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
How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2015 already? I have four, with others in active planning stages. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps and guidebooks and poring over my list of adventures I want to take. My document slugged “Trip Ideas” is now 15,234 words long, and growing. I need to get busy—and so do you. To help you out with ideas and inspiration for next year, here are my Top 10 Family Adventures at The Big Outside, ranging from climbing Mount St. Helens to backpacking in the Grand Canyon and cross-country skiing in Yellowstone. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
If you haven’t backpacked in Glacier National Park, then why not? If you have, you know you want to return. One of America’s flagship national parks, it’s a must-see destination for backpackers because of the rare variety of wildlife, remoteness, and eye-popping scenery—as my photo gallery below from a 90-mile, trip of a lifetime in northern Glacier shows.
My wife and I take our kids to Ketchum every summer and became fans of your site by finding your great recommendations and tips for the White Cloud Mountains. We are now planning a trip for our kids’ spring break beginning of April 2015 to the Grand Canyon. Our kids are 13 and 14 and are accustomed to multi-day backcountry hikes in the White Clouds and Sawtooths, with 2000+-foot elevation gains. We were seriously considering your suggested four-day trip east to west from Grandview Point to the South Kaibab Trail, but I just noticed that you have also recommended that to someone else on your Ask Me section in response to a request for a “big dayhike.” We don’t want to kill ourselves with an unreasonable pace, but I don’t want to allocate four days for a trip that my kids could reasonably do in two or three. Do you have any advice for what might be the best way to do this, or whether there is an alternate route you would suggest?
My buddy Nolan and I are backpacking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand starting in January, and I’ve got a few gear questions I’d like to ask you. We’re just graduating high school and will be selling ourselves into slavery for the next six months to make money for this trip, so we’re certainly on a budget but I think we can still afford the middle/lower end of the high-end gear spectrum. We’ll be in hostels/huts about a quarter of the time. Continue reading →