Tag Archives: Zion National Park

March 24, 2015 Hiking off-trail from the Frying Pan Trail in Capitol-Reef N.P.

Ask Me: Advice On Dayhikes in the Southwest

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[NOTE: Two readers recently wrote to me asking for suggested dayhikes in the Southwest parks. Below are my responses to them—ML]

Hi Michael,

I was wondering if I could capitalize on your expertise and talk to you about a trip I am planning to southern Utah this fall. We are planning on visiting several national parks and am curious about how much time is recommended in each—we are getting mixed messages from my various travel guides.

Continue reading →

February 26, 2015 The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah.

One Photo, One Story: Descending Zion’s Subway

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By Michael Lanza

Deep in the backcountry of Utah’s Zion National Park, my friend David Gordon and I scrambled carefully down a very steep and loose gully eroding from a sandstone cliff. At its bottom, we started walking a shaded, cool corridor between vertical canyon walls perhaps a hundred feet apart and a few hundred feet tall. At times, we clambered over boulders the size of cars and trucks. We waded or swam pools of frigid creek water in our dry suits. Mostly, we craned our necks in awe, exploring one of the most beautiful and coveted slot canyons in Zion. 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)

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

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 →

February 2, 2015 Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana.

One Photo, One Story: 10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

As we neared Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park, on the middle day of a three-day family backpacking trip, a man and woman in their fifties stopped to talk with us. They sized up our kids and smiled; Nate was nine and Alex was seven. “We’re impressed!” they told us. “We never had any luck trying to get our kids to backpack when they were young.” We chatted a bit and then headed off in opposite directions on the trail.

After they were out of earshot, Alex turned to me, wanting to clarify a point: “You didn’t get us to do this,” she told me. “We wanted to do it.” Her words, of course, warmed my heart. But her comment also spotlighted the biggest lesson for parents hoping to raise their kids to love the outdoors: Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. Continue reading →

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