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Backpacking Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

Have you ever hiked in Idaho’s White Clouds? My 12-year-old son and I explore a lakes basin near 10,000 feet that few backpackers have ever heard of.

Backpacking Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains
Image Lake, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.
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Exploring the Glacier Peak Wilderness

The Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass Loop in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness harbors big scenery—like Image Lake—and big adventure. See why I love the North Cascades region.

Exploring the Glacier Peak Wilderness
Gran5-063c
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Boy Trip, Girl Trip

Why I take regular father-son and father-daughter outdoor adventures—and how my kids look forward to it as much as I do.

Boy Trip, Girl Trip

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August 19, 2014 Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

Ask Me: What Backpacking Trip Do You Suggest in the Wind River Range?

In Ask Me, Backpacking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hello Michael!

I read your dayhike story on the Wind River Range, and wow! Thank you for sharing it. I’ve been doing research on the range for several months now for a trip a few friends and I are taking there this summer. We will have 6 to 7 days of backpacking available on our trip. But I am having the hardest time trying to decide where in the Winds to hike. None of us have ever been to the Winds before and I want to hit as many beautiful and peaceful areas as I can, but still get some highlights from the Winds we see in many photos.

In your story, you hinted about climbing in the Winds in the past, so I’m assuming you have some familiarity with them. Could you please recommend one or two weeklong routes that will not have as many people but also give us a great view of the Winds that we will never forget and can tell our friends and family about? Continue reading →

Gear Review: Gregory Miwok 24 Daypack

August 18, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gregory Miwok 24

Gregory Miwok 24

Daypack
Gregory Miwok 24
$119, 1 lb. 10 oz.
One size 24L/1,464 c.i.
gregorypacks.com

What do I look for in a daypack? I want it to have the capacity for all-day hikes with my family or really long dayhikes when I’m carrying extra food and clothing, be compact and hug my body for short hikes, have easy access without being over-engineered, and function well as a bike-commuting or airport carry-on pack. And I want it to remain lightweight. After carrying the Miwok 24 with up to 15 pounds inside it on a pair of very long dayhikes—a 13.5-hour, mostly off-trail, roughly 18-mile tour through Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, and a 19-mile, several-thousand-foot, seven-summit traverse of the Wildcat-Carter-Moriah Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains—plus a seven-mile dayhike in Arches National Park and while biking around town and on a cross-country flight, I decided this streamlined daypack could be the only one I need. Continue reading →

August 15, 2014 Iceberg Lake/Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: What Hikes Do You Suggest For Three Days in Glacier National Park?

In Ask Me, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   9 Comments

Michael,

Thank you for providing a wonderful blog filled with amazing photos and inspiring trips. I enjoy your family adventures section, as I love taking my kids with me to enjoy the outdoors. I live in Utah so the options are endless.

I am heading to Glacier National Park with my husband for our 20th anniversary and am wondering what your hike suggestions would be. Continue reading →

A Sneak Peek at Next Year’s Best New Gear

August 14, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

 

Osprey Aura 65 AG

Osprey Aura 65 AG

Thinking about buying a new backpack, tent, boots, or other outdoor gear or apparel? I recently spent a couple of days wandering the floor of The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City—a convention center you could fit a few Wal-Marts inside—at the Outdoor Retailer Show, ogling the best of the new products for hiking and backpacking that will hit stores in 2015.

I’ll test and review many of these, but here’s an early peek at the most interesting items I saw (in other words, the stuff I’m most coveting).

Continue reading →

August 13, 2014 Crater rim, Mount St. Helens, Washington.

One Photo, One Story: Three Generations on Mount St. Helens

In Family Adventures, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

The afternoon sun smiles warmly on us as my two kids and my nephew, age 10 to 15, my 76-year-old mom, and I—three generations spanning almost seven decades—plod up the final, strenuous steps to the crater rim of Mount St. Helens. The view could steal the breath away from God.

Before us, crumbling cliffs send small landslides cracking and rumbling down into the vast hole—2,000 feet deep and nearly two miles across—created by the eruption that decapitated St. Helens almost a generation before any of these kids were born. Seventy-five-mile views on this idyllic, Pacific Northwest summer day reveal behemoth, ice-capped volcanoes dominating three horizons: Rainier, Adams, Hood, and Jefferson. We hug and high-five and click off pictures, grinning with awe and no small amount of disbelief that we all actually made it up here.

That was the heart-warming mental picture that I had formed just days ago, when I scored hard-to-get permits for this climb—one of America’s most awe-inspiring dayhikes. Unfortunately, right now, sitting on rocks more than five hours into our ascent of St. Helens, events are not transpiring quite as smoothly as I had envisioned. Not at all. Continue reading →

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