Tag Archives: Idaho

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

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

In Family Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

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

In Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

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

In Family Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

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 →

July 12, 2015 Alice Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: Backpacking Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains

In Ask Me, Backpacking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

[Note: I received the following three similar inquiries from readers.]

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your thoughtful, inspiring and informative work! I hike and camp monthly with four girlfriends and once a year we go on a longer backpacking trip and are currently planning our next trip. We are headed to Idaho! I’ve been trying to put together a loop in the Sawtooth Wilderness. I’ve read enough of your posts to know you’re the expert on the Sawtooths. Can you recommend a loop that is about 40 to 50 miles? The one I read about starts at the Grandjean Trailhead clockwise around Sawtooth Lake, south around Cramer lakes, down and around Spangle Lake, then north towards Elk Lake, back to Grandjean. Maybe there’s a shortcut on this loop? Continue reading →

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

Photo Gallery: Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

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 →

← Older posts