Category Archives: Paddling

Stories, photos, and videos from my kayaking, canoeing, and rafting adventures in the U.S. and around the world.

July 23, 2015 Rafting Cliffside Rapid, Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho.

One Photo, One Story: Rafting’s Idaho’s Wild Middle Fork Salmon River

In Family Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

On the fifth afternoon of our six-day rafting trip on one of the world’s premier wilderness rivers, Idaho’s 100-mile-long Middle Fork of the Salmon, our big, guided party reached one of the most exciting of the scores of whitewater rapids on the river: class III Cliffside Rapid, which takes a sharp right turn while slamming up against a jagged wall of rock. Standing on a gravel bar right beside the rapid, I got this shot of guide Matt Leidecker’s raft crashing through Cliffside’s massive wave train as four kids in his boat, including my daughter, Alex, shrieked and laughed loudly enough to be heard for a half-mile up or downriver. The expressions on all of their faces—including Matt’s—say everything. Continue reading →

July 15, 2015 Backpackers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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

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 →

July 6, 2015 Alex at Kaweah Gap, Sequoia National Park.

Photo Gallery: Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

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

By Michael Lanza

As my 14-year-old son, Nate, and I paddled our kayaks toward one of the class III rapids on the Payette River in southwest Idaho, I suggested he run it ahead of me: My son’s knowledge of the Payette’s rapids, and skill at paddling them, both outstrip mine. He grinned at me and responded, “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t let you go in first.”

Great sense of humor, that kid of mine. Continue reading →

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 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 →

← Older posts