Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

November 26, 2015 Lower Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Giving Thanks For ‘The Best Idea We Ever Had’

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By Michael Lanza

From Lookout Point, along the North Rim Trail in Yellowstone National Park, you gaze down hundreds of feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, with its crumbling walls of golden, gray, and cream-colored rock and patches of evergreens framing the roaring river. Just upstream, 308-foot-tall Lower Yellowstone Falls explodes through a notch in the cliffs, sending a plume of water and mist shooting into the canyon. Every time I see it, as I did again earlier this fall, I feel the same sense of awe that I felt the first time I saw this view.

Big more than that, I think about the foresight behind the creation of America’s national parks—what the writer Wallace Stegner called “the best idea we ever had”—including the first one, Yellowstone. That’s one of the many things I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving day. Continue reading →

November 15, 2015 The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 20 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Glacier. But I’ve also learned a few tricks for landing coveted backcountry permits in those flagship parks—which all receive far more requests for permit reservations than they can accommodate. Continue reading →

October 27, 2015 The brink of Lower Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

One Photo, One Story: Lower Yellowstone Falls, Yellowstone National Park

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By Michael Lanza

On a bluebird autumn morning, I followed the North Rim Trail along the top of crumbling cliffs of golden rock dropping nearly a thousand feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, in Yellowstone National Park. I turned onto the Brink of Lower Falls Trail and marched 600 feet downhill in a half-mile, through too many switchbacks to count, to a platform erected right at the spot where the Yellowstone River launches itself violently over 308-foot Lower Yellowstone Falls. With spray from the waterfall raining lightly on me and the sunlight slashing through the mist forming a rainbow below, I got this photo looking over the lip of the falls and down the canyon. Continue reading →

October 15, 2015 "Bison jam" in Yellowstone National Park.

Video: A Yellowstone ‘Bison Jam’

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By Michael Lanza

It’s the coolest, most fascinating traffic jam you’ll ever get stuck in—if a little unnerving, too—and something of an iconic experience in the world’s first national park. On a recent visit to Yellowstone, after a couple of days of hiking, I was driving south between Mammoth and Norris on my way home when I got stuck in a line of vehicles stopped by a large herd of bison walking up the road. Yes, we were in a bison jam, and I captured it on this video. Continue reading →

September 6, 2015 Hiking in Devils Garden, Arches National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: Tips On Finding ‘More Complicated’ Family Adventures and Hiring Guides

In Ask Me, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Mr. Lanza,

I am writing to ask your advice on how to find more complicated active outdoors experiences for my kids. I live on the East Coast (small town, coastal South Carolina), but as a family we’ve been camping and hiking in the North Carolina mountains for some time now. My children are six and seven, and we are starting to head west to the national parks now that they are older. I love your photos of mountain climbing, bouldering, etc. and I’m wondering if you have suggestions for good places to introduce these activities to kids. We do not have your experience, so I’m guessing we would find a guide and if you have thoughts on that I’d welcome it as well.

I appreciate any time or thoughts, I love your website.

Beaufort, SC Continue reading →

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