Okay… so you bought your John Muir Path allow, deliberate your resupply factors, and acquired your gear lined up. Congrats! You’re virtually prepared for the very best backpacking journey of your life. However don’t lace up these boots simply but… you continue to have a number of extra logistics to deal with, one among which is your John Muir Path transportation plan.
John Muir Path transportation is fairly easy when you have two vehicles and two individuals to drive. Merely drop one automotive off at one finish, drive the opposite as much as your permitted trailhead, and after your hike run a shuttle again as much as your start line.
However what in case you are going solo, don’t have two vehicles, or are flying in from someplace distant? Then you definitely’ll wish to take public transportation to the John Muir Path, and you’ve got 3 main choices to make:
- What path to hike
- What airport to fly into
- How you can get to & out of your John Muir trailhead
In my John Muir Path Transportation Information, you’ll discover all the info that you must plan your public transportation logistics to your John Muir Path hike.
And because it goes in all the locations we share, please apply good path etiquette and keep in mind to Go away No Hint. This implies packing out your whole rubbish, being respectful to others on busy trails, and following the established guidelines.
Step 1: What Path to Hike the John Muir Path
The 212-mile John Muir Path runs from Yosemite to the Whitney Portal trailhead simply south of the 14,505’ Mt. Whitney. The most well-liked path for John Muir Path hikers is North to South as a result of you’ll be able to regulate to the altitude extra steadily (the passes and peaks get taller as you progress south in direction of Mt. Whitney).
If the acclimatizing benefits don’t promote you on a North to South JMT hike, public transit and parking are additionally simpler in Yosemite, and also you even have the chance to discover the park earlier than and after the hike when you have additional time.
Alternatively, southbound John Muir Path permits have gotten more durable to come back by, so many individuals are choosing a northbound John Muir hike departing from Horseshoe Meadow, simply south of Whitney. Horseshoe Meadow will not be accessible by public transportation, however I’ve heard a few non-public shuttle from Lone Pine to Horseshoe Meadow run by Kurt Energy. I haven’t used him myself, so I can’t converse to the expertise, however his contact information is 760-876-4811 or LonePineKurt@aol.com.
Step 2: Resolve What Airport to Fly Into
If you happen to don’t stay out west and you propose on flying into California to start out your hike, the best airport to fly into is the Mammoth airport. Conveniently located on the japanese aspect of the Sierras between Yosemite and Mt. Whitney on Freeway 395, there’s frequent public transportation that you should utilize to get to and from the JMT. What’s extra, Alaska Airways and United serve this airport, so you’ll be able to just about get to Mammoth irrespective of the place you might be coming from. The one draw back to Mammoth is that fares is usually a bit dearer than bigger airports, however you’ll make up for it in comfort.
The second most suitable choice is the Reno airport. Nevertheless, attending to Yosemite from Reno requires a switch in Mammoth, and Reno is a number of hours farther from the endpoint at Mt. Whitney (assuming you might be mountaineering north to south) than Mammoth.
San Francisco, Oakland, or Los Angeles
Main airports on the west aspect of the Sierras – like San Francisco, Oakland, or Los Angeles – could have cheaper flights, however they’re considerably harder to get again to since you’ll end your hike on the east aspect of the Sierras, requiring a really lengthy drive round to the opposite aspect. Amtrak connects to YARTS (extra on YARTS beneath) in Merced if you wish to have a look at practice/bus choices.
I’m not going to element these routes since they require a number of transfers between trains and buses. If you wish to fly into one among these airports, Rome2Rio is a useful public transportation planning software that you should utilize to determine the very best route from SFO, OAK, or LAX.
Different regional airports like Fresno-Yosemite or Merced don’t provide the identical handy transit choices and likewise aren’t any cheaper.
All airports (Mammoth, Fresno, and Merced included) have automotive leases obtainable if you wish to hire a automotive… however leaving a rental automotive at a trailhead for 2-3 weeks doesn’t appear that economical.
