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.

July 10, 2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.

Photo Gallery: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

In Backpacking, Climbing, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Everyone has favorite campsites from unforgettable backcountry trips. I’ve been fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than two decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled my list of my favorite campsites down to 25. Continue reading →

July 8, 2014 Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: How to Grab a Hard-to-Get Permit For Backpacking Glacier’s Gunsight Pass Trail

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Michael,

Hope you are well. I was inspired by your Gunsight Lake trip with the family in Glacier National Park and was planning on backpacking there in August with a friend. While I have confirmed air travel, hotel, two-night Sperry Chalet and workshop reservations, I just found out that my advance mail-in reservation for Gunsight Lake and Lake Ellen Wilson campgrounds have been denied.

I arrive on Day 1 to Kalispell at 2 p.m. local time, so have a bit of time to see if I can snag one of the potentially open walk-in spots. But having never done this before, I am not sure if that is a realistic option. Any advice to offer? Continue reading →

July 1, 2014 The Teton Crest Trail n Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton N.P.

Ask Me: Can You Suggest a Backpacking Trip in the Tetons That Won’t Be Hard to Get a Permit For?

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Michael,

I enjoy your website—lots of good stuff on there. I’m planning on doing the Teton Crest Trail from the tram [at Jackson Hole Resort on Rendezvous Mountain] to Cascade Canyon. I had this trip planned last year for the first week in September and we had to cancel. We were going to camp at Marion lake, Death Canyon Shelf, and South Fork Cascade Canyon. So this year all of the permits are gone. I know I could possibly get this permit first-come [up to one day in advance at the park]. For a backup plan, I was thinking of camping outside the park. Maybe the first night just north of Marion Lake and one or two night in Alaska Basin. What are your thoughts on this, and have you ever camped outside the park on the Teton Crest Trail? Continue reading →

June 20, 2014 Below the Big Boulder Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Exploring a Wilderness Hopeful: Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

In the long dusk that prevails in the shadow of tall mountains, we hike steadily uphill through pine forest broken by an occasional meadow with views of distant, rocky peaks. When dark falls, we don headlamps and continue hiking into the night.

My backpacking partner, my 12-year-old son, Nate, has never hiked late at night. For him, this is a new and mildly thrilling experience—it feels a little like breaking a rule without consequences. After all, there are wild animals out here, including bears and mountain lions that wander nocturnally in search of something to eat—such as a large, slow, two-legged creature with poor night vision and a useless sense of smell. Continue reading →

June 11, 2014 Wanda Lake, John Muir Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.

12 Simple Tips For Taking Better Outdoor Photos

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Do you wonder how some people come back from national parks and other outdoor trips with fantastic photos? Would you like to take the kind of pictures that make people ooh and aah? It may not be as complicated as you think. Continue reading →

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