Tag Archives: Yosemite National Park

March 9, 2015 A hiker on "The Visor" on the summit of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.

Ask Me: Hiking Yosemite’s Half Dome

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Hi Michael!

I contacted you a while back about hiking and backpacking with my toddler. Your advice was amazing and my two-year-old is getting better and better when it comes to distance. He is walking two miles straight and absolutely loves nature. We recently hiked the Mist Trail in Yosemite to the top of Vernal Fall and we all enjoyed it—the best hike we have ever done so far. Now I am contacting you because my husband and I decided we wanted to make Half Dome our next year’s challenge. As soon as I saw the Half Dome from the Glacier Point I knew I wanted to be on the top of that rock. It has always been in my bucket list, but I think I am ready to check that off. I don’t know if you have done that climb or not, but wanted to ask about tips for a long trip (we plan on making it a three-day backpacking trip), gear and “training.” Continue reading →

March 2, 2015 Backpackers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Looking for an unforgettable adventure to take your family on? How about hiking a volcano, exploring slot canyons, or paddling mangrove tunnels? How about backpacking a wild coastline or deep into the glaciated mountains of Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness (lead photo, above), or taking a multi-day float trip on one of the West’s most spectacular (and gentle) rivers? How about diving into a place that awes people of any age—the Grand Canyon?

Continue reading →

February 25, 2015 At Trail Crest on the John Muir Trail, Mount Whitney, Sequoia National Park.

Video: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

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“America’s most beautiful trail.” That’s a lofty claim, but the description has stuck hard to the John Muir Trail for many years, despite some serious competition. Meandering 211 miles from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, it crosses a landscape dappled with thousands of lakes, and mountain passes over 13,000 feet high (like Trail Crest on Mount Whitney, in above photo) below peaks soaring to 14,000 feet. Sheer granite cliffs loom everywhere, and roaring waterfalls are too numerous to even all have names. The JMT passes through contiguous, pristine lands in three national parks—Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia—and two federal wilderness areas, the John Muir and Ansel Adams. Continue reading →

February 23, 2015 High Sierra Trail above Hamilton Lakes, Sequoia National Park.

Photo Gallery: 10 Amazing National Park Adventures (And How To Pull Them Off)

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By Michael Lanza

Yellowstone. Yosemite. Grand Canyon. Glacier. Zion.  Sequoia (photo above). These names are iconic to people who love exploring America’s national parks. And beyond those flagship parks are dozens more units of the National Park Service (53 more, to be precise) creating infinite opportunities to hike, backpack, kayak, canoe, climb a mountain, fish, and cross-country ski. But where do you begin, and what should you or your family do? Continue reading →

February 16, 2015 The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

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

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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 →

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