Category Archives: Backpacking

Stories and images from the best backpacking trips in America and around the world, with trip-planning advice based on my personal, on-the-ground knowledge from having done the trip.

September 17, 2014 South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park.

Ask Me: Advice on Low-Cut Trail Shoes

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[Note: Both reader questions below are similar, so I combined them into one post.]

Michael,

I recently came across your website. It’s a fantastic resource—thank you!

I am looking for a breathable (i.e., not waterproof) shoe for long, fast dayhikes (with occasional downhill running) on rough, rocky terrain (on and off-trail). Reasonable performance on third-, fourth-, and low fifth-class terrain is a bonus, but 95 percent of the shoe’s use will be on rough, non-technical terrain. The two main shoes I was considering were the Salewa Firetail EVO and the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor. You give both of these shoes high praise, for similar applications (e.g. 22-mile, 5,000-foot vertical hike with the Firetails; 28-mile, 8,000-foot vertical hike with the Raptors). Which do you prefer? Which do you think would be best for my intended applications? Are there other shoes you think I should consider? Continue reading →

September 9, 2014 Atop Zeacliff, overlooking the Pemigewasset Wilderness, White Mountains, N.H.

Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite New England Hikes?

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Hello Michael,

I am a college student at Franklin Pierce University, and I have a couple questions I’d like to ask you. I have been enjoying your articles and website and your latest book, Before They’re Gone, and really appreciate the work and writing that you create! I am also an enthusiastic adventurer and love doing much smaller excursions, but I am looking to tackle longer, more rigorous hikes. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for backpacking trips and dayhikes in New England. Continue reading →

September 4, 2014 Imogene Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: What Are the Best Hikes in Idaho’s Sawtooths?

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Hi Michael,

I’m an avid reader of your blog and know that you’re very familiar with Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, so I was hoping you could give me some advice on either a good 3-day backpacking route or a base camp area where I could take three big day hikes from. I consider myself to be pretty fit and I have a handful of backpacking trips under my belt, so I feel comfortable putting in 10 to 15 miles per day, even over strenuous terrain. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide and for all of your informative and inspirational trip reports.

Will
Brighton, MA Continue reading →

September 3, 2014 Granite Park, John Muir Wilderness, CA.

Celebrating The Wilderness Act: Photo Gallery of Backpacking the John Muir Wilderness

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By Michael Lanza

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing The Wilderness Act, the law that codified the 19th-century conservationist John Muir’s vision of preserving pristine chunks of our nation’s most beautiful mountains, canyons, deserts, forests, grasslands, seashores, and other landscapes. What better way to celebrate, I figured, than with a photo gallery from the High Sierra wilderness named for Muir—which happens to be the wilderness where I shot the banner photo that appears at the top of this blog. Continue reading →

September 1, 2014 Campsite, Colorado River at Hance Rapids, Grand Canyon.

Ask Me: What Backpacking Trips Do You Suggest In the Grand Canyon and Southern Utah?

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Hi Michael,

I recently found your blog while planning a trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone, and have devoured it in its entirety over the past few months. While reading I mainly lamented living in the mostly boring Midwest, with poor access to the prime backpacking spots you describe. Well, as luck would have it my partner just got a job in Phoenix, AZ, so we two flatlanders will now be a short drive from the Grand Canyon, and accessible to Canyonlands, Arches, and much more. My question for you: what backpacking trips would you most recommend as first priorities for two reasonably fit, decently equipped people new to the Phoenix area? Continue reading →

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