Category Archives: Hiking

Stories and pictures from my many dayhiking adventures, from family- and beginner-friendly trails to serious ultra-hiking.

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 24, 2015 Hiking off-trail from the Frying Pan Trail in Capitol-Reef N.P.

Ask Me: Advice On Dayhikes in the Southwest

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[NOTE: Two readers recently wrote to me asking for suggested dayhikes in the Southwest parks. Below are my responses to them—ML]

Hi Michael,

I was wondering if I could capitalize on your expertise and talk to you about a trip I am planning to southern Utah this fall. We are planning on visiting several national parks and am curious about how much time is recommended in each—we are getting mixed messages from my various travel guides.

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March 23, 2015 Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Adventures… Ever

In Backpacking, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

I often get asked, “What’s your favorite trip?” And I can never come up with an answer. I’ve had the good fortune to have taken many amazing adventures over the years. But I have assembled a list of my 10 all-time favorites (so far). Check out this photo gallery of selected images from several of those trips, then dive into my story listing all 10 (plus a bonus list of trips that nearly made that top 10), with links to the stories about each one for more photos and tips on planning them yourself. Continue reading →

March 22, 2015 Zeacliff, White Mountains, N.H.

Ask Me: Time to Ditch the Old, Heavy Boots For Lighter Footwear?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi, Michael,

I’ve got a pair of Asolo Yukons that I’ve used for nearly 20 years. They are comfortable as can be and offer great ankle support, but at age 52 I’m wondering if I should part with my beloved Yukons and invest in a modern, lighter boot. I’ve heard that every pound on the feet is like five pounds on the back, and as my joints age and my stamina diminishes, I’ve thought it might be wise to buy new. I do mostly dayhikes with a few two-night backpacking trips a season, typically carrying about 20 to 25 pounds. We hike in the White Mountains of N.H., which typically means rocky and wet! I’d love your thoughts on whether to stick with these high-quality tried-and-true Yukons or ditch them for something lighter.

John
Easton, MA

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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 , , , , , ,   |   2 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 →

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