Category Archives: National Park Adventures
Stories and images from my many hiking, backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, and family adventures in national parks in the U.S. and around the world.
By Michael Lanza
As we neared Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park, on the middle day of a three-day family backpacking trip, a man and woman in their fifties stopped to talk with us. They sized up our kids and smiled; Nate was nine and Alex was seven. “We’re impressed!” they told us. “We never had any luck trying to get our kids to backpack when they were young.” We chatted a bit and then headed off in opposite directions on the trail.
After they were out of earshot, Alex turned to me, wanting to clarify a point: “You didn’t get us to do this,” she told me. “We wanted to do it.” Her words, of course, warmed my heart. But her comment also spotlighted the biggest lesson for parents hoping to raise their kids to love the outdoors: Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Only in southern Utah, home to America’s greatest concentration of national parks, could a place like Capitol Reef National Park remain relatively unknown. But that’s good for those of us who like parks where you see few other people on the trails—if any—and where the scenery just keeps getting more unbelievable around every bend. Through many visits over the years, including the past two years in spring with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to explore much of its backcountry, from the wild contours of rippled sandstone towers to the tightest slot canyons. And our kids have loved our adventures here. Continue reading →
Jerry and I and the boys are meeting my parents in the Grand Canyon for the first couple days of our spring break. Jerry and I want to do a big dayhike. We have already done rim-to-rim-to-rim and all varieties associated with those three trails.
So, we’re considering doing the South Kaibab to Grandview Trail (via the Tonto Trail) or vice versa. Thoughts? It would be a long day trip. Curious which direction we should do it and what else must we know? Continue reading →
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 →
I was reading through your paddling adventure in Stillwater Canyon on the Green River. I first heard of it about a year ago and fell in love with the idea. My family (adult siblings and my mom) is committed to experiencing all of our national parks. In preparation for our trip planned for early July 2014 I’ve read that the fine silt of the desert rivers can be very hard on water filters.
Most of our trips to date have been eastern parks with fresh mountain streams or clear lakes. We’ve used an MSR Hyperflow with great results. However, I’m sure a hollow-fiber filter is awful for the Green River. I’ve had it partially clog once and it requires a lot of work. I’m considering a ceramic filter such as the Katadyn Pocket, but I’m unsure if it is up to the task, either. Can you comment on any experience you’ve had? Have you tried using any flocculants and/or know of a good source for them? Continue reading →