Tag Archives: Idaho

November 2, 2015 Hikers on the Chesler Park Trail, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

5 Great Adventures to Take in 2016

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By Michael Lanza

Where will you take a big outdoor adventure in 2016? Do you have any plans on the calendar already? Yes, I know it’s only November, it’s dark and cold outside and next year’s trips seem a long way off. But it’s not at all too early to get the trip-planning wheels in motion; in fact, if you’re thinking about a backcountry trip in a popular national park like The Needles District of Canyonlands or the Grand Canyon next spring or Yosemite next summer, the time to apply for a backcountry permit is coming up fast. Continue reading →

October 8, 2015 Quiet Lake, below Castle Peak, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking Into Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

When a friend who’s a longtime backcountry ranger in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area, which includes the gorgeous and lesser-known White Cloud Mountains, told me his favorite spot in the White Clouds is Quiet Lake, my 15-year-old son, Nate, and I decided we had to go see why. We recently backpacked several miles of rugged, off-trail terrain, tagging a summit at nearly 11,000 feet and ascending and descending a lot of steep talus and scree, to camp beside Quiet Lake, at over 9,200 feet. We had the lake to ourselves. I got this shot the next morning of Quiet Lake beneath the nearly vertical north face of 11,815-foot Castle Peak, tallest in the White Clouds. Continue reading →

September 28, 2015 Cliffside Rapid, Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho.

Big Water, Big Wilderness: Rafting Idaho’s Incomparable Middle Fork Salmon River

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By Michael Lanza

Standing on the rocky bank of Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River, deep within the second-largest U.S. wilderness outside Alaska, my 14-year-old son, Nate, and I look down at the foaming, frothing, spitting energy of Marble Rapid—the first big whitewater of our six-day rafting and kayaking trip down one of the world’s premier wilderness rivers. One of our guides, Matt Leidecker, points to the rapid’s entrance, where the river makes a hard, 90-degree right turn at a “hole,” a depression where the roaring current recirculates powerfully enough to toss a person in a kayak around like a bathtub toy. “I’ve seen that hole keep kayaks,” he warns us. Continue reading →

September 13, 2015 Monolith Valley, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

One Photo, One Story: Hiking to the Stunning Monolith Valley in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

Our day’s primary goal—reaching the 10,470-foot summit of Horstman Peak, which had eluded us on a previous attempt—was already behind us when my friend Chip Roser and I descended south off Horstman to hike across a valley that lies just a few miles as the crow flies from the busiest spot in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, and yet probably sees no more than a handful of hikers a year. We’d gotten distant views of the Monolith Valley before, but those glimpses hardly did justice to the spectacle of this stunning paradise of water and granite. Continue reading →

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

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

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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 →

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