Tag Archives: children

February 27, 2014 Cross-country skiing the Beaver Trail, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

5 Kids, 4 Days, No Wifi… Only Trees and Snow

In Family Adventures, Hut Treks, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

We pause at the top of a steep hill on the Elkhorn Loop Trail in Idaho’s Boise National Forest and contemplate where to go from here. My 17-year-old niece, Anna Garofalo, and I have cross-country skied for two hours to reach this quiet spot in the ponderosa pine forest, miles from the nearest road—and more than 2,000 miles and an experiential chasm from the only place she has ever known as home.

I lay out the choices to Anna: turn around and ski two more hours back to the Skyline yurt, where we’re spending three nights with my wife and kids and another family; or explore a trail I’ve never actually skied in the many trips I’ve made to this system of ski trails and yurts north of Idaho City. I’ve never skied it because, unlike most of the trails out here, it’s not groomed, and it lies out on the farthest perimeter of the trail system. Going that way would take us at least three more hours to reach the yurt. But I’ve long wanted to ski it, if for no other reason than its name: the Wayout Trail.

“Let’s do it,” Anna tells me. “After all, when am I going to be back here again?” God, I love that attitude. But I suppose that’s how you would look at something you’ve been literally waiting almost your entire life to do. Continue reading →

May 28, 2013 Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park.

Ask Me: A Recommendation For a Family Backpacking Trip in Southern Utah

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Michael,

Your site is fantastic. I found it while researching a trip to Spring Canyon at Capitol Reef. I live in Portland and have been packing with my two boys since they were in diapers (they are now 5 and 7). We do about three trips per year. There’s nothing better than being out there with the kids, and I’m glad your site is promoting that.

I was wondering if you have any suggestions for trips in southern Utah in June, in the 15-25 mile range? Hopefully something that has a spring somewhere along the way.  I’ve been eyeing Capitol Reef and the Escalante canyons. Continue reading →

April 29, 2013 Skilern Hot Springs, Smoky Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: First Backpacking Trip With a Toddler

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Morning Mike,

I saw some of your pictures in High Country News attached to an article about getting kids out with you nice and early. I am really hoping to do some backpacking and camping with Luke this summer (he’s 15 months now) and thought you would be a perfect person to go to for advice on how to get started. For starters… what do you do about diapers, just pack them out? I am sure there are some tricks of the trade–or maybe I am just desperately hoping for ingenious tips from a veteran. I am thinking about a 4-day trip into the Bighorn Crags (in Idaho’s Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness) in August and should probably do a few warm up trips before that. Any suggestions on places to start–any suggestions at all would be GREAT! Continue reading →

March 18, 2013 Freeman Peak, Boise Mountains, Idaho

A 12-Year-Old’s First Time Skiing Wild Snow

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By Michael Lanza

The sun burns atomically from a sky polished to a flawless blue. Heat reflects up at us from the snow covering this mountainside in southwest Idaho, making March feel like June. New snow cloaks the boughs of the ponderosa pines and blankets the ground, powder light enough to scoop into your hand and blow away like feathers.

It’s a perfect day for any beginning, especially for a first time doing anything outdoors. My 12-year-old son, Nate, 85 pounds of expectation, clicks his boots into bindings and grins at me, displaying equal parts eagerness and curiosity for his first-ever day of backcountry skiing. Continue reading →

March 15, 2013 Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Ask Me: Tips For a First Backpacking Trip With Young Kids

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Tips for our first family backpacking trip? We have a three year old and a 1.5 year old. Continue reading →

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