Tag Archives: California

July 20, 2015 Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.

Photo Gallery: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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By Michael Lanza

Everyone has favorite campsites from unforgettable backcountry trips. I’ve been fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than two decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled my list of my favorite campsites down to 25. The gallery below highlights several of those campsites, from places like Great Sand Dunes, Sequoia, and North Cascades national parks—and a new addition to the list this year from Paria Canyon in Utah and Arizona. Continue reading →

July 19, 2015 Wanda Lake, in the Evolution Basin on the John Muir Trail.

Planning to Thru-Hike the John Muir Trail? Do It Right on This 10-Day, Ultralight Plan

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By Michael Lanza

Are you planning to thru-hike the John Muir Trail? “America’s Most Beautiful Trail” should be on every serious backpacker’s tick list. After thru-hiking it in a week (read my story about that and see more photos and a video from the JMT), I became convinced that—while a week was very hard—the traditional itinerary of spreading the roughly 221-mile trip out over three weeks or more has a serious flaw: Because of limited food-resupply options, you’ll carry a monster pack that may not only make you sore and uncomfortable, it could cause injuries or other problems that cut short your trip.

Over the years, I’ve evolved from being one of those traditional, heavy-pack backpackers to traveling as light as absolutely possible, and the John Muir Trail is perfect for an ultralight strategy because of its generally dry, late-summer weather, well-constructed footpath, and moderate grades. 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

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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 →

July 7, 2015 Liberty Cap, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Ask Me: Where’s Best For Backpacking Photos, Glacier, Tetons, Rocky Mountain, or Cascades?

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Michael,

Thank you for all you do (gear reviews, trip posts, etc.) and for your outstanding blog! I’ve read almost all of your travel blogs but failed to find anything that speaks to the specific interests of photography, as the main focus point (pardon the pun). If I missed such a post, please refer me to that. I am looking to take on a backpacking hike of seven days this summer, most likely in early Sept. (after Labor Day and after the summer crowds have dissipated). I have narrowed down possible venues to Glacier National Park, Grand Teton N.P., Rocky Mountain N.P., or the Cascades of Washington. Continue reading →

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

Photo Gallery: Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

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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 →

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