Category Archives: Hut Treks

Stories and images from the best hut treks and yurt trips in the U.S. and around the world.

July 16, 2014 Jotunheimen National Park, Norway.

Photo Gallery: Trekking Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park

In Family Adventures, Hut Treks, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

We hiked hut-to-hut for a week through a rugged, Arctic-looking landscape vibrantly colorful with shrubs, mosses, and wildflowers, where cliffs and mountains look like they were chopped from the earth with an axe. Jotunheimen National Park—the name translates as “Home of the Giants”—contains the highest European mountains north of the Alps, starkly barren peaks rising to more than 8,000 feet. Thick, crack-riddled glaciers pour off them like pancake batter that needs more water. Braided rivers meander down mostly treeless valleys, and reindeer roam wild. Continue reading →

February 27, 2014 Cross-country skiing the Beaver Trail, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

5 Kids, 4 Days, No Wifi… Only Trees and Snow

In Family Adventures, Hut Treks, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

We pause at the top of a steep hill on the Elkhorn Loop Trail in Idaho’s Boise National Forest and contemplate where to go from here. My 17-year-old niece, Anna Garofalo, and I have cross-country skied for two hours to reach this quiet spot in the ponderosa pine forest, miles from the nearest road—and more than 2,000 miles and an experiential chasm from the only place she has ever known as home.

I lay out the choices to Anna: turn around and ski two more hours back to the Skyline yurt, where we’re spending three nights with my wife and kids and another family; or explore a trail I’ve never actually skied in the many trips I’ve made to this system of ski trails and yurts north of Idaho City. I’ve never skied it because, unlike most of the trails out here, it’s not groomed, and it lies out on the farthest perimeter of the trail system. Going that way would take us at least three more hours to reach the yurt. But I’ve long wanted to ski it, if for no other reason than its name: the Wayout Trail.

“Let’s do it,” Anna tells me. “After all, when am I going to be back here again?” God, I love that attitude. But I suppose that’s how you would look at something you’ve been literally waiting almost your entire life to do. Continue reading →

February 25, 2014 Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Adventures… Ever

In Backpacking, Hiking, Hut Treks, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Trail Running   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

When I get asked, “What’s your favorite trip?”, 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 five of those trips, then dive into my story listing all 10 (plus a bonus 11th trip), with links to the stories about each one for more photos and tips on planning them yourself. Continue reading →

February 5, 2014 Alp2-201 Europaweg, above the Mattertal-9

Ask Me: Can I Backpack With a Tent in the Alps?

In Ask Me, Hut Treks, International Adventures   |   Tagged , ,   |   Leave a comment

Dear Michael,

I am 22 and am looking to do some backpacking with a friend in Austria’s Alps this summer, specifically the Grossglockner and Schober Groups out of Zell am See.

You wrote an article in 2009 for Backpacker Magazine on backpacking Austria’s Alps and so I hope you can help me with a question on the subject: What is the tent environment like in the Alps? Continue reading →

January 29, 2014 The view from Baldy Knoll.

Rediscovering A Sense of Wonder: Backcountry Skiing the Tetons

In Hut Treks, National Park Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

The morning air at 8,800 feet in Wyoming’s Teton Range hovers in the single digits Fahrenheit, and the breeze wields a below-zero wind chill like a straight razor: It feels on the verge of shaving the two-day-old beard from my face. In blinding sunshine, six of us step outside the Baldy Knoll yurt to find at least six inches of light powder—cold smoke—that fell overnight atop the 10 inches of snow that had dropped from the generous heavens in recent days. We arrived here late yesterday afternoon, just a couple hours before the frozen waterfall of fat, featherweight snowflakes began pouring copiously from a coal-black night sky.

Skiing in the mountains, as with anything else in life, is really all about timing. And sometimes you just get lucky. Continue reading →

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