Tag Archives: Utah
By Michael Lanza
Even in the Southwest, a region where the extraordinary becomes ordinary, Zion National Park stands out. Other places have natural arches, spires, and ancient cliff dwellings, but no place really matches Zion’s grandeur—2,000-foot-tall cliffs stretching for miles, the rock’s purity of white and blood red, or patterns of striations rippling across a span of stone that would dwarf Man’s greatest buildings and monuments. Perhaps that’s why it was Utah’s first national park, designated in the same year, 1919, as Grand Canyon National Park. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Only in southern Utah, home to America’s greatest concentration of national parks, could a place like Capitol Reef National Park remain relatively unknown. But that’s good for those of us who like parks where you see few other people on the trails—if any—and where the scenery just keeps getting more unbelievable around every bend. Through many visits over the years, including the past two years in spring with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to explore much of its backcountry, from the wild contours of rippled sandstone towers to the tightest slot canyons. And our kids have loved our adventures here. Continue reading →
I was reading through your paddling adventure in Stillwater Canyon on the Green River. I first heard of it about a year ago and fell in love with the idea. My family (adult siblings and my mom) is committed to experiencing all of our national parks. In preparation for our trip planned for early July 2014 I’ve read that the fine silt of the desert rivers can be very hard on water filters.
Most of our trips to date have been eastern parks with fresh mountain streams or clear lakes. We’ve used an MSR Hyperflow with great results. However, I’m sure a hollow-fiber filter is awful for the Green River. I’ve had it partially clog once and it requires a lot of work. I’m considering a ceramic filter such as the Katadyn Pocket, but I’m unsure if it is up to the task, either. Can you comment on any experience you’ve had? Have you tried using any flocculants and/or know of a good source for them? Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
La Verkin Creek, swollen and bellowing with spring snowmelt, charges past us like a stampeding herd of bison—with a force and noise level that can make a reasonable person question the wisdom of stepping into its path. Deep in the Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of Utah’s Zion National Park, it’s tearing enough dirt from its banks to turn the water muddy brown, making it impossible for us to gauge its depth. The pitch-darkness of shortly after 5 a.m. doesn’t help in that regard, either.
We need to get to the other side. Continue reading →
From Mineral Bottom to its confluence with the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park, the Green River meanders through 52 miles of Stillwater Canyon, slowly unfurling beneath a constant backdrop of giant redrock cliffs and spires. Off the water, you can take side hikes to centuries-old Puebloan rock art and cliff dwellings, camp on sandy beaches and slickrock benches, and maybe even spot bighorn sheep scrambling around on precipitous rock faces. View this gallery of photos from that trip for inspiration, and then read my story (with a video) to learn more about pulling it off.