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.

July 2, 2015 The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 20 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Glacier. But I’ve also learned a few tricks for landing coveted backcountry permits in those flagship parks—which all receive far more requests for permit reservations than they can accommodate. Continue reading →

June 30, 2015 Hiking below the Pale di San Martino on a hut-to-hut trek through Italy's Dolomites.

One Photo, One Story: Trekking Italy’s Dolomite Mountains

In Family Adventures, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

My family’s weeklong, hut-to-hut trek through northern Italy’s Dolomite Mountains started out with mind-blowing scenery, and each day seemed to bring even better views than the day before. On our fifth day, which began with a cable-car ride up one mountain, we walked a trail below the sheer limestone cliffs of a group of peaks known as the Pale di San Martino, in Paneveggio Pale di San Martino Nature Park.
Continue reading →

June 29, 2015 Sue Lake, Glacier National Park.

My 10 Most-Read Adventure Stories

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Like anyone who runs a blog and website, I keep track of which stories generate the most interest among my readers—including which destinations and outdoor adventures they most want to read about. And I realize that you, my readers, may be curious to know what other visitors to The Big Outside are reading. Using my blog’s current analytics data, I produced this top 10 list of the most-read stories about trips I’ve taken, with a link to each full story at The Big Outside.

I have to say, it’s a pretty darn good list of adventure trips. Read on and see for yourself.

Continue reading →

June 28, 2015 Jacob Hamblin Arch, Coyote Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

10 Tips For Keeping Kids Happy and Safe Outdoors

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Some people might say my wife and I are bad parents. We’ve repeatedly and deliberately placed our kids—at young ages—in risky situations. And I’m not talking about letting them ride their bikes without wearing helmets (which, admittedly, would be insane) or frequently taking them to McDonald’s (and what kind of parent would do that?!).

I’m talking about setting out with seven- and four-year-old kids to cross-country ski through a snowstorm for hours to a backcountry yurt. Tying a six-year-old into a rope and letting him or her rock climb a cliff. Rappelling into slot canyons. Backpacking into the remotest and most rugged wildernesses in the contiguous United States, from the Grand Canyon to the Tetons to Glacier National Park. Continue reading →

June 25, 2015 Garnet Canyon, Grand Teton National Park.

One Photo, One Story: Hiking to Garnet Canyon, Grand Teton National Park

In Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

On a late-spring morning with plenty of snow still covering the ground at higher elevations, my friend Dave Simpson and I headed up into Garnet Canyon in Grand Teton National Park to attempt a climb of the Middle Teton. As sometimes happens in the mountains, events did not proceed quite as planned. While we did hike to well above 10,000 feet, snow conditions were softer and more unstable than we expected, and we saw seven wet avalanches slough off the peaks to either side of us (none, fortunately, threatening us). So we abandoned our original plan, but still enjoyed one of the premier dayhikes in the Tetons. Continue reading →

← Older posts