the trail at Whitney Portal again you are on the Eastern side of the Sierra's. You will need to hitchhike from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine. (13 miles) Again this is a very easy ride as there will be hundreds of fellow hikers all traveling down the hill to Lone Pine. Stay the night @ the Whitney Portal Hostel (20 bucks) The Crest bus picks up @ 6:15 a.m. for your return to Reno.

FYI the Crest bus only runs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Also when booking a return flight I always book it several days beyond my return date. I pay a little extra and purchase the fully refundable/transferable ticket. Then when off the trail I just call the airline and schedule my flight, this causes a lot less stress while on the trail if you fall behind schedule.

Here are the links:

http://www.yarts.com/schedule/2008/summer120.pdf
http://easternsierratransitauthority.co ... p-reno.php
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... #Post51019

Good Luck,

Paul Walker
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:55 am

Thanks, Paul. Good info. It's always good to know this stuff if you , like me, have to travel to get to the Sierra.
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby BSquared » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:48 am

Aha, another good option. Thanks! I do remember trying to hitchike from the Mono Canyon/Bloody Canyon trailhead on the Tioga Rd for what seemed like hours once, but that was in a different era (and my hair was much longer back then ;) ).

-B2
Last edited by BSquared on Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby dharter » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:25 am

BSquared,
Here are the options I have used the past 2 years.

1. Happy Isles start - Flew into Sacramento. One-way rental (avis I think) to Merced. Early (7am) Yarts bus to the YV. On the trail by Noon.

2. Bishop Pass start - Flew into Las Vegas. Rental to Bishop. Ride via Rainbow Packers to South Lake trailhead (great people). Crest Bus back to Bishop and rental back to Las Vegas. You could do a one-way rental from Las Vagas to Ridgecrest and Crest to your entry and then back to Ridgecrest again, but the cost to keep the car from Las Vegas was hardly any more and a bit more convenient. Parked it in the far corner of the Kmart lot at Bishop for 10 days w/out any problems (suggested by someone at the Bishop C of C - done fairly regularly from what I gathered).
Doug
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby Snow Nymph » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:46 am

eaglepdub wrote: It is a easy and I mean very easy to hitchhike from here into Yosemite as everyone on this road is outdoor minded and going to the same destination.

Good Luck,

Paul Walker



We got 3 rides between WP & Mammoth and there were 2 of us. Didn't have to wait long
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby BSquared » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:39 pm

Yeah, but I'm old and ugly... :p
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Re: Public Transit and the JMT

Postby markskor » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:00 pm

When hitching on 395, always show a sign/destination...then with a backpack, it's easy.

In your case though B², maybe add something to the effect that you know Snow Nymph...gotta help.
(I see you get to borrow her Expedition...)

excellent use of our community everybody!
Mountainman who swims with trout
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