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From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

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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From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

Postby cjp2b » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:32 am

So I'm planning to hike the Whitney trail next summer at the beginning of July and I'm trying to figure out the logistics of getting from Bakersfield to Lodgepole and then a week later getting from the Whitney Portal at Lone Pine back to Bakersfield. As a recent college graduate I'm on kind of a tight budget and am open to hitchhiking or hopping in a car with fellow hikers. Any suggestions for some cheap modes of transportation to and from the mountains?



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Re: From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

Postby Ska-T » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:06 am

Getting from Bakersfield to SEKI NP is easy compared to getting from Whitney Portal to Bakersfield. Have you considered making your backpacking trip an out and back trip or a loop, that is, start and finish at Lodgepole (or Crescent Meadow). There are several ways to make a nice loop. If you need to, you can resupply at Whitney Portal.

From Bakersfield you can take a bus to Visalia (round trip is about $35). From Visalia there is a bus that travels to the Giant Forest Museum (about $8 each way). Inside Sequoia NP you can hop on a free shuttle bus.

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Re: From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:49 pm

I am not a purist, wanted to do the High Sierra Trail, and was too cheap to pay lots of money for transport (have more time than money these days!). So, a few years back I did a loop from Whitney Portal. I only went as far as Hamilton Lake. I had been to Hamilton Lake from Crescent Meadow before and saw no reason to walk that section of trail again. It was a 9 day trip. I took the trails to the upper Kern Keweah, then over Pants Pass to Nine Lakes Basin, down to Hamilton, and back on the official High Sierra Trail. I took two side trips- one to Crabtree Lake and one to Wallace Lake.

If you do not want to do Pants Pass, with another day or so, you could continue over Colby Pass, down to Deadman Canyon, over Elizabeth Pass and back up to Hamilton Lake.

I paid for the Whitney Permit and got in the drawing. I did this trip in mid-September, and found out I could have easily got a first-come permit without the cost of reserving. In July, you probably should reserve a permit.

Why is Bakersfield your starting point? It is easier to get to Sequoia park from Visalia or Fresno. Do you not have a car at all?
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Re: From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

Postby cjp2b » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:35 am

I am from the East coast so Bakersfield is much cheaper to fly into than Fresno. Also, I won't have a car and I'm trying to figure out the cheapest ways to get to and from the trail heads (bus, train, hitchhiking). I think my current plans will take me in through Bakersfield but out through Mammoth Lakes. The logistics of getting a ride back to Bakersfield are fairly complicated and not something I really want to deal with after spending a week in the wild.
I tried hiking the same trail, from Crescent Meadow to Whitney last year but was turned around due to excessive amounts of snow and really high water levels. From the moment we turned around I knew I would come back to do it.
Thanks so much for the advice.
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Re: From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:53 am

You'd best wait to finalize your trip plans til April or May, then. If you set things in stone and we have another year like 2011, or a worse one!, you'll get turned around again in July. I was still seeing telemark skiers up above 10k in late July.

There are private shuttles and so forth in that area - some of them fly under the radar. I have a name and number of a guy in Lone Pine, if he's still working, and he knows a number of others who do the same thing. If you'd like to try his number PM me. He helped us (two women) get from Onion to Horseshoe staging a car shuttle last year.
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Re: From Bakersfield to Whitney Trail

Postby tim » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:25 am

You can hitch down into Lone Pine, stay overnight at the hostel and then get the morning CREST bus south to Mojave which connects with an Amtrak bus back to Bakersfield (or Visalia). Pretty simple and cheap, but just remember the CREST bus only runs 3 days a week (Mon/Wed/Fri).
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