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.

September 3, 2015 Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: Where Should We Backpack to Find Solitude in Glacier National Park?

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Dear Michael,

Thank you for such a comprehensive site. It is a joy to read and inspires so many travel dreams! I was pouring over all your entries on Glacier but I still have a remaining question. A friend and I just decided to go to Glacier in mid-September and would like to do a backpacking trip for two, or perhaps three nights. We would appreciate something beautiful, somewhat challenging, but most of all, solitude. It seems we are quite late to get a reservation on top trails and it seems like a good opportunity to take a much less traveled trail for a few nights. I am just having a hard time finding one. Do you have any suggestions? Continue reading →

August 31, 2015 Hiking Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park, California.

Best of Yosemite, Part 1: Backpacking South of Tuolumne Meadows

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By Michael Lanza

I am floating in the stratosphere.

The feeling reminds me of childhood dreams of flying, but this is no dream. We are hiking across the slender, granite spine of 9,926-foot Clouds Rest, between sphincter-puckering abysses of deep air in the heart of Yosemite National Park. Below my left elbow, the rock drops off like a very long and insanely steep slide for several hundred feet before reaching forest; and that’s the side that feels less exposed. Below my right elbow, a cliff face sweeps downward a dizzying, stomach-churning 4,000 feet—that’s a thousand feet taller than the face of El Capitan. Continue reading →

August 30, 2015 Rockwall Pass on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park, Canadian Rockies.

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking the Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park

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By Michael Lanza

One the second afternoon of my family’s four-day backpacking trip on the 34-mile (54k) Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park, we reached the first of three passes we would cross over the course of the trip—and the first of two that day. At 7,264-foot (2,214m) Rockwall Pass, we got our first long view of the Rockwall, a chain of soaring cliffs, jagged peaks, and hanging glaciers that extends for miles, and which we would walk beneath for most of our trek. I snapped this photo of my 14-year-old son, Nate, as we started descending south off of Rockwall Pass.
Continue reading →

August 20, 2015 Skyline Trail, Paradise, at Mount Rainier N.P.

Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Hikes at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks?

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Michael,

I just discovered your site, really enjoying it. Great book, I bought it from a small bookshop in Lincoln, N.H., called the Mountain Wanderer. We are on are way out to the Pacific NW for a week. We are looking for some ideas on dayhikes and one-night backpacks in the North Cascades and some dayhikes in Mount Rainier National Park.

Look forward to your stories in Backpacker. Thanks in advance for your help.

Fred and Linda
Tewksbury, MA Continue reading →

August 18, 2015 Nevada Fall, Half Dome, and Liberty Cap from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

Ask Me: What Gear Do You Suggest For Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail?

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Hello Michael,

I read your article about ultra-backpacking and how you did the John Muir Trail in seven days. I am planning on doing the adventure in June but would like to know for an ultralight backpacker what items did you use for tent, sleeping bag etc. And any feedback or thoughts that you have that would be beneficial for me would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Joei
Covina, CA Continue reading →

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