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Re: Traveling Logistics: Idiots Guide To The John Muir Trail

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  • dh5169
    Kevin, I spent a lot of time researching the trip from the east coast (Harrisburg, PA) to Yosemite last year – looking for the quickest way to get onto the
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 7, 2008
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      Kevin,
      I spent a lot of time researching the trip from the east coast
      (Harrisburg, PA) to Yosemite last year – looking for the quickest
      way to get onto the JMT at Happy Isles. This is what I found worked
      best for us and I think you could make it work for you even with
      your choice of trailhead.

      Flew into Sacramento because it was to only place to get a one-way
      rental to a good drop-off point – Merced. Arrived in Merced late
      afternoon after a stop at the Sacramento REI for fuel and a few last
      minute purchases. Picked up tickets at the Yarts Terminal in the
      Merced Transportation Center and spent the night (Vagabond Inn –
      only a short distance from the car rental location who gave me a
      ride back). Got the 7am Yarts bus into Yosemite, picked up the
      permit and was on the trail by noon.

      You could do the same with a minor adjustment. Instead of
      overnighting in Merced, get the last Yarts bus (around 5pm) out or
      Merced to Yosemite. Overnight in Yosemite and get the Yarts bus to
      your trailhead (don't know if they will stop at the trailhead for
      you – you might have to get onto the Tuolumne Meadows shuttle).

      Timing is key here – you need an early morning flight, no delays, a
      quick turn-around at both ends of the car rental, etc. so you don't
      miss the bus into Yosemite – otherwise you miss your bus to the
      trailhead and your permit is worthless.

      Reno is another option, but the logistics are worse. The only
      possible place to drop a one-way rental is Mammoth Lakes – but you
      would have to confirm that thru the rental agencies. Having spent a
      couple of night there and trying to rent a car, I seem to recall
      that there are only local rentals available.

      The Crest bus back from the Reno airport leaves at 11:45. Getting
      to Reno by that time from the east coast is virtually impossible and
      any delay would ruin the timing. Of course you might be able to gat
      a late night flight and overnight in Reno. Even so, then you have
      to overnight in Lee Vining and get the Yarts bus into Yosemite.
      Don't know if they will make a drop at the trailhead, but the
      Tuolumne Shuttle does, so you can get off at the Tuolumne visitors
      center and take the shuttle to the trailhead.

      Another Reno option to consider is just keeping a car for the entire
      time. The one-way cost for Sacramento to Merced was nearly a
      hundred bucks. Ten days of rental out of Reno may not be all that
      much more and when you factor in the bus transportation and hotel
      will probably be much less, actually. Just drive it into Yosemite
      and leave it at the trailhead. Rent a car for a day wherever you
      come out on the east side (in Mammoth Lakes they charged 60 bucks
      for a day) and go back and pick it up. Return it and head back to
      Reno.

      Hope this helps – feel free to contact me directly if you have
      additional questions.

      Doug

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "guildshoes" <PaddyBeer@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hey, if one of you guys are willing to write it, I can guarantee
      at
      > least five sales!
      >
      > I do have perhaps a redundant question or two.
      >
      > We (3 of us) are flying from Buffalo New York and have
      reservations
      > for the Sunrise Trailhead on July 24. I believe that leaving here
      > sometime on July 22 would be best. We are planning to be on trail
      > for 10 or so night, are ultralight, but are not sure how far along
      > the trail we will get. Now the issues.
      >
      > 1. What is the "best" airport to fly into? I guess by this is
      what
      > are the three closest airports to where we are going? We are
      > prepared to rent a car one way at the airport to get to where we
      can
      > pick up the bus.
      >
      > 2. I note the shuttle bus service that gets us to Yosemite. Is
      > there some kind of public transportation at Yosemite that will get
      us
      > to our trailhead?
      >
      > 3. Are there certain locations that are easier to get to an
      airport
      > from than others? If so we can target to finish our trip at one
      of
      > them.
      >
      > 4. What is the "best" airport to fly home from? SHould we go to
      the
      > one we flew into or will we be in a position to go elsewhere? I
      > guess by this is what are the three closest airports to where we
      are
      > going? We are prepared to rent a car one way at the airport to
      get
      > to where we can pick up the bus.
      >
      > Thanks. I have been trying to figure this out based on the other
      > threads but when I think I have it I know I do not.
      >
      > Kevin (Paddy)
      > Buffalo, NY
      >
    • guildshoes
      Thank you so much. I just tripped across this site (http://jrabold.net/yosemite/transp.htm). THis has great information on the different airports and bus
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 7, 2008
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        Thank you so much. I just tripped across this site
        (http://jrabold.net/yosemite/transp.htm). THis has great information
        on the different airports and bus service link from Merced. I went to
        Enterprise.com to get what I think is the least expensive car rental.
        I think that we might fly right into Merced. It is a tad more
        expensive, but I have no faith in tight schedules.

        I am also thinking of renting a car for a couple of weeks. SInce there
        are three of us, it is not as lavish an expense as it would appear. I
        think it costs around $125 per person from Enterprise verses around $50
        to $75 for the bus plus a hotel room cost, so it might approximate
        being about $25 per person more expensive for each of us.

        I was wondering if anyone knows of possible sites to leave the car. I
        amlooking for a recommendation that would give us a location that might
        be the least inconvenient to get to at the end of the trip. I figure
        we will end up someplace between John Muir Lodge and Whitney


        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dh5169" <dh5169@...> wrote:
        >
        > Kevin,
        > I spent a lot of time researching the trip from the east coast
        > (Harrisburg, PA) to Yosemite last year – looking for the quickest
        > way to get onto the JMT at Happy Isles. This is what I found worked
        > best for us and I think you could make it work for you even with
        > your choice of trailhead.
        >
        >
      • guildshoes
        Airtravel: I found a discount airline site that also gives you the rates for nearby airports. Bestfares.com While it gives information for Fresno,
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 9, 2008
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          Airtravel: I found a discount airline site that also gives you the
          rates for nearby airports. Bestfares.com

          While it gives information for Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose,
          San Francisco and Reno, I could not scare up anything for Merced
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