Tag Archives: Oregon

May 7, 2014 Lambert Gorge, East Fork Owyhee River

One Photo, One Story: Kayaking the Owhyee River

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By Michael Lanza

“This is one of the most special places in Idaho.”

Tim utters these words reverentially as we drift languidly on our third morning through the enveloping silence of Lambert Gorge on the East Fork of the Owyhee River. Lying back in our slowly revolving kayaks, we gaze hypnotized at cliffs shooting 400 feet straight up out of the water on both sides. Hundreds of freestanding pinnacles—exclamation points of eroding rock—punctuate the walls. A goose, honking aggressively, flaps its wings and splashes alongside Geoff for several minutes, a distraction intended to draw us away from its camouflaged nest. Continue reading →

March 13, 2014 Saddle Creek Trail, Hells Canyon, Oregon.

Photo Gallery: Backpacking Hells Canyon

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By Michael Lanza

North America’s deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon, is a place defined by extremes—of scale, solitude, grandeur. Although protected as wilderness, it still harbors evidence of the settlers who, many decades ago, tried to carve a life out of its rugged contours and harsh climate: falling-down cabins, rusted farm equipment. Perhaps more than any wild land I’ve known, this canyon fills me with a sense of having dropped out of time, of diving, wide-eyed, into Alice’s rabbit-hole. The biggest disconnect? That a place so ruggedly beautiful could attract so few visitors. See for yourself in this photo gallery, then read my story and see more photos from a four-day, 56-mile, rim-to-river-to-rim, solo backpacking trip on the Oregon side of the canyon. Continue reading →

January 22, 2014 Mirror Lake, Lakes Basin, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon.

Featured Photo Gallery: Backpacking Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness

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By Michael Lanza

Does your list of dream trips include the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon? If it doesn’t, these photos might convince you to add it to your list. The Eagle Cap is a more obscure mountain range that can remind you of one of America’s most beautiful and storied ranges—the High Sierra’s sharply angled, granite peaks and crystal-clear lakes—minus the crowds and competition for backcountry permits. After checking out this photo gallery, read my story, with more photos, a video, and trip-planning tips, about backpacking the Eagle Cap. Continue reading →

January 16, 2014 Skiing off the back side of Clipper Gap, above Norway Basin in Oregon's Wallowa Mountains.

Featured Photo Gallery: Backcountry Skiing Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

After a ski guide friend repeatedly e-mailed several of us photos of the snow-plastered, jagged mountains of Norway Basin in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains, we had to go explore this place ourselves. By that first night in the Norway Basin yurt, we had decided to return again the next winter. Check out this photo gallery of some select shots from that trip; whether you’re a backcountry skier, snowshoer, or neither, you can’t help but be awed by these remote peaks. Then see my full story about that trip for more photos, a video, and tips on planning it. Continue reading →

September 26, 2013 Mirror Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon.

Learning the Hard Way: Backpacking Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness

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By Michael Lanza

Just as I reach the 9,572-foot summit of Eagle Cap, the first thunderclaps boom so close that I feel them in my ribs. The rain follows within minutes, catching me dashing down off the summit—and not just to avoid being charbroiled by a lightning bolt, though that prospect is on my mind. But mostly I’m thinking about the fact that my son forgot all of his outer layers—rain jacket, fleece jacket, and wool hat—on this backpacking trip. And somewhere below me, my family is hiking through this cold, windy downpour right now. Continue reading →

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