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Lower Yellowstone Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

The 10 Best Hikes in Yellowstone

By Michael Lanza Yellowstone National Park is a place where the earth comes alive, with more than 10,000 hydrothermal features and 500 active geysers—that’s more than half the world’s geysers—as well as 290 waterfalls, not to mention having some of the greatest diversity of wildlife remaining in the contiguous United States. America’s first national park is also famously busy, drawing …

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A backpacker on the northern Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.

5 Backpacking Trips for Solitude in Glacier National Park

By Michael Lanza Is it possible to find some degree of solitude backpacking in a national park as popular as Glacier? The answer is an unequivocal yes—even in Glacier’s relatively short peak season of mid-July through mid-September. And the strategies for doing so are remarkably simple and will not compromise the quality of your experience in other ways—in fact, encountering …

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A hiker on Half Dome, high above Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park.

Where to Backpack First Time in Yosemite

By Michael Lanza Ready for your first backpacking trip in one of America’s greatest national parks for backpackers, Yosemite? Having backpacked several times all over Yosemite, my advice for a first-time backpacker in Yosemite who wants to hit highlights like Yosemite Valley, the Mist Trail, and Half Dome is nearly identical to the itinerary I followed on my first trip …

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A black bear along the Sol Duc River Trail in Olympic National Park.

Ask Me: Should I Hike or Backpack Solo in Bear Country?

Michael, Here’s a question I’ve struggled with. Because of the timing of my trips, I often end up hiking and backpacking solo. I enjoy that (and enjoy groups). However, as a result, I’ve had a number of bear and moose encounters that have left me a little uncomfortable, and with a feeling of powerlessness in those situations. I’ve read about …

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Michael Lanza of The Big Outside on the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon.

Here’s How I Can Help You Plan Your Next Trip

By Michael Lanza Do you have a backpacking trip or other outdoor adventure on your calendar for this year and questions about how to pull it off? Or do you want to take a big trip this summer or fall but have no plans yet? Whether it’s Sequoia, Glacier, Grand Canyon (the photo above shows me on the canyon’s Tonto …

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