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Lone Pine weekend transportation options

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  • bender323
    Two of us are planning to exit at Whitney Portal on August 30th, which happens to be a Saturday. We need to get back to SFO by the 3rd and our plan is to rent
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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      Two of us are planning to exit at Whitney Portal on August 30th, which happens to be a Saturday. We need to get back to SFO by the 3rd and our plan is to rent a car - probably in Mammoth - and drive back to the Bay Area.


      It looks like ESTA has no weekend bus service so my question is are there any weekend transportation options that could get us to a rental car outlet from Lone Pine/Whitney? I realize that we can wait until Monday or book a private shuttle to Mammoth for about $200, but am I missing another option? 


      Also, I've looked at the crib sheet for shuttle options and it seems that Mount Whitney Shuttle might be out of business - at least their website has expired - so any shuttle service recommendations would be appreciated.

    • steve parker
      The cheapest method is standing beside the road with your thumb out.  If you are not into hitching, I can recommend the East Side Sierra Shuttle. I finished
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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        The cheapest method is standing beside the road with your thumb out.  If you are not into hitching, I can recommend the East Side Sierra Shuttle. I finished the JMT at the end of June and did not make any reservations to get from Whitney Portal back to San Fran (not knowing if or when I would complete the JMT).  ESTA was available to Mammoth, but the YARTS connection from Mammoth to Yosemite was not (only runs weekdays in July and August).  IWith minimal notice (about 12 hours), I was able to book this shuttle service from Lone Pine to TM.  The driver/owner is a nice guy, hiker/photographer, good conversationalist and timely transport, but not the cheap option.  Two ends of the spectrum -- you get what you pay for.


        See eastsidesierrashuttle.com
         


        On Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:02 AM, "dbender@... [johnmuirtrail]" <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


         
        Two of us are planning to exit at Whitney Portal on August 30th, which happens to be a Saturday. We need to get back to SFO by the 3rd and our plan is to rent a car - probably in Mammoth - and drive back to the Bay Area.

        It looks like ESTA has no weekend bus service so my question is are there any weekend transportation options that could get us to a rental car outlet from Lone Pine/Whitney? I realize that we can wait until Monday or book a private shuttle to Mammoth for about $200, but am I missing another option? 

        Also, I've looked at the crib sheet for shuttle options and it seems that Mount Whitney Shuttle might be out of business - at least their website has expired - so any shuttle service recommendations would be appreciated.


      • bender323
        Thanks Steve. It looked like those were the two options to me too but I wanted to be sure I wasn t missing something. I ll check out East Side Sierra Shuttle.
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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          Thanks Steve. It looked like those were the two options to me too but I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something. I'll check out East Side Sierra Shuttle.
        • straw_marmot
          Just to add... unless you are in a large group, hitching from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine is pretty much the standard way to exit the JMT, and very easy.
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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            Just to add...   unless you are in a large group, hitching from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine is pretty much the standard way to exit the JMT, and very easy.  You might wait a bit longer early in the day when few people are going down, but a high percentage of cars will give you a ride.   (I'm told that hitching along 395 is also fairly easy, but have never tried it) 

            And since you seem to have a couple of days breathing room - I discovered a couple of weeks ago that Lone Pine, which appears at first glance to be a one-horse podunk town, is a vibrant little community, and a great place to relax for a weekend after hiking the JMT.   The Dow Villa (motel section, not the old hotel) is equivalent to a Hampton Inn, at a similar price.   The Alabama Hills Cafe would get 5 stars even if it were in a trendy part of NY or LA - I have no idea how such a fantastic little place happened to be located here.   Just a shame that they only open until 2pm.    You'll meet plenty of interesting people in the Dow lounge, and there's usually live music or something going on at one of the little bars on the weekend.

            Certainly, if my choice were hanging out in Lone Pine or Mammoth for a couple of days after a hike, I'd choose Lone Pine.

            Ralph
          • 7b5b37e90a4be9330bae1824c341f7cc
            I ll chime in and second the recommendation for Paul/East Side Sierra Shuttle. I was in a similar situation (needing to get to Mammoth from Lone Pine on a
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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              I'll chime in and second the recommendation for Paul/East Side Sierra Shuttle. I was in a similar situation (needing to get to Mammoth from Lone Pine on a weekend), and he gave me a ride this past Sunday. Logistically, everything went perfectly- arrived right when/where he said he would, and the ride to Mammoth was great. Paul definitely knows the area very well and shared some good information about the trail/region. If I'm ever in need of a shuttle in the area again, he will be the first person I call.

