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High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners

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High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners

Postby mbHale » Tue May 07, 2013 7:42 pm

Hello. I have used this forum to get some information to plan my hike, so I thought I would return the favor and provide some details about our logistics plans to help some people planning a HST trip. We are flying direct into LA from Orlando, FL (yes; flatlander here) in mid-August. I am hiking with one other person.

From LA, we will take an Avis rental car one-way to Visalia, CA. Avis seems to have the most favorable one-way rates, by far. I also found a great coupon code online for Avis that gives a 35% discount (Code: D454000 in the AWD box on the website). The cost ended up around $75.00 for the car.

The walk from the Avis Center to the hotel we're staying at Visalia for the night is around 3 miles. I'm sure a cab would be pretty cheap, but we'll probably just walk it out (better get used to it, huh?). We're staying at the Lampliter Inn for around $60.00.

The city of Visalia runs a shuttle service up to the Sequoia National Park for $15.00/person (http://www.ci.visalia.ca.us/depts/trans ... a_shuttle/). You can make a reservation online. The shuttle picks up from various hotels in the Visalia area from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. We are then going to get our permits up at Lodgepole and camp a night to acclimate a bit. We'll probably check out the touristy stuff like General Sherman and the Muir Grove as well. Then we'll wake up the next day and head out.

On the last day of the trip, we'll have about a 15 mile hike up Whitney, so we won't get off the trail until late in the afternoon. We're planning to hitch from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine and stay at a hostel or hotel for the night.

The next day, we're waking up and taking the C.R.E.S.T. bus from Lone Pine (picks up at 9:40 a.m.) to Lancaster (drops off at 12:45 p.m.). Here are details for the route: http://estransit.com/pages/bus-routes/c ... caster.php. NOTE: The CREST bus ONLY RUNS Mon., Wed., and Fri., so plan accordingly.

I found that Lancaster drop off had the best combination of a) Distance of Avis center to CREST dropoff and b) price of one-way Avis car to LAX. The distance of the CREST dropoff to the Avis center in Lancaster is about 1 mile. We'll walk. The CREST ticket is $25.00/person. With the 35% discount code again, the rental car to LAX was only $50.00.

This may not be the cheapest possible way to do it, especially if you have friends in CA willing to help out. But one concern was getting up to Sequoia cheaply, and to do that you essentially have to stay in Visalia the night before because the shuttles leave so early. I think the hotel ($60.00 total) plus the shuttle ticket ($15.00/person). From what I've seen, this seems cheaper than a private shuttle. I also like the freedom of a rental car, especially on the way back. Our flight won't leave till 10:00 p.m., so we'll have a bit of time to have a good burger and some beers in LA before the redeye.

I haven't done the trip yet, but if you have any questions about planning let me know. Hope this was helpful.
Last edited by mbHale on Sat May 18, 2013 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby maverick » Wed May 08, 2013 6:36 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write up this helpful post, hopefully many folks
down the line will be able to take advantage of it. :thumbsup:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby overheadx2 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:14 pm

Is there an Avis in ridge crest. If so, it's a lot closer to lone pine. I like the plan, just thinking out loud.
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 09, 2013 9:10 am

If you do not need to fly in and out of the same place, I wonder if you could to do the transportation as you outlined to the start (Crescent Meadow) and then when coming out, instead take the bus north to Reno and fly out of Reno?
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby sparky » Thu May 09, 2013 10:23 am

I thought I might add Mammoth Lakes has an airport, which could be incorperated into a trip if need be. Alaska Airlines flys in and out of there to LAX for pretty cheap. I just picked a random flight a couple weeks in advance to LAX and got a one way price of 77$.

It doesn't seem like the CREST bus stops there though....that is weird. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby maverick » Thu May 09, 2013 11:05 am

They stop at McDonalds 1 Sierra Park Rd in Mammoth.
http://www.estransit.com/pages/bus-rout ... ammoth.php
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby mbHale » Sat May 18, 2013 5:53 pm

Yes there is an Avis in Ridgecrest area, but the Avis center is not very close to the CREST center, which was a concern for us. We didn't want to deal with a cab; the Lancaster CREST to Avis distance is under 1 mile. Also, the different cities' prices for one-way rental cars are a strangely differentiated (maybe based on size of Avis center?) and Lancaster was the lowest by far. We were able to get a one-way Avis from Lancaster to LAX for $51 (so $25 per person) plus gas. Seems to be pretty cheap.
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners -- Here's what we're do

Postby mbHale » Sat May 18, 2013 6:05 pm

Wandering Daisy:

You could go out of Reno, but LA is actually closer to Lone Pine. Plus, flying to and out of the same airport seems to be cheaper than piecing together routes.
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners

Postby rapunzel » Wed May 22, 2013 7:10 pm

Hi,

We are planning almost exactly the same trip (from the East Coast), but we are thinking of taking Metrolink from Lancaster back to LA. Here's the website: http://www.metrolinktrains.com/home/. It's $14 per person, takes about 2 hours into LA's Union Station, and there are departures at 1:30 and 6 p.m. that might work with the CREST bus. I don't think it's terribly convenient to LAX, but we are planning to visit some friends in LA the weekend after our hike anyway, so we don't need to get to the airport right away.

Has anyone else tried using Metrolink? Any luck?
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners

Postby austex » Wed May 22, 2013 7:48 pm

There's an express bus; Union Station to LAX, Called the Flyaway run by LADOA (Dept of Airports)
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Re: High Sierra Trail for Out-of-towners

Postby HikerDee » Wed May 29, 2013 7:23 am

A few years ago we took the CREST bus to Ridgecrest, after hiking the HST, and the driver dropped us at Avis. In fact about 10 people got off in an attempt to rent cars. Avis actually ran out of cars that day, so if you can, reserve one ahead when you get off the trail. Check CREST to see if they will still drop you off.
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