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.

January 25, 2015 Mangrove tunnel, East River, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Florida.

Photo Gallery: Paddling the Everglades

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

By Michael Lanza

I confess: Everglades National Park was not near the top of my adventure to-do list before I went there the first time, during an all-day layover in Miami waiting for a flight to Chile to trek in Patagonia. After a short hike in the park, I knew I had to return for a longer visit with my kids. My family spent our first day there paddling through a series of long mangrove tunnels on the East River, watching scores of exotic birds fly just overhead: snowy egrets, white ibises, black anhingas, tri-colored herons, brown pelicans, great blue herons (everything seems to have a color in its name). And we saw alligators—several of them, up to 12 feet long—floated listlessly on the river’s surface. Continue reading →

January 21, 2015 Sea kayaking Johns Hopkins Inlet in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Looking For A Great National Park Trip? Look Here

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

By Michael Lanza

When I think about U.S. national parks, I remember hiking with my family to Yosemite Valley’s waterfalls. Seeing Yellowstone’s geysers both in summer (a great park trip with young kids) and cross-country skiing in winter. Sea kayaking in Alaska’s majestic Glacier Bay (lead photo above). Exploring the canyons and gazing in awe at the sculptured rock of southern Utah’s Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. And numerous, incomparable backpacking trips in Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, Sequoia, North Cascades, Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, and, of course, Glacier. Continue reading →

January 19, 2015 Jacob Hamblin Arch, Coyote Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

10 Tips For Keeping Kids Happy and Safe Outdoors

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Some people might say my wife and I are bad parents. We’ve repeatedly and deliberately placed our kids—at young ages—in risky situations. And I’m not talking about letting them ride their bikes without wearing helmets (which, admittedly, would be insane) or frequently taking them to McDonald’s (and what kind of parent would do that?!).

I’m talking about setting out with seven- and four-year-old kids to cross-country ski through a snowstorm for hours to a backcountry yurt. Tying a six-year-old into a rope and letting him or her rock climb a cliff. Rappelling into slot canyons. Backpacking into the remotest and most rugged wildernesses in the contiguous United States, from the Grand Canyon to the Tetons to Glacier National Park. Continue reading →

January 18, 2015 Trekking in Norway's Jotunheimen National Park.

Ask Me: Advice for Four Days Trekking in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park

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

Michael,

Tremendous trip with your family (in this story)! My wife and I have four days in Jotunheimen National Park. May I request a recommendation for an area to concentrate? We are very experienced, fit hikers who live not too far from Leominster, in Longmeadow. Thank you for your time and insight.

All best,
Bob
Longmeadow, MA Continue reading →

January 15, 2015 Hiking to Furcela dia Roa, on the Alta Via 2 in Parco Naturale Puez-Odle, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

One Photo, One Story: Trekking Italy’s Dolomites

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By Michael Lanza

Hiking toward a mountain pass named Furcela dia Roa, on the first day of my family’s weeklong, hut-to-hut trek on the Alta Via 2 in northern Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, we stopped for a breather in an open meadow of grass and wildflowers overlooking a deep, verdant valley in Puez-Odle Natural Park. Across the valley loomed a wall of cliffs topped by jagged spires, like a castle a thousand feet tall. I looked at our map and back up at the stone wall before us, puzzled. After a moment, I realized: We have to get over that wall.

Continue reading →

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