Tag Archives: Olympic National Park

May 28, 2014 Above Stillwater Canyon, Canyonlands National Park.

5 Classic (Age-Appropriate) National Park Adventures for Families

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By Michael Lanza

What national park adventure should we take with our kids? That’s a question I get frequently from parents. It’s a tough one to answer, given all the great choices. But my advice always focuses on the ages of kids, because that’s how I’ve always thought about picking the right trips for my kids. I ask myself: What’s the most fun, safe adventure we can take them on at their ages?

I’ve compiled below my top five recommendations for absolute, must-do national park trips for families (with links to my story about each for more info and photos), arranged in order from the easiest, for younger kids, to the most challenging, for older, more-experienced kids. Continue reading →

April 23, 2014 Backpackers on Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Photo Gallery: Celebrating National Parks Week

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By Michael Lanza

Are you planning to visit a national park this week or this year? National Parks Week reminds me of writer Wallace Stegner’s famous quote: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” Continue reading →

April 3, 2014 Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend 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 to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than two 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 →

December 16, 2013 Gran4-67 Tonto East Trail, Grand Canyon

Inspiration For 2014: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2014 already? I have three, with five more 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 13,423 words long—and growing. I need to get busy.

If you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration for 2014, here are my 10 favorite family adventures at The Big Outside (another list that will keep growing and evolving), as well as a bonus 11th trip that made this list last year but saw its spot usurped this year. Continue reading →

October 30, 2013 Grand Prismatic Geyser, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: 10 Amazing National Park Adventures (And How To Pull Them Off)

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By Michael Lanza

A few weeks ago, in the midst of the federal government’s, um, hiatus from functioning, I posted at this blog about 10 national park adventures you couldn’t do then. Well, this may not be the time of year to do most of these—but if you’re going to actually make them happen for yourself or your family, now is the time to start planning for 2014.

So, as inspiration or a form of gentle prodding, I’ve assembled here 10 inspiring photos from 10 national parks, with links to stories (with more photos) about great outdoor-adventure trips in each one. Any one of them will provide an experience of a lifetime. All of them should be on your to-do list.

So get busy. You have your fun cut out for you.

Continue reading →

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