Category Archives: Hiking

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

August 15, 2014 Iceberg Lake/Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: What Hikes Do You Suggest For Three Days in Glacier National Park?

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Michael,

Thank you for providing a wonderful blog filled with amazing photos and inspiring trips. I enjoy your family adventures section, as I love taking my kids with me to enjoy the outdoors. I live in Utah so the options are endless.

I am heading to Glacier National Park with my husband for our 20th anniversary and am wondering what your hike suggestions would be. Continue reading →

August 13, 2014 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.

That was the heart-warming mental picture that I had formed just days ago, when I scored hard-to-get permits for this climb—one of America’s most awe-inspiring dayhikes. Unfortunately, right now, sitting on rocks more than five hours into our ascent of St. Helens, events are not transpiring quite as smoothly as I had envisioned. Not at all. Continue reading →

June 29, 2014 Hiking Mount Adams.

One Photo, One Story: Dayhiking the Presidential Range

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By Michael Lanza

We scramble up the blocky talus of 5,799-foot Mt. Adams, reaching the second-highest point in New Hampshire’s White Mountains at 6:45 a.m. Pausing just long enough for a few quick photos, we drop a knee-crunching, ankle-wrenching 700 vertical feet in a mile to Edmands Col, then regain that elevation in a half-mile climb to the top of Jefferson, at 5,716 feet.

My friend Mark Fenton and I are attempting what is arguably the archetypal huge dayhike, the “Death March” of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. Walking north to south, we’ll cover 20 miles and about 8,500 feet of uphill, tagging all nine summits along the way, from Mt. Madison to Mt. Pierce, including the Northeast’s highest, 6,288-foot Mt. Washington. Continue reading →

June 15, 2014 Ouzel Lake, Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Ask Me: What Are the Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and Near Breckenridge, CO?

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Michael,

Thank you for continuing to both inform and inspire through The Big Outside. Your efforts are always appreciated.

As I mentioned to you a couple years ago, my wife, daughter and I have been making an annual trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in late August. We love everything about it, but after climbing Longs Peak a couple times, I would like to see some more of the Rockies. As our schedules/work circumstances have recently changed, I have an opportunity to head to Colorado this June by myself. Although I plan to spend a couple days in Estes Park (it is important to me to go back and support the community that has meant so much to me and my family after the devastating flood last September), I would love some suggestions on getting the most out of the other 4-5 days. Continue reading →

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

12 Simple Tips For Taking Better Outdoor Photos

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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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