Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park.
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Backpacking Remote Northern Yosemite

Go big on this 86-mile hike through the biggest, loneliest, and most remote chunk of wilderness on the Yosemite map.

Backpacking Remote Northern Yosemite
Boulder Chain Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.
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My 12 Favorite Long Dayhikes

If you’re a glutton for the punishment and rewards of big dayhikes, see this list of the best ones I’ve ever done.

My 12 Favorite Long Dayhikes
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park.
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Hiking Yellowstone in Autumn

The best time of year for hiking in Yellowstone? Right now. See why in this photo gallery from the world’s first national park.

Hiking Yellowstone in