International Hikers

Hikers coming from outside the U.S. may stay with us for two nights.

Many hikers from overseas like to do some sightseeing in San Diego. There are several hostels and motels/hotels in town that work well for this. We ask that you use our home only as your base for preparing for your hike.

If you need to use our address on your visa application, that’s no problem. It is: Barney and Sandy Mann, 6351 Wellesly Ct, San Diego, CA 92122,  telephone (Frodo) 858-449-9799.  If you use our address, please email us at sandiegopct@gmail.com to let us know.

If you fly in to Los Angeles, see the transportation information at the bottom of this page.

Many overseas hikers purchase ultralight gear online and have it delivered to our house. That’s fine. See the page about shipping packages here.

Local Gear store REI: Every afternoon we will shuttle hikers from our house to gear store REI (Recreational Equipment, Incorporated).  You can order gear online from them and pick it up at the store, or do your shopping there.

Sending Resupply Boxes: If you want to send resupply packages up the trail, this takes some effort. You may pack up a few packages here, but please don’t plan to send packages any further north than Kennedy Meadows. Please don’t ask us to store and ship packages for you during your hike. Be aware that packages sent to post offices in trail towns, care of General Delivery, are only held for about a month.

We have flat-rate postal boxes at our house, as well as packing tape. We have the General Delivery addresses available, as far north as Kennedy Meadows. For food packaging, we have Ziploc bags of various sizes.

Mobile phone service:  Make sure your phone is UNLOCKED before you come to the U.S.  Unlike in most countries, setting up phone service here can be a hassle.  AT&T is the best choice for thru-hikers from outside the U.S., though they are not cheap—in 2019 almost all of our international hikers chose the $40/month plan. Every day we shuttle hikers to the AT&T store.  Verizon does not work for phones with sim cards; we do not take hikers to the Verizon store. Most of the discount services (such as at Walmart) have hidden fees and high start-up costs and don’t make sense for a 5-month hike.

LAX Airport to us:  Hikers who arrive at Los Angeles International Airport usually take the Flyaway bus to the downtown Los Angeles Union Train Station. At LAX airport, “passengers board buses on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal under the green ‘FlyAway®, Buses and Long Distance Vans’ signs. Each bus is marked with its service location.” Make sure you get on the bus to Union Station.  It costs $9.75, runs about every half hour (mostly at :10 and :40 after the hour), and takes about 40 minutes. At Union Station, buy a ticket for the Amtrak train to downtown San Diego (the Santa Fe station).  The train takes about 3 hours and runs every couple of hours, cost is about $37.

Another option, especially if you’re staying in LA for a day or two, is to take the Flixbus.  It leaves from downtown LA, USC, and UCLA.  In San Diego, you want to get off at “La Jolla UTC”, which is just 2 miles from our house.