Family Adventures

A backpacker hiking to Vogelsang Pass in Yosemite National Park.

10 Adventures to Put on Your Bucket List Now

By Michael Lanza Are you looking for great trip ideas for your personal “bucket list?” Well, you’ve clicked to the right place. This freshly updated list spotlights 10 of the best backpacking trips and other adventures in the U.S. and around the world—from Grand Teton, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Canyonlands national parks to Paria Canyon, the Tour du Mont …

Read on

Michael Lanza of The Big Outside backpacking the Teton Crest Trail on Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

Get Custom Backpacking Trip Planning from an Expert

By Michael Lanza

You’re trying to plan a backpacking trip to a classic national park like Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, or some other park or wilderness area—but you’re not quite sure how to do it. Or the permit process and planning feel overwhelming. Or you want to ensure it’s the best trip possible. Or you just don’t have time to do all that planning and would rather have an expert do it for you.

Well, you have just landed on your solution.

Read on

A backpacker hiking down the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon.

5 Epic Grand Canyon Backpacking Trips You Must Do

By Michael Lanza This is, in a way, a story about addiction. Or a love affair. Or both. Those metaphors best describe how the Grand Canyon constantly lures me back when I’m thinking about spring and fall hiking and backpacking trips. It is that rare kind of natural environment that exists on a scale of its own, like Alaska or …

Read on

A hiker on the Tour du Mont Blanc in Italy.

15 Adventures on Earth That Will Change Your Life

By Michael Lanza

Can travel “change your life?” How many experiences have such an enormous impact? I can name several that shifted my perspective on adventure or expanded how I view the world and other people. Exploring the surreal landscapes of Iceland and Patagonia. Walking among Earth’s highest mountains in Nepal, through remote villages where people live much as their ancestors did for centuries. Immersing myself in the mountain culture on hut treks in the Alps like the Tour du Mont Blanc (photo above). And seeing unforgettable places like Norway’s Jotunheimen National ParkItaly’s Dolomites, and Alaska’s Glacier Bay through the unclouded eyes of my kids.

Read on

A teenage girl hiking through the Cares Gorge in Spain's Picos de Europa National Park.

Photo Gallery: Trekking Spain’s Picos de Europa

By Michael Lanza

As my family hikes up the Cares Gorge in northern Spain’s Picos de Europa National Park, which looks like an impressionist painting with its soaring, white and gray limestone cliffs dappled with greenery, I’m struck by one curious fact about this mountain range: how it has retained a surprising degree of anonymity.

Until just months before this trip, in fact, I had never heard of the Picos de Europa—which also bear a striking resemblance to Italy’s world-class Dolomite Mountains and lies just two flights from major U.S. airports and obviously a much shorter distance from numerous European cities—and I’ve made a living for years seeking out the world’s best hiking trails.

Read on