Tag Archives: Oregon

November 2, 2015 Hikers on the Chesler Park Trail, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

5 Great Adventures to Take in 2016

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By Michael Lanza

Where will you take a big outdoor adventure in 2016? Do you have any plans on the calendar already? Yes, I know it’s only November, it’s dark and cold outside and next year’s trips seem a long way off. But it’s not at all too early to get the trip-planning wheels in motion; in fact, if you’re thinking about a backcountry trip in a popular national park like The Needles District of Canyonlands or the Grand Canyon next spring or Yosemite next summer, the time to apply for a backcountry permit is coming up fast. Continue reading →

August 24, 2015 Mirror Lake, Lakes Basin, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon.

Photo Gallery: Backpacking Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness

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By Michael Lanza

Forget for a moment where you are while hiking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and you might look around and mistake the sharply angled, granite peaks and crystal-clear lakes for the High Sierra. But in the Eagle Cap, which occupies a big chunk of the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, you won’t find the Sierra’s crowds (except in a few, popular corners like the Lakes Basin on nice summer weekends) or competition for backcountry permits. As you’ll see in this photo gallery, it’s well worth carving out a long weekend or a week in summer or early fall to explore this place with a backpack. Continue reading →

August 3, 2015 Gnarl Ridge, Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.

Full of Surprises: Backpacking Mount Hood’s Timberline Trail

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By Michael Lanza

Minutes after we walk past the sign warning that this section of the Timberline Trail is closed due to “a deep chasm,” with 100-foot drop-offs, created by flooding from a storm—rendering the creek crossing ahead of us “very unstable and unsafe”—Jeff and I reach the top of the ridge high above the east bank of Eliot Creek. If you’ve ever wondered about the destructive power of water, take a look at Eliot Creek. A few steps ahead of us, the trail disappears as if bitten off by a set of jaws about 300 feet wide. The slope below is a torn-up debris field of rocks and crumbling earth. At its bottom, Eliot Creek, the foaming, white-and-gray spawn of Mount Hood’s Eliot Glacier, spits and rages loudly as it courses downhill, like an angry young man spoiling for a fight. Continue reading →

June 29, 2015 Sue Lake, Glacier National Park.

My 10 Most-Read Adventure Stories

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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 →

May 31, 2015 Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking Mount Hood’s Timberline Trail

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By Michael Lanza

As late-afternoon sunlight slashed through big, puffy clouds hovering around the craggy top of Oregon’s 11,250-foot Mount Hood, on the first day of a three-day backpacking trip on the 41-mile Timberline Trail around Hood last August, I snapped this photo of my friend, Jeff Wilhelm, enjoying the view from Gnarl Ridge on the mountain’s east side. We were about to cross an extended, alpine stretch of the trail en route to camp for the night at Cooper Spur. Continue reading →

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