Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

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 →

December 6, 2013 Tower Fall Ski Trail, Yellowstone National Park.

Cross-Country Skiing Yellowstone National Park

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By Michael Lanza

The snowcoach rumbles away, leaving us in a wintry silence disturbed only by a slight breeze and the gastrointestinal emissions of a supervolcano that last let out a really big one 640,000 years ago. Back then, it ejected about 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the sky. Today, as seems always the case with these things, it just sounds a little rude and smells badly.

My wife, Penny, and I, with our son, Nate, and daughter, Alex, have just stepped off the snowcoach with our cross-country skis in Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Watching us disembark with our grade-school kids, the other passengers stared solemnly, as if expecting they would be the last to see us alive. Clearly, none of them are Nordic skiers, otherwise they might have realized that we’re setting out on one of the coolest half-day adventures in the entire national park system: ski touring along the Firehole River through Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. 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 →

October 9, 2013 Grand Canyon from the South Rim.

Photo Gallery: 10 Beautiful National Parks You Can’t Visit Now (And What To Do Once They Reopen)

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By Michael Lanza

With the federal government closed, we can’t hike, paddle, backpack, or climb in our national parks right now. No one knows when the government shutdown will end, but it can’t go on forever, right? (Right?! Someone please make this end soon!)

I’ve assembled below inspiring photos from 10 national parks, with links to stories (with more photos) about great outdoor-adventure trips in each one. You can’t take these trips now, but you can start scheming plans for when the parks are back up and running. Many of these experiences require planning weeks or months in advance, anyway.

So get on it. Your next adventure awaits. Continue reading →

October 4, 2013 West Rim Trail, Zion National Park, Utah.

‘No, Kids, We Won’t Be Hiking in Zion National Park’

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By Michael Lanza

I’ve woken up every morning this week thinking about where my family would be in Utah’s Zion National Park at that moment, instead of where we were: at home. I had secured a hard-to-get permit to backpack The Narrows, the 16-mile-long, 2,000-foot-deep, red-rock gorge whose walls close in to just thirty feet apart. We also planned to hike other trails in Zion Canyon and descend a slot canyon that involves eight rappels of up to 120 feet.

Then, on the very eve of our trip, the government of the most powerful nation in the world went off the tracks. Continue reading →

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