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Topic: JMT section hike choice for 2014, Tuolumne Meadows to Reds Meadow< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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TRAILMAN Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 10:45 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Next year I need to check off my bucket list - a portion of the JMT. My job will not allow me the time to do the entire trail. So my research (so far) tells me the Tuolumne Meadows to Red's Meadow is one of the best choices. I am not sure I can do the entire trip in seven days from DFW Texas. My thought is to fly into Mammoth. Stay the first night in town or travel by YARTS to Tuolumne to camp. Since you can't hike out the same day you receive your permit, that will burn a day in camp. I need 5 days for hiking to arrive at Red's Meadow. I will need to either coordinate the bus schedule or camp over night (clean up) to be on the first bus to Mammoth. Spend the night there or travel directly to the airport for the trip back home to DFW (arriving late in the night). Do I have the right idea?? Do I need a contingency day some where in the schedule? It would be nice to see the town of Mammoth before I leave. I am trying to reduce the travel time as much as possible. I have not determined the week but it will be in August or Sept. Thanks for any advise and planning. I am reading the book "Day and Section Hikes" by Kathleen Dodge and Google. Thanks,
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 11:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

People pick up their wilderness permits and immediately head out all the time. With a reservation you need to either pick up the permit by maybe ten in the morning of the same day it is for (the exact time is on the website ) or call them and say you'll be late. The earliest you can pick it up is actually the day before. I usually grab it some time the afternoon of the day before to avoid the morning line on the rare occasions  when I'm not going a walk up


The only thing strictly "next day " is when the availability starts for the walk up portion of the trailhead quota and that's the day before the planned start. But unclaimed permits are still available for same day starts.

Lyell Canyon is rather flat but an early start is always nice to avoid having to rush especially as the first day adjustments get added on and the YARTS Mammoth yo Tuolumne schedule allows for that with either of the early runs, the 6 am start gets you yo the meadows at 8... The Wilderness Office has started processing only reservation pickups from their opening until 11 AM so the pickups fun pretty quick do coming ip from Mammoth should still get you on the trail easily with time to snag a Tuolumne Grill breakfast.

http://yarts.com/schedul....-28.pdf
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 11:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For pure scenery, I would opt for the section enveloped by the North Lake to South Lake loop.  You get to hike through the Evolution Basin, which has a wonderful granite backdrop, and also take in Dusy Basin.  If you go over Piute Pass, it will take you through Evolution Valley as well.  Going over LaMarck Col, shortens the trip and drops you right into the Basin.  

I hiked TM to Duck lake 2 years ago, and N-S lake loop 1 yr ago.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Transportation gets trickier though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 1:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks everyone for the update. If I decide to hike in September I think my options for bus transportation will be more difficult. What do most people do when they fly in? I am trying to avoid the skeeters and the snow.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 1:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

September Yarts only runs weekends...Mammoth - Tuolumne.
Plan accordingly


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 1:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well YARTS does run September weekends: look into a Merced airport arrival perhaps? YARTS to the Valley and on to the Meadows (evening 120 YARTS or the morning DNC tour with a stay at the Valley backpacker's campground with your permit in hand it's $5) then YARTS back to the Merced airport...

AMTRAK may have service: SFO via their MTA to the downtown AMTRAK bus pickup and then on to the connection with the San Joaquin route to Merced and an AMTRAK bus out, sometimes even all the way to the meadows...

An alternate is Reno: NV the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority CREST down to Lee Vining (maybe spend the night at Murphy's), then a morning YARTS in to the Meadows... grab the CREST in Mammoth north back to the Fresno airport.
http://www.estransit.com/CMS/content/welcome-esta

Unlike YARTS they don't seem to reduce service in September so all you'd need to weekend coordinate would be the start that needs some YARTS, the return from Mammoth to Reno would be at your convenience.

There are some nice options along the Ritter/Banner range stretch if the 35 miles leaves you with some time...

Also that's a Southwest airport so like Oakland (also a possibility for AMTRAK) it might be cheaper than a secondary like Mammoth or Merced....
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 3:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Correction: Grab CREST, of course, back to the Reno airport.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 07 2013, 12:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd say Tuolumne to Reds is not the best choice because it involves Yosemite (permits more of a hassle, need to change transportation) and misses the best high country. There are lots of loops you could do that would make logistics easier. It wouldn't be strictly JMT, but once you've hiked a bit of the JMT, you may think that's a good thing.

I think hitchhiking between US 395 and the trailheads is a viable option that may simplify the planning and maybe enhance the adventure.

My vacation days are valuable and I would think nothing of renting a car to leave all week at a trailhead if it meant I could spend more time on the trail.

So I'm thinking good options would be hitching from Mammoth to Agnew Meadow and doing a loop, hitching or parking a car at South Lake and doing a loop, CREST to Independence with a hitch to Onion Valley and hike to Rae Lakes or Whitney Portal.
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