Okay… so you bought your John Muir Path allow, deliberate your resupply factors, and bought your gear lined up. Congrats! You’re virtually prepared for the most effective 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, certainly one of which is your John Muir Path transportation plan.
John Muir Path transportation is fairly easy when you’ve got two vehicles and two folks to drive. Merely drop one automobile 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 far-off? You then’ll need 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 one can get to & out of your John Muir trailhead
In my John Muir Path Transportation Information, you’ll discover all the data you could plan your public transportation logistics in your John Muir Path hike.
And because it goes in all the locations we share, please follow good path etiquette and keep in mind to Go away No Hint. This implies packing out all your rubbish, being respectful to others on busy trails, and following the established guidelines.
Step 1: What Course 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 preferred path for John Muir Path hikers is North to South as a result of you’ll be able to regulate to the altitude extra regularly (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’ve got further time.
However, southbound John Muir Path permits have gotten tougher to come back by, so many individuals are choosing a northbound John Muir hike departing from Horseshoe Meadow, simply south of Whitney. Horseshoe Meadow just isn’t accessible by public transportation, however I’ve heard a couple of personal 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
In the event you don’t dwell out west and you intend on flying into California to start out your hike, the best airport to fly into is the Mammoth airport. Conveniently located on the japanese facet of the Sierras between Yosemite and Mt. Whitney on Freeway 395, there’s frequent public transportation that you need to use to get to and from the JMT. What’s extra, Alaska Airways and United serve this airport, so you may just about get to Mammoth regardless of the place you might be coming from. The one draw back to Mammoth is that fares could be a bit dearer than bigger airports, however you’ll make up for it in comfort.
The second best choice is the Reno airport. Nonetheless, 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 mountain climbing north to south) than Mammoth.
San Francisco, Oakland, or Los Angeles
Main airports on the west facet 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 facet of the Sierras, requiring a really lengthy drive round to the opposite facet. Amtrak connects to YARTS (extra on YARTS under) in Merced if you wish to have a look at prepare/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 certainly one of these airports, Rome2Rio is a useful public transportation planning instrument that you need to use to determine the most effective 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 automobile leases accessible if you wish to hire a automobile… however leaving a rental automobile at a trailhead for 2-3 weeks doesn’t appear that economical.
Step 3: How one 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 option to get to the JMT and again to the airport on the finish. Simply take a taxi into Mammoth Lakes, the place you may 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 under). The bus runs each 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. In the event you go all the way in which to Yosemite Valley, the bus trip 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 couple of 20-minute trip, and with all of the folks mountain climbing to the Whitney summit every single day, hitching a trip is widespread follow and also you shouldn’t have to attend that lengthy. That stated….at all times belief your intestine and don’t get within the automobile with anybody you don’t really feel comfy with.
In the event you don’t need to hitchhike or you’ve got a big group, the East Facet Sierra Shuttle affords rides from the Whitney Portal to Lone Pine.
As soon as you might be in Lone Pine, you may take a 2-hour Japanese Sierra Transit bus again to Mammoth, and there are two totally different strains 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 verify these instances on their web site, as schedules do change
If you wish to skip the bus, East Facet 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) option to take the effort out of the journey, particularly when you’ve got 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 comparable to gear and backpacking meals, so if you happen to assume you could 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 each 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. In the event you go all the way in which to Yosemite Valley, the bus trip 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 verify these instances on their web site, as schedules do change
Parking Choices for the John Muir Path
Another choice when you’ve got just one automobile is to park it at one finish after which take public transportation to the opposite finish. However the place do you permit your automobile? Happily, there’s long-term parking accessible in Yosemite and the Whitney Portal.
There may be free long-term parking accessible close to the Pleased Isles trailhead at Curry Village and at Tuolumne Meadows within the Wilderness Allow lot. Make sure that to verify in first earlier than parking and when you’ve got any questions on parking, simply ask the ranger. Additionally, be sure you don’t go away any meals in your automobile, and as a substitute place any scented gadgets within the parking zone bear lockers.
Once I did the John Muir Path, you have been allowed to depart a automobile within the parking zone up on the Whitney Portal, though the lot does replenish and you could want to attend for a spot. For extra data 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 if you happen to’ve hiked the JMT, go away any ideas within the feedback under!