Step 3: How you can Get to & from the John Muir Path utilizing Public Transportation
From Mammoth Airport:
If you’ll fly spherical journey to the Mammoth Yosemite Airport, then public transit is a good, simple, and low cost technique to get to the JMT and again to the airport on the finish. Simply take a taxi into Mammoth Lakes, the place you’ll be able to choose up the Yosemite Space Regional Transit (YARTS) HWY 120/395 bus from Mammoth to Yosemite Valley (the road proven in GREEN on the map beneath). The bus runs day by day in July and August and you will get dropped off both in Tuolumne Meadows or Yosemite Valley, relying on which trailhead you’ve got a allow for. If you happen to go all the way in which to Yosemite Valley, the bus experience takes 4 hours.
Getting again to the Mammoth Airport: On the south finish of the John Muir Path, you exit on the Whitney Portal trailhead. There isn’t any public transportation that goes on to the trailhead, so that you’ll must hitchhike out to the closest city of Lone Pine. It’s a few 20-minute experience, and with all of the individuals mountaineering to the Whitney summit day by day, hitching a experience is widespread apply and also you shouldn’t have to attend that lengthy. That mentioned….all the time belief your intestine and don’t get within the automotive with anybody you don’t really feel comfy with.
If you happen to don’t wish to hitchhike or you’ve got a big group, the East Aspect Sierra Shuttle presents rides from the Whitney Portal to Lone Pine.
As soon as you might be in Lone Pine, you’ll be able to take a 2-hour Japanese Sierra Transit bus again to Mammoth, and there are two totally different traces that can get you there:
- The Lone Pine-Reno line leaves Lone Pine at 6:15am, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
- The Lancaster Route leaves at 5pm, and runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- Sadly, there isn’t any weekend bus service, so plan accordingly
- Reservations are additionally really helpful. Name 800.922.1930 to order your seat
- Double examine these instances on their web site, as schedules do change
If you wish to skip the bus, East Aspect Sierra Shuttle will choose you up on the Mammoth Airport, drop you off in Yosemite, after which choose you up at Whitney Portal and take you again to the airport. That is an superior (however costly) technique to take the effort out of the journey, particularly when you have an even bigger group.
From Reno Airport:
Attending to the John Muir Path: In case you are beginning in Yosemite, you’ll must take a 4-hour Japanese Sierra Transit bus from Reno and get off in Lee Vining or Mammoth. Mammoth is the final “main” city to get last-minute provides similar to gear and backpacking meals, so in the event you suppose that you must choose something up, plan on stopping in Mammoth.
Then as soon as you might be in Lee Vining or Mammoth, switch to the Yosemite Space Regional Transit (YARTS) HWY 120/395 bus. As talked about above, the YARTS bus runs day by day in July and August and you will get dropped off both in Tuolumne Meadows or Yosemite Valley, relying on which trailhead you’ve got a allow for. If you happen to go all the way in which to Yosemite Valley, the bus experience takes 4 hours.
- The Lone Pine-Reno line leaves Lone Pine at 6:15am, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- Sadly, there isn’t any weekend bus service, so plan accordingly.
- Reservations are additionally really helpful. Name 800.922.1930 to order your seat.
- Double examine these instances on their web site, as schedules do change
Parking Choices for the John Muir Path
Another choice when you have just one automotive is to park it at one finish after which take public transportation to the opposite finish. However the place do you permit your automotive? Happily, there’s long-term parking obtainable in Yosemite and the Whitney Portal.
There may be free long-term parking obtainable close to the Pleased Isles trailhead at Curry Village and at Tuolumne Meadows within the Wilderness Allow lot. Ensure to examine in first earlier than parking and when you have any questions on parking, simply ask the ranger. Additionally, ensure you don’t go away any meals in your automotive, and as an alternative place any scented gadgets within the parking zone bear lockers.
Once I did the John Muir Path, you have been allowed to go away a automotive within the parking zone up on the Whitney Portal, though the lot does refill and chances are you’ll want to attend for a spot. For extra info on present street situations as much as the Whitney Portal, go to the Inyo Nationwide Forest web site.
What questions do you’ve got about John Muir Path transportation? And in the event you’ve hiked the JMT, go away any suggestions within the feedback beneath!