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.

March 3, 2015 Wonderland of Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park.

One Photo, One Story: Exploring Joshua Tree National Park

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By Michael Lanza

On a recent, balmy morning in the sprawling and primordial Wonderland of Rocks area of Joshua Tree National Park, my friend David Ports and I had just climbed a route called Mental Physics when I captured this photo of him scrambling down through a maze of boulders below the climb, overlooking a signature Joshua Tree landscape of granite monoliths. Continue reading →

March 2, 2015 Backpackers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Looking for an unforgettable adventure to take your family on? How about hiking a volcano, exploring slot canyons, or paddling mangrove tunnels? How about backpacking a wild coastline or deep into the glaciated mountains of Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness (lead photo, above), or taking a multi-day float trip on one of the West’s most spectacular (and gentle) rivers? How about diving into a place that awes people of any age—the Grand Canyon?

Continue reading →

February 26, 2015 The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah.

One Photo, One Story: Descending Zion’s Subway

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By Michael Lanza

Deep in the backcountry of Utah’s Zion National Park, my friend David Gordon and I scrambled carefully down a very steep and loose gully eroding from a sandstone cliff. At its bottom, we started walking a shaded, cool corridor between vertical canyon walls perhaps a hundred feet apart and a few hundred feet tall. At times, we clambered over boulders the size of cars and trucks. We waded or swam pools of frigid creek water in our dry suits. Mostly, we craned our necks in awe, exploring one of the most beautiful and coveted slot canyons in Zion. Continue reading →

February 25, 2015 At Trail Crest on the John Muir Trail, Mount Whitney, Sequoia National Park.

Video: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

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“America’s most beautiful trail.” That’s a lofty claim, but the description has stuck hard to the John Muir Trail for many years, despite some serious competition. Meandering 211 miles from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, it crosses a landscape dappled with thousands of lakes, and mountain passes over 13,000 feet high (like Trail Crest on Mount Whitney, in above photo) below peaks soaring to 14,000 feet. Sheer granite cliffs loom everywhere, and roaring waterfalls are too numerous to even all have names. The JMT passes through contiguous, pristine lands in three national parks—Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia—and two federal wilderness areas, the John Muir and Ansel Adams. Continue reading →

February 24, 2015 South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon.

Ask Me: Tips For Hiking or Trail Running the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

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Michael,

I’m happy to have run across your website. The pictures of the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim (r2r2r) hike are spectacular and only enhance the anticipation and excitement for my own upcoming rim-to-rim (r2r) run. I have several questions for you about it. Continue reading →

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