Tag Archives: Capitol Reef National Park

April 3, 2014 Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you.

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 the list of my favorite spots down to 25. Continue reading →

March 5, 2014 Near Frying Pan Trail.

Photo Gallery: Exploring the Wild Playground of Capitol Reef National Park

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By Michael Lanza

Only in southern Utah, home to America’s greatest concentration of national parks, could a place like Capitol Reef National Park remain relatively unknown. But that’s good for those of us who like parks where you see few other people on the trails—if any—and where the scenery just keeps getting more unbelievable around every bend. Through many visits over the years, including the past two years in spring with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to explore much of its backcountry, from the wild contours of rippled sandstone towers to the tightest slot canyons. And our kids have loved our adventures here. Continue reading →

January 3, 2014 The "Diving board," Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.

10 Favorite Images From 2013 Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

After plowing through several thousand photos taken over the course of about 15 trips last year, I selected the following 10 that represent, for me, either the essence of each adventure or a moment when light, landscape, and composition came together just right. At this coldest and darkest time of year, kick back for a few minutes and daydream over these possibilities. You’ll find links in a few of the descriptions below to existing stories about these places at The Big Outside, and I’ll eventually post stories with many more photos from all of them. Continue reading →

December 16, 2013 Gran4-67 Tonto East Trail, Grand Canyon

Inspiration For 2014: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2014 already? I have three, with five more in active planning stages. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps and guidebooks and poring over my list of adventures I want to take. My document slugged “Trip Ideas” is now 13,423 words long—and growing. I need to get busy.

If you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration for 2014, here are my 10 favorite family adventures at The Big Outside (another list that will keep growing and evolving), as well as a bonus 11th trip that made this list last year but saw its spot usurped this year. Continue reading →

December 5, 2013 Sunset above Buck Creek Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Essay: A Year of Outdoor Adventures

In Backpacking, Climbing, Family Adventures, Hiking, Hut Treks, National Park Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

A few weeks ago, as I hiked with my daughter up the steep Grandview Trail in the Grand Canyon, knocking off the last few miles of a three-day backpacking trip that had been wonderful on many levels, I was feeling awfully satisfied. For starters, through most of this fall, I’d had a bad itch to get out somewhere—and the Big Ditch, it turns out, is a pretty good place to scratch that itch. Plus, we’d just enjoyed three absolutely gorgeous, summer-like days of father-daughter time, and the company of two other families who joined us.

But seen from a longer view, returning to the Grand Canyon again felt like the perfect way to cap off another good year outdoors. In 2013, I got to seven national parks; five federal wilderness areas; an Idaho mountain range (the White Cloud Mountains) that might… no, should… become either federal wilderness or a national monument in the near future; and had the unforgettable pleasure of standing with my 12- and 10-year-old kids, my 15-year-old nephew, and my 76-year-old mom on the crater rim of Mount St. Helens. Continue reading →

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