Category Archives: Hiking

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

June 29, 2015 Sue Lake, Glacier National Park.

My 10 Most-Read Adventure Stories

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

By Michael Lanza

Like anyone who runs a blog and website, I keep track of which stories generate the most interest among my readers—including which destinations and outdoor adventures they most want to read about. And I realize that you, my readers, may be curious to know what other visitors to The Big Outside are reading. Using my blog’s current analytics data, I produced this top 10 list of the most-read stories about trips I’ve taken, with a link to each full story at The Big Outside.

I have to say, it’s a pretty darn good list of adventure trips. Read on and see for yourself.

Continue reading →

June 28, 2015 Jacob Hamblin Arch, Coyote Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

10 Tips For Keeping Kids Happy and Safe Outdoors

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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 →

June 25, 2015 Garnet Canyon, Grand Teton National Park.

One Photo, One Story: Hiking to Garnet Canyon, Grand Teton National Park

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By Michael Lanza

On a late-spring morning with plenty of snow still covering the ground at higher elevations, my friend Dave Simpson and I headed up into Garnet Canyon in Grand Teton National Park to attempt a climb of the Middle Teton. As sometimes happens in the mountains, events did not proceed quite as planned. While we did hike to well above 10,000 feet, snow conditions were softer and more unstable than we expected, and we saw seven wet avalanches slough off the peaks to either side of us (none, fortunately, threatening us). So we abandoned our original plan, but still enjoyed one of the premier dayhikes in the Tetons. Continue reading →

June 18, 2015 Ponytail Falls, Columbia Gorge, Oregon.

Photo Gallery: A Big Day in the Columbia Gorge

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By Michael Lanza

To some hikers, the Rock of Ages Trail on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge will feel like the supreme challenge, a gauntlet thrown down; to others, it could seem like a cruel joke. My friend Geoff Sears and I hiked on the balls of our feet much of the way up this crazily steep, unmaintained goat path—which climbs more than 2,000 vertical feet in one stretch of less than two miles—at times scrabbling along narrow spines of vegetation-cloaked rock where a slip could send us toppling downward through dense rainforest. Continue reading →

June 17, 2015 Mount Washington, Presidential Range, N.H.

One Photo, One Story: A Huge Dayhike in the Presidential Range

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By Michael Lanza

As soft evening light filtered through thin, high clouds, we hiked toward the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington, highest in the Northeast. It was the final uphill hump of a 17-mile dayhike over the four peaks of New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, an outing that would ultimately stretch over more than 15 hours and end well after dark—the longest, hardest, and possibly the proudest adventure ever for the three teenage boys in our group. I captured this image of my 14-year-old son, Nate, hiking up Washington, with the peaks we had already climbed arrayed in the background. Continue reading →

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