Category Archives: Hiking

Stories and images from my many dayhikes, from family- and beginner-friendly trails to hard-core ultra-hiking.

April 18, 2017

Photo Gallery: Hiking Across the Grand Canyon

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

By Michael Lanza

Whether you backpack it or hike it in one very long day, trekking across the Grand Canyon from the South Rim to the North Rim is one of our National Park System’s most scenic and aspirational adventures, in one of the planet’s most magnificent and unfathomable landscapes—as this photo gallery illustrates better than any words. Want to take this hike? Read on to learn how. Continue reading →

April 17, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: Every National Park I’ve Visited

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

By Michael Lanza

How many national parks have you visited? I’ve been to close to half of the 59, and although that includes numerous return trips to some major parks, I still have more work to do. Then again, you could hardly call seeing our national parks “work,” right? What writer and historian Wallace Stegner famously called “the best idea we ever had” has grown from a handful of parks created in the early days to a system in many ways without parallel, that protects 52 million acres of mountain ranges, canyons, rivers, deserts, prairies, caves, islands, bays, fjords, badlands, natural arches, and seashores in 59 parks. Without that protection, these places that draw visitors from around the world would otherwise almost certainly have been exploited and destroyed. Continue reading →

April 16, 2017 View from Lookout Point, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Great Trip: The First National Park, Yellowstone

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Skiing   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

On Sept. 20, 1869, Charles W. Cook, the leader of an expedition exploring the Yellowstone area, came upon the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River for the first time. He wrote afterward in his journal: “I was riding ahead, the two pack animals following… I remembered seeing what appeared to be an opening in the forest ahead, which I presumed to be a park, or open country. While my attention was attracted by the pack animals, which had stopped to eat grass, my saddle horse suddenly stopped. I turned and looked forward from the brink of the great canyon, at a point just across from what is now called Inspiration Point. I sat there in amazement, while my companions came up, and after that, it seemed to me that it was five minutes before anyone spoke.” Continue reading →

April 13, 2017 Campsite, Dome Glacier, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades.

Ask Me: How Can You Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Michael,

With sleeping bags, we have temperature ratings. But with down/insulated/puffy jackets, what is best way to determine if a jacket will be warm or warmer or hot? Is it the amount of fill? Some but not all jackets indicate the amount of fill.

Thanks.

Bruce
Virginia

Continue reading →

April 11, 2017 The Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon, Canyonlands National Park.

3-Minute Read: The Great Gallery Pictographs of Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park

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By Michael Lanza

Here’s how you reach the best prehistoric Indian rock art in America: From Utah Highway 24, a remote two-lane bisecting the inhospitable desert between the rugged spine of the San Rafael Reef and the deep and isolated canyons of the Green and Dirty Devil rivers, turn east onto a dirt road at a small, easily overlooked sign for Horseshoe Canyon. (Reference point: It’s a tenth of a mile south of the turnoff for Goblin Valley State Park.) Drive about an hour on that sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy road—which can become impassable in heavy rain or when wind piles sand drifts across the road, and where a few roadside signs are the only indicators of civilization—to the West Rim Trailhead.

Then hike down into Horseshoe Canyon and nearly three miles up canyon to a panel of rock art that will reduce even the most seasoned pictograph and petroglyph hunters to awed silence. Continue reading →

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