Connections for Sierra Hikers

The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide some of the most majestic views in the world. Two major trails within the Sierra Nevada range are the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT).  These trails along with dozens of trail heads and passes provide near limitless areas to explore.  To help navigate this, Eastern Sierra Transit Authority (ESTA) has pulled together the following information in one handy location!

This map shows Eastern Sierra Transit bus stops that are most relevant to thru hikers to connect to different sections of the trails, resupply locations and other services.  There are seven main transit stops along US 395 where trail users can easily hop on or hop off and access the Sierra Nevada backcountry:

  • Bridgeport
  • Lee Vining
  • Mammoth Lakes
  • Bishop
  • Big Pine
  • Independence
  • Lone Pine

There are several routes that service these communities including the 395 Route, Lone Pine Express, Mammoth Express and Red’s Meadow Shuttle.

Trail Proximity to Bus Stop Locations

The Inyo and Toiyabe National Forests contain dozens of trails that funnel down towards the US 395 corridor.  The maps below will help guide you to the community closest to the trail.  Eastern Sierra Transit does not offer trailhead transportation but there are other companies that do.  The website maintains an up to date list of trailhead transportation options.

Below are maps of the Inyo National Forest, Bridgeport Recreation Area, and the Yosemite Area Trailheads.



yosemite trailheads

How to make the Route Work Together

If you need to go beyond ESTA’s routes, you can connect with several other transit providers.

YARTS connects with ESTA during the summer months in Lee Vining (PDF) going into Yosemite National Park, with stops in Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley. More information over at the Yarts site.

METROLINK trains meet up with ESTA’s 395 Route in Lancaster, CA providing access to southern California.

In Reno, the 395 Route connects to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and the Greyhound Bus Lines.

Utilizing Public Transit to Resupply

The most convenient locations to resupply utilizing public transit are along the US 395 corridor in the communities on Lone Pine, Big Pine, Bishop and Mammoth that are serviced by the 395, Mammoth Express and Lone Pine Express routes.  Bishop and Mammoth each have large chain grocery store along with smaller grocery and specialty shops.  Lone Pine, Big Pine have locally owned grocery stores that are well stocked for resupply needs.  Independence has a convenience store that does stock necessities.

The 395 Route also serves the communities of Lee Vining and Bridgeport where locally owned grocery store can meet your resupply needs.

Things to remember When Using Public Transportation

When utilizing public transit please keep the following in mind:

  • Service animals are permitted.
  • Animals are allowed on ESTA vehicles but they must either be caged or muzzled.
  • Racks will hold many wheel and frame sizes. Bicycles with wheels from 20 to 29 inches in diameter generally fit; recumbent and fat tire bikes do not. Please let us know if you are traveling with a bike so as to assure space.
  • The observed holidays are:  New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day After Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.  For information on whether a particular bus service will be operational on a specific holiday, please call: 760-872-1901.  Buses in Mammoth Lakes operate 365 days a years.
  • Advance Reservations may be made with a credit card.  The full fare will be charged at the time of sale.  The reservation can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the departure for a 20% cancellation fee.
  • Cash fares are paid directly to the driver. Credit card are accepted on the 395 Routes (visa/master/discover cards).
  • Please have exact change. Change will only be made with coupons valid for payment for future travel on Eastern Sierra Transit.