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Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

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Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby iHartMK » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:29 pm

My buddy and I are planning our first trans-Sierra this summer. Our route will be the High Sierra Trail west to east coming out at Whitney Portal/Lone Pine. We both live on the west side of the Sierra near the trailhead.
What is our best bet for getting back home? Rent a car in Lone Pine? Fly? Shuttle Service to Ridgecrest then rent a car?
What say you? I would love to hear from those that live on the west side that have done trans-Sierra trips.
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby norco17 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:00 pm

Find someone that is going east to west at the same time and swap cars.
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby simonov » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:23 am

I've been looking into this over the last few years (my partner and I intend to do the same trip this year), and heard about the following bus service from Lone Pine to Lancaster, where you can pick up the MetroLink to LA:

http://estransit.com/pages/bus-routes/c ... caster.php

Getting from LA to Visalia shouldn't be too hard. Or there might be a bus from Mojave or Lancaster to Visalia. You will see a lot of parts of California you never expected to see, including the insides of bus terminals and train stations.

The plan my partner and I are hatching is actually rather devious. We are hike leaders for a local hiking club, so what we are thinking of doing is scheduling a group hike of some kind in or around Giant Forest, then carpool there with the group. My partner's son could probably pick us up in Lone Pine, but we are also considering arranging another hike, say to Mt Langley, that ends about the time we are supposed to come out Whitney Portal, and once again carpool back home with one of the participants. Obviously, we wouldn't be going to Mt Langley with the group, but if enough people sign up, we should be able to secure a ride back with one of them.

Sometimes ya gotta think outside the box.
Nunc est bibendum.
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby asmrz » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:15 am

Penelope and I took the above mentioned bus from Lone Pine to Mammoth in 2009, Yosemite Transport from Mammoth to the Valley, hiked the JMT back to Lone Pine. A friend who lives in Lone Pine took care of our car. This bus service is great, they will stop where ever you ask them to, we observed locals getting off the bus at several places along 395. The bus is reliable and on time, it goes south to Lancaster as well as all the way to Mammoth. I believe there is bus system on the western side of the Sierra as well...
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby calicokat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:50 am

My wife and I have backpacked the HST twice and we added a day to either side of the adventure and did our own car shuttle. It's time consuming but ended up being quite fun. We are doing the JMT southbound this August and will be doing the yo yo car shuttle then too :o
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby edg » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:46 am

The following system worked well for my group in 2012:

Drive to Visalia and leave your car parked in the garage across from the convention center.
From there catch the Sequoia Shuttle into the park. You can buy a one way ticket and our driver took us all the way to Lodgepole, not just the Giant Forest museum as listed on their site.
Inside the park, use the free park shuttle to get to the TH.
Once at Whitney Portal, we hitchhiked down to Lone Pine. There are also shuttle services available.
In Lone Pine, we caught the south bound Eastern Sierra Transit bus. As of last summer, this bus only ran once a day on MWF.
We got off the bus in Inyokern and walked a mile to the Inyokern county airport. We had reserved a car ahead of time, with Avis, IIRC. They were the only company with locations in both Inyokern and Visalia. Make sure to reserve ahead of time, as there are not usually cars available for rent here.
We drove back to Visalia, picked up the parked car, and dropped off the rental.

Despite being complicated, this worked flawlessly. Even got my friends back to SFO that same night to catch a flight :D
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby Bascuela » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:48 pm

edg wrote:The following system worked well for my group in 2012:

Drive to Visalia and leave your car parked in the garage across from the convention center.
From there catch the Sequoia Shuttle into the park. You can buy a one way ticket and our driver took us all the way to Lodgepole, not just the Giant Forest museum as listed on their site.
Inside the park, use the free park shuttle to get to the TH.
Once at Whitney Portal, we hitchhiked down to Lone Pine. There are also shuttle services available.
In Lone Pine, we caught the south bound Eastern Sierra Transit bus. As of last summer, this bus only ran once a day on MWF.
We got off the bus in Inyokern and walked a mile to the Inyokern county airport. We had reserved a car ahead of time, with Avis, IIRC. They were the only company with locations in both Inyokern and Visalia. Make sure to reserve ahead of time, as there are not usually cars available for rent here.
We drove back to Visalia, picked up the parked car, and dropped off the rental.

Despite being complicated, this worked flawlessly. Even got my friends back to SFO that same night to catch a flight :D



Excellent use of public transportation in a not so friendly public transportation area!
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby iHartMK » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:05 pm

Thanks everyone! These are some really good ideas.
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Re: Best way to get back home after doing the HST?

Postby boyblue » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:09 pm

This may not work for most people...
After hiking the HST west to east, I took a bus from Lone Pine to...

...Independence. Then I hiked back via a different route (Shepherd, Harrison, etc).

Round trip was about 4 weeks. :D
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