A new casino/gasmart has been constructed in 2008 between Lone Pine and Independence. This is the cheapest gas south of Bishop. Ironic for an Indian Casino that it is called "Fort".
in Bishop has been renamed the Best Value Inn, as of a few years ago. The rates quoted on this page for motels are, sadly, old and in need of updating.
You should add the Duck Pass Trailhead to the Mammoth Lakes area access. It is a great alternative to starting at Devil's Postpile and hiking the JMT south. You start at a higher elevation (9100' vs 7500') and get to enjoy the mile long Duck Lake sitting in a beautiful basin, and to top it all off you get to avoid the desolate Red's Meadow burn area.
Note the following blurb on the Inyo National Forest website, which appears to contradict info on this page:
"Mt. Whitney Zone Day Use Quota applies for all day hikes into the Mt. Whitney Zone.
This affects all visitors that will day hike into the Mt. Whitney Zone and includes all trails, cross country travel, including the Mountaineers Route, East Face/ East Buttress and other summits within the Mt Whitney Zone. Day use of North Fork of Lone Pine Creek trail is included in the Mt. Whitney Day Use quota of 100 people each day. Visitors with an overnight permit into the Mt Whitney Zone do not require an additional day permit, the overnight permit is valid."
Mt. Russell is part of the Mt. Whitney zone.
FYI, Ed Cereda is also shuttling now in the Bishop area. I paid him to drive me all the way to Reno, and I thoroughly enjoyed his company for the trip. He's been climbing, skiing, cooking, renting/selling/tuning equipment, etc. in the area since the 70's!
P.O. Box 1162
Bishop, CA 93515