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JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
#57876 08/11/20 07:59 AM
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I'll be hiking the JMT NOBO in less than two weeks and was curious to see if anyone on this board has some tips or insights to long term parking. I'm not sure if I want to leave my vehicle in Yosemite Valley and take YARTS/ESTA back to Lone Pine up to Portal to start the trek - OR - Leave my vehicle at the Portal and take YARTS/ESTA back to Lone Pine when finished with trek. My concern scheduling with YARTS. It seems that they only pick up twice a day (LATE IN THE DAY) from the visitor center in Yosemite and takes you to Mammoth (arriving pretty late in the evening requiring me to get a hotel). And with the pandemic, seating may be limited.

If anyone has any experience in this, please share.

Thank you!!

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
fit2climb #57877 08/11/20 09:01 AM
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I do not know the details (easily Googled, start at https://www.estransit.com), but I crossed paths with a JMT hiker last month who parked at Mammoth Lakes and took Eastern Sierra Transit down to Lone Pine, and then hitched up to the portal. He was planning to then just use YARTS to get back to Mammoth.

I hope this helps. Good luck and have a great time!

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
Goose #57878 08/11/20 10:35 AM
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I second the Mammoth suggestion.

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
fit2climb #57884 08/11/20 11:27 PM
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I have speed hiked the JMT NOBO 3 times leaving the car at the Whitney portal (twice) or in Lone Pine. There are two safe places in/near town - the Museum and the lot near the golf course - but you will have to pay. This strategy worked pretty well since hitching was easy (I also shared the ride with friends from the Valley to Mammoth on one of these trips) and there was no concern about theft. That being said, this year drivers may be more reluctant to pick up hitch hikers due to COVID concerns. Parking at Mammoth is not a bad option, but you will still need a ride back. Another alternative is to arrange a private shuttle ride - check out the Facebook JMT group for information. In any case, I would never long term park in the Valley - heard so many horror stories about break ins and stolen gear.

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
Anton #57886 08/12/20 07:35 AM
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I'll probably park in Mammoth.

I'm wondering where to park in Mammoth though?

I was thinking the same thing - that people are not going to not going to pick up hikers for ride up to portal due to the virus.

Thanks for the info everyone!

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
fit2climb #57887 08/12/20 08:32 AM
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Several years ago, I parked for over a week along the road just east of Mammoth Mtn Inn.

Here's the spot on Google maps.

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
fit2climb #57889 08/12/20 08:42 AM
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As far as hitching goes, I would imagine that doing so requires at least a little bit more patience than normal. But that said, I was in and around Lone Pine for about a week at the beginning of July and saw plenty of people getting rides the same, socially distant way--pickup trucks. smile

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
Goose #57909 08/16/20 02:43 AM
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Another thing to remember is that getting into Yosemite these days means contending with ticketed entry. You need a reservation to enter the park with your own vehicle. And these reservations can be quite hard to score. Foot or transit entry do not require a reservation. This fact alone would be reason enough NOT to park your vehicle in the valley.

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
StorminMatt #57910 08/16/20 08:21 AM
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Thanks for the parking location at Mammoth, Steve.

I will not park in Yosemite Valley. I don't feel like my vehicle would be safe there. It's either Mammoth Inn or at the portal.

Thanks again everyone!

Re: JMT Long-term parking: Yosemite or Portal?
Goose #57912 08/16/20 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Goose
As far as hitching goes, I would imagine that doing so requires at least a little bit more patience than normal. But that said, I was in and around Lone Pine for about a week at the beginning of July and saw plenty of people getting rides the same, socially distant way--pickup trucks. smile

I picked up a hiker and his dog on Friday as he was hiking down from Horseshoe Meadow to Lone Pine. I recognized him from the campground.

I have a Ford Ranger with a camper shell.

The first thing I asked him was how much water he had (a gallon). On the ride down he pointed out where to find water and how to get it from that source. He obviously had experience doing just that.

Turns out this guy had been doing the PCT NOBO from the Mexican border (skipping the desert) but did not know that dogs were not allowed in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park so he exited. This dude looked homeless, but he wasn't. The trail was his home.


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