ENP 19.7 Yosemite: Plan Your Trip with TripPossible
We received such a nice email from "an inspired listener," Nick Mock of TripPossible to tell us how much he enjoys our podcast. This episode of Everybody's National Parks is brought to you by TripPossible. They are experts in vacation planning and travel advice and they specialize in planning trips to the national park.
It's difficult enough finding the time to visit Yosemite. Beyond the work commitments or school schedules, there's an often bigger challenge that keeps many of us from making memories in our national parks: the planning.
Danielle chats with Nick Mock, owner of TripPossible, about overcoming vacation analysis paralysis (so many resources! so little time!) with tips to help you create that trip of a lifetime.
"I know how special it is to be on a vacation and make memories that truly last forever."Nick and his wife Kate on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
Photo by TripPossibleNick looking east from Inspiration PointAs owner of TripPossible, a vacation planning and travel advice site, Nick is literally in the business of helping people get the most out of their limited time off. We first became acquainted when he wrote to Everybody's National Parks to express how much he enjoyed our Olympic National Park and Zion National Park episodes for planning his own family trips. Nick shares our passion for the parks and, much like Everybody's National Parks, his tips (and his company) are aimed at helping travelers avoid the general pitfalls that can overwhelm visitors both before they've set foot inside a park and after they'd arrived.
Photo by TripPossible
Nick Mock atop Yosemite Point – Photo by TripPossible
When it comes to Yosemite, one of the biggest challenges is reframing the way people think about the park. "There's a negative perception, sometimes, because it's so crowded during peak season. I've read a lot of reviews and heard from people that it [the park] came in under their expectations, [it] was a big disappointment."
A peaceful, albeit short taste of winter – Photo by TripPossible
Yosemite does get crowded during peak season, there's no denying that. Proper planning, however, goes a long way in allowing you to experience the park with less stress and, often, fewer people.
"I think you definitely need to start with what are the things that are must do's...and try to intentionally make that list short."That's a difficult ask, especially for individuals or families who've never been to this vast, hard to reach park. "Sometimes," Nick says, "less is more. The parks, they really deserve our full attention."
Rays of sun dart past Half Dome during sunrise – Photo by TripPossibleEnjoying a drink in the hot tub during a gentle snow – Photo by TripPossibleThe rewards of feasting on a handful of gorgeous sites outweigh the disaster of realizing you've spent more time in your car trying to hit every popular attraction. To that end, Nick says timing your trip properly is another way to ensure its successful. If you can be choosy with your dates, try wetter or cooler months as those weeks generally scare off fair-weather crowds. Even an unexpected snowfall can become the highlight of your vacation if you see it as an opportunity. If dates are dictated by school vacations, then get picky about your lodgings.
Broadening your search beyond the park is an essential time-saving, crowd-dodging tactic. Such is the case with one of Nick's favorite spots, Yosemite West. "I am almost hesitant admitting this because I want it to stay a secret."
Whichever park you decide upon and whenever you choose to go, Nick's key piece of advice is one we share:
"Sometimes, immersing yourself in one beautiful place is enough and just letting that soak in can be incredible."
Contact Nick at TripPossible:
A picturesque view of Upper Yosemite Falls – photo by TripPossibleFog and snow turned Mariposa Grove into a wonderland – photo by TripPossible
Discussion Includes the following:
- 2:04 - TripPossible: how it started, what it is, and why you should consider using it for your next trip
- 3:35 - Encountering the National Parks via the slow lane
- 5:31 - Variety + Flexibility = when & where to go
- 8:09 - Yosemite in the spotlight: perception vs reality
- 10:29 - Best kept secret: Yosemite West lodging options
- 12:14 - Editing your must-see list down to a less-is-more trip
- 14:29 - Inside the park lodging options from Yosemite Hospitality: Curry Village, Ahwahnee Lodge, Wawona Hotel
- 15:36 - The principles of packing for a four seasons in one day trip
- 18:08 - Trail weather along the Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls hikes
- 19:00 - Mirror Lake memories
- 21:31 - Overcoming common traffic frustrations in places like Yosemite Valley and Zion National Park
- 25:24 - Practical tips for enjoying Yosemite no matter the weather
- 27:22 - Itinerary planning: how not to see it all
- 29:32 - Yosemite memories big and small
- 32:32 - Additional TripPossible contact information