Category Archives: Family Adventures

Stories, photos, and videos from our family’s many wilderness adventures hiking, backpacking, skiing, kayaking, rafting, and climbing, including in many U.S. national parks.

March 30, 2015 Navajo/Queens Garden Loop.

Photo Gallery: My Favorite Hike in Bryce Canyon

In Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Bryce Canyon’s Navajo Loop/Queens Garden Loop is a popular trail for good reason, with constant views of hoodoos—the multi-colored, limestone, sandstone, and mudstone spires that look like giant, melting candles, including the famous formation called Thor’s Hammer. But once turning onto the Peek-a-Boo Loop, you lose the crowds—and discover the scenic heart of Bryce Canyon while hiking below the Wall of Windows and row after row of towers in flourescent shades of red and orange.

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March 26, 2015 Grand Ronde River, Oregon.

Ask Me: Can You Recommend Rafting Outfitters and Trips?

In Ask Me, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi Michael,

I just found your blog today after starting my research for a summer guided rafting tour for families. In my next life I’d like to come back as one of your offspring! My husband would like to take our eager son on a guided, overnight rafting trip this summer to celebrate his 10th birthday: father-son trip, but someone else does the heavy lifting so dad and son can focus on enjoyment of the river, campfires and overall one-on-one time. We live in the Bay Area but our son is keen to travel for this trip—Idaho, Utah, Oregon, or Colorado, to name a few suggestions. Can you point us toward some well-regarded guiding companies and provide any insight to consider when we comparison shop?

Kind regards,
Catherine
Lafayette, CA

Special offer! Hey dog owners, want to win $5,000 to take a dream trip? @Kurgo is giving out $5,000 sponsorships to take your dream #adventure in 2015. Apply now! http://www.kurgo.com/adventure Continue reading →

March 25, 2015 Crater rim, Mount St. Helens, Washington.

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

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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. Continue reading →

March 19, 2015 South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon.

Ask Me: Which Dayhike or Two-Day Backpacking Trip Should Our Family Take in the Grand Canyon?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

Michael,

What’s your recommendation from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim for a medium dayhike? We’re going to the Grand Canyon over spring break in the last week of March, four of us. We will get there Saturday and have Sunday, Monday morning. Might look into Sunday night backpacking permit cancellations. We have a camping spot for dayhiking at this point.

Lauren
Boise, ID Continue reading →

March 15, 2015 Arches National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: What Should We Do on a Trip to Colorado, Yellowstone, and the Southwest?

In Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Hi Michael,

I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while now, and I really enjoy it. I’ve got three boys that range from 16 to six, so finding things to do that all three can enjoy is a bit of a challenge. My wife and I are in the planning stages of a two-week trip next year out West. We’re looking at trip starting right before Memorial Day and then running though the 15th of June. We’re thinking of flying out to Denver and using that as a start/stop point for trips out to Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, etc. The only concern that I have is that it’s a little early in the year and there’s going to be snow still around, limiting some of our hiking options. Another thought I’d had was to head to Mesa Verde and see that park. Any suggestions about weather or options I’m missing? Continue reading →

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