Longer trip advice and logistics for out of state visitors in 2021

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Re: Longer trip advice and logistics for out of state visitors in 2021

Post by gooral » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:45 pm

To me Sierra is an obvious choice because I know it relatively well and love it. Despite the restrictions it's still should be possible to get to/from trailheads by public transportation from several major airports and there are quite a few convenient options for resupply on a long trip.
I wouldn't count on hitchhiking anywhere this year and forest fires can impact other places too. I had trips canceled/affected by smoke elsewhere. I just hope it won't come to backcountry shutdowns this year again.
For me backcountry permits at least guarantee some level of solitude even if front-country is overrun by tourists. On my 2017 trip, Wind River had both smoke and was overcrowded with people, many of whom came from California to escape record snow in Sierra.

Still I need to think of plan B in an alternative location.

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Re: Longer trip advice and logistics for out of state visitors in 2021

Post by stevet » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:43 am

My logistics to the Sierra are from Albany, NY. I use Las Vegas as my fly into, plan my arrival there to be before 11:30am, rent a car and can be at the visitor center in Lone Pine in time to pick up a walk up next day permit.

For trips 10 days or shorter I plan loops, thumb-able shuttles such as cottonwood / Whitney portal or south lake north lake, or mammoth/Yosemite if Yarts is running, at just leave the car at the trailhead.

Longer than 10 days I one way rent (enterprise) and generally drop off in bishop and pay a shuttle service to get me to the trailhead.

For your long trip, such as your modified SHR you can do this and enter at either Cottonwood or Onion Valley and exit at Tuolumne. If you have resupplies to drop off keep the car an extra day and do your errands. Suggest getting a room the night before the hike in Mammoth at a place that will hold your stuff while you hike or where you can store it in a ski locker. Do your hike and Yarts it back to Mammoth where you retrieve your stuff. If Mammoth Airport is open you can fly out of there or rent a car one way back to Vegas. If still closed you can shuttle to Bishop for the rental or use the public transport to Reno.

SHR wise, simply hike the Bubbs Creek trail down to Roads end. You can mail a resupply to Cedar Grove so you don’t need to carry a bunch of food just to start. (I’ve found it easy pre-COVID to catch rides between Cedar Grove and Roads End).

Though a lot of moving pieces the above logistics work fairly well. Of course if we are back in lockdown some of the above pieces may not be available.

The advisory on fires is well taken. So have a plan B. Renting a car on the front end gives you the flexibility to change your start point in the moment. Especially if you choose to head north to hike around Tahoe.

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