Tag Archives: Idaho

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 →

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

Ask Me: Backpacking Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains

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[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

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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 →

July 1, 2015 Below David O. Lee Peak, Big Boulder Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Great Trip: Backpacking to the Big Boulder Lakes in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

Tucked away deep in the White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho, the Big Boulder Lakes, a cluster of more than a dozen larger lakes and myriad tiny tarns, lie scattered like a handful of seeds cast to the ground in a basin above 9,000 feet, where copses of spruce and fir trees speckle an otherwise barren landscape of rock and dirt. The backdrop to the lakes, the White Cloud Peaks form a long ridge of chalk-like rock rising to well over 11,000 feet, scraping jagged edges against a brilliantly blue sky. I had heard other avid backpackers rave about this area, but when I finally backpacked in there with my son, the place far exceeded any description of it. Continue reading →

June 29, 2015 Sue Lake, Glacier National Park.

My 10 Most-Read Adventure Stories

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

By Michael Lanza

Like anyone who runs a blog and website, I keep track of which stories generate the most interest among my readers—including which destinations and outdoor adventures they most want to read about. And I realize that you, my readers, may be curious to know what other visitors to The Big Outside are reading. Using my blog’s current analytics data, I produced this top 10 list of the most-read stories about trips I’ve taken, with a link to each full story at The Big Outside.

I have to say, it’s a pretty darn good list of adventure trips. Read on and see for yourself.

Continue reading →

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