Tag Archives: Olympic National Park
An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spent a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed many, many great backcountry campsites over the past couple decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled the list of my favorite spots down to 25. Continue reading →
Seeing wildflowers blooming in the backcountry always brings a smile. They enliven a landscape. Blooming only briefly, they signal our serendipitous timing. And beautiful wildflowers sure can make a photograph pop.
I’ve assembled this slideshow of my favorite wildflower photos, from places like Mt. Rainier, the Tetons, Glacier, Zion, the North Cascades, Joshua Tree, Alaska’s Glacier Bay, the Olympic Mountains, Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, New Hampshire’s Presidential Range and Carter Range, and Idaho’s Sawtooths, Smoky Mountains, City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. I’ve included photos from as far off as Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park and as close to my home as the Boise Foothills. The lead photo above shows Herb Robert on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge; other photos in this gallery are from Dog Mountain on the Washington side of the gorge, which puts on one of the best wildflower displays you’ll see anywhere every May and June. Continue reading →
Washington’s Olympic National Park protects the longest wilderness coastline remaining in the continental United States, and the season for hiking it is fast approaching. Watch this short video of a classic, three-day, 17.5-mile backpacking trip along the southern section of the coast, where you’ll see sea stacks rising out of the ocean, seals, sea otters, and tide pools filled with sea life. Read the story and check out a gallery of photos from the adventure.
As we neared Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park, on the middle day of a three-day family backpacking trip, a man and woman in their fifties stopped to talk with us. They sized up our kids and smiled; Nate was nine and Alex was seven. “We’re impressed!” they told us. “We never had any luck trying to get our kids to backpack when they were young.” We chatted a bit and then headed off in opposite directions on the trail.
After they were out of earshot, Alex turned to me, wanting to clarify a point: “You didn’t get us to do this,” she told me. “We wanted to do it.” Her words, of course, warmed my heart. But her comment also spotlighted the biggest lesson for parents hoping to raise their kids to love the outdoors: Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. Continue reading →
At this time of year, I start pulling out maps and guidebooks and poring over my lengthy—and always growing—list of outdoor trips I want to take. (My document slugged “Trip Ideas” is now 11,855 words long.) There are two reasons: First, to make those big dream trips happen, you have to think, plan, and dream months in advance. Plus, the planning is almost as much fun as taking the trip.
Here are my 10 favorite family adventures at The Big Outside (another list that will keep growing and evolving), to help give you some ideas and inspiration for 2013. Continue reading →