Tag Archives: Mammoth Hot Springs

January 12, 2016 Lower Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Video: Cross-Country Skiing in Yellowstone

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By Michael Lanza

Consider these statistics: Yellowstone National Park receives about four million visitors a year. Ninety percent of them see the park between May and September. Less than four percent of visitors come between December and March. And yet, in many respects, winter is the best time of year to see Yellowstone: Wildlife congregate at lower elevations, making them easier to see (except bears, of course), waterfalls form towering columns of ice (like 308-foot Lower Yellowstone Falls, in the lead photo, above), and the geysers and other thermal features take on a different character when the landscape grows hushed under a thick blanket of snow.

Plus, you can see the park’s major features, like the Upper Geyser Basin—home to Old Faithful and one-fourth of the active geysers in the world (and the greatest concentration of them)—on skis. Cross-country skiing groomed trails in Yellowstone, many of which are beginner- and family-friendly, is one of the coolest experiences in the National Park System. Continue reading →

December 14, 2015 Half Dome, Liberty Cap, and Nevada Fall seen from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

My Top 10 Family Adventures

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2016 already? I have four (with others in active planning stages)—and three of those are with my family, both because that’s what we like to do, and because planning months in advance and involving my family are my first two rules for getting outside more. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps, researching online and in my guidebooks, and poring over my list of adventures I want to take—which is now 17,076 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, a list that includes seven national parks, three amazing paddling adventures, four trips that should be on every backpacker’s to-do list, hiking an active volcano, and cross-country skiing among the greatest concentration of active geysers in the world. Continue reading →

August 9, 2015 Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: The Ultimate Family Tour of Yellowstone

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By Michael Lanza

You’ve heard Yellowstone’s crowded with too many car-bound tourists. Well, discard all of your preconceived notions about our first national park. Seeing one of America’s last remaining refuges for virtually all of the mega-fauna that existed before European settlement, and one of the planet’s best collections of geysers and other thermal features (not to mention some amazing waterfalls), is not some gimmicky theme-park attraction—it is fascinating for adults and kids, as this photo gallery illustrates. Continue reading →

December 6, 2013 Tower Fall Ski Trail, Yellowstone National Park.

Cross-Country Skiing Yellowstone National Park

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By Michael Lanza

The snowcoach rumbles away, leaving us in a wintry silence disturbed only by a slight breeze and the gastrointestinal emissions of a supervolcano that last let out a really big one 640,000 years ago. Back then, it ejected about 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the sky. Today, as seems always the case with these things, it just sounds a little rude and smells badly.

My wife, Penny, and I, with our son, Nate, and daughter, Alex, have just stepped off the snowcoach with our cross-country skis in Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Watching us disembark with our grade-school kids, the other passengers stared solemnly, as if expecting they would be the last to see us alive. Clearly, none of them are Nordic skiers, otherwise they might have realized that we’re setting out on one of the coolest half-day adventures in the entire national park system: ski touring along the Firehole River through Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. Continue reading →

May 7, 2013 Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Ask Me: The Ultimate Family Tour of Yellowstone

In Ask Me, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   5 Comments

Hi Michael-

My husband and I live in Missoula with our two boys, ages three and five. We are spending three nights in Yellowstone over Mother’s Day weekend, and it will be our kids’ first visit. Two questions: Any particular Y’stone books you recommend for kids? Also, this is a bit of a silly question, but are there any sites or activities that were unexpectedly or just especially fun? Continue reading →

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