              I'll also add that, although there are cheaper ways of traveling that route when the timing works out (ESTA, hitch, etc.), Paul was definitely the least expensive of all of the shuttle drivers I talked to, by a pretty decent margin.


            • bender323
              Thanks. I think we may hitch into Lone Pine and spend one night but we have some friends to visit in the Bay Area so we ll probably take a shuttle to Mammoth,
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                Thanks. I think we may hitch into Lone Pine and spend one night but we have some friends to visit in the Bay Area so we'll probably take a shuttle to Mammoth, grab a rental car and head back across to the west side.
              • bender323
                Thanks for the input - I ll check him out.
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                  Thanks for the input - I'll check him out.
                • eric moss
                  This isn t specific to Lone Pine, but seemed useful as it appears to be written by locals. Apologies if it s repeating someone else s post.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                    This isn't specific to Lone Pine, but seemed useful as it appears to be written by locals.  Apologies if it's repeating someone else's post.

                    http://395travel.com/


                    On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 2:52 PM, jrowan2@... [johnmuirtrail] <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                     

                    I'll chime in and second the recommendation for Paul/East Side Sierra Shuttle. I was in a similar situation (needing to get to Mammoth from Lone Pine on a weekend), and he gave me a ride this past Sunday. Logistically, everything went perfectly- arrived right when/where he said he would, and the ride to Mammoth was great. Paul definitely knows the area very well and shared some good information about the trail/region. If I'm ever in need of a shuttle in the area again, he will be the first person I call.


                    I'll also add that, although there are cheaper ways of traveling that route when the timing works out (ESTA, hitch, etc.), Paul was definitely the least expensive of all of the shuttle drivers I talked to, by a pretty decent margin.



                  • jyeider@ymail.com
                    I came out on a Saturday around  3 pm. I had a ride into Lone Pine within 2 minutes. They dropped me off at the Dow. I swam cleaned up ate and slept. Before I
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                      I came out on a Saturday around 
                      3 pm. I had a ride into Lone Pine within 2 minutes. They dropped me off at the Dow. I swam cleaned up ate and slept. Before I even stuck out my thumb I was asked if I needed a ride north. Dropped me off in Bishop. I stuck out my thumb and a day hiker took me to my car at North Lake. I was on my way back home by 10 am.
                      I say hitching is an easy way to go.
                      Jeff


                      Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™ III, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone
                    • Peter Hirst
                      I was offered a ride before I was even thinking about leaving the Portal Store. On Jul 29, 2014, at 12:27 PM, jyeider@ymail.com jyeider@ymail.com
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                        I was offered a ride before I was even thinking about leaving the Portal Store.



                        On Jul 29, 2014, at 12:27 PM, 'jyeider@...' jyeider@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

                         



                      • longritchie
                        I ve had mixed results hitchhiking. Usually it s worked out fine but I have had a few frustrating experiences. The last time I hitched from WP it was midweek
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                          I've had mixed results hitchhiking. Usually it's worked out fine but I have had a few frustrating experiences. The last time I hitched from WP it was midweek in late September and I ran out of patience trying to drum up a ride. I ended up paying some guy for his gas and entrance fee into Yosemite. I know someone who in similar circumstances ended up spending $300 on a taxi to get back to his car. He was pooped and thought it was well worth it to avoid another night of camping.
                        • apeman45@sbcglobal.net
                          Someone mentioned that YARTS only runs weekends in July and August. That is incorrect. It runs 7 days a week in July and August and weekends only in June and
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jul 29, 2014
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                            Someone mentioned that YARTS only runs weekends in July and August.  That is incorrect.  It runs 7 days a week in July and August and weekends only in June and September.  That's why I do the car shuttle at the start of the trip because when I come out in September the bus options decline.

                            Last time I hitched from the Portal the 2nd car picked me up and dropped me off in Independence.  Talk with people on the trail and you will easily meet someone that can give you a ride.  
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