Tag Archives: John Muir Trail

February 25, 2015 At Trail Crest on the John Muir Trail, Mount Whitney, Sequoia National Park.

Video: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

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“America’s most beautiful trail.” That’s a lofty claim, but the description has stuck hard to the John Muir Trail for many years, despite some serious competition. Meandering 211 miles from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, it crosses a landscape dappled with thousands of lakes, and mountain passes over 13,000 feet high (like Trail Crest on Mount Whitney, in above photo) below peaks soaring to 14,000 feet. Sheer granite cliffs loom everywhere, and roaring waterfalls are too numerous to even all have names. The JMT passes through contiguous, pristine lands in three national parks—Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia—and two federal wilderness areas, the John Muir and Ansel Adams. Continue reading →

February 18, 2015 Wanda Lake, John Muir Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.

12 Simple Tips For Taking Better Outdoor Photos

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By Michael Lanza

Do you wonder how some people come back from national parks and other outdoor trips with fantastic photos? Would you like to take the kind of pictures that make people ooh and aah? It may not be as complicated as you think. Continue reading →

February 16, 2015 The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

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By Michael Lanza

The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 20 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Glacier. But I’ve also learned a few tricks for landing coveted backcountry permits in those flagship parks—which all receive far more requests for permit reservations than they can accommodate. Continue reading →

January 5, 2015 Iceland, Blahnukur, Landmannalaugar, Laugavegur Trail

New Year Inspiration: My Top 10 Adventure Trips

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By Michael Lanza

I often get asked, “What’s your favorite trip?” And I can’t answer that one. To pick just one from all the amazing adventures I’ve had the good fortune to take feels like an impossible task. So instead, I’ve assembled the following list of my 10 all-time favorites (so far). It includes, among other five-star trips, backpacking the Teton Crest Trail and John Muir Trail; hiking across the Grand Canyon; and trekking in Iceland (photo above) and Patagonia. Continue reading →

December 17, 2014 Crater rim, Mount St. Helens.

My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2015 already? I have four, with others 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 15,234 words long, and growing. I need to get busy—and so do you. To help you out with ideas and inspiration for next year, here are my Top 10 Family Adventures at The Big Outside, ranging from climbing Mount St. Helens to backpacking in the Grand Canyon and cross-country skiing in Yellowstone. Continue reading →

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