Tag Archives: Canyonlands National Park

April 20, 2015 Hiking above Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park.

Photo Gallery: Celebrating National Parks Week

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

This is National Parks Week, a good time to contemplate the writer and historian Wallace Stegner’s famous quote: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” Are you planning to visit a national park this week or this year? It’s time to get busy making that happen. Here’s a gallery of photos from parks I’ve visited (including Mount Rainier, photo above) to offer a little inspiration. Continue reading →

April 6, 2015 Chesler Park Trail, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

No Straight Lines: Backpacking and Hiking in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

We follow a zigzagging line of stone cairns over waves of slickrock in the backcountry of the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Cliffs and 300-foot-tall sandstone candlesticks tower around us, in more shades of red than Crayola has yet replicated, glowing in the warm afternoon sunshine of late March. Five adults and four kids from three families, we traverse slabs, scramble in single file up the smooth, dry bottom of a narrow water runnel, and pump out calf muscles walking straight up steep ramps. In the desert Southwest, trails haven’t learned the axiom of Euclidian geometry that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. We’re navigating a maze without walls. Continue reading →

March 26, 2015 Grand Ronde River, Oregon.

Ask Me: Can You Recommend Rafting Outfitters and Trips?

In Ask Me, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi Michael,

I just found your blog today after starting my research for a summer guided rafting tour for families. In my next life I’d like to come back as one of your offspring! My husband would like to take our eager son on a guided, overnight rafting trip this summer to celebrate his 10th birthday: father-son trip, but someone else does the heavy lifting so dad and son can focus on enjoyment of the river, campfires and overall one-on-one time. We live in the Bay Area but our son is keen to travel for this trip—Idaho, Utah, Oregon, or Colorado, to name a few suggestions. Can you point us toward some well-regarded guiding companies and provide any insight to consider when we comparison shop?

Kind regards,
Catherine
Lafayette, CA

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March 24, 2015 Hiking off-trail from the Frying Pan Trail in Capitol-Reef N.P.

Ask Me: Advice On Dayhikes in the Southwest

In Ask Me, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

[NOTE: Two readers recently wrote to me asking for suggested dayhikes in the Southwest parks. Below are my responses to them—ML]

Hi Michael,

I was wondering if I could capitalize on your expertise and talk to you about a trip I am planning to southern Utah this fall. We are planning on visiting several national parks and am curious about how much time is recommended in each—we are getting mixed messages from my various travel guides.

Continue reading →

March 15, 2015 Arches National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: What Should We Do on a Trip to Colorado, Yellowstone, and the Southwest?

In Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Hi Michael,

I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while now, and I really enjoy it. I’ve got three boys that range from 16 to six, so finding things to do that all three can enjoy is a bit of a challenge. My wife and I are in the planning stages of a two-week trip next year out West. We’re looking at trip starting right before Memorial Day and then running though the 15th of June. We’re thinking of flying out to Denver and using that as a start/stop point for trips out to Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, etc. The only concern that I have is that it’s a little early in the year and there’s going to be snow still around, limiting some of our hiking options. Another thought I’d had was to head to Mesa Verde and see that park. Any suggestions about weather or options I’m missing? Continue reading →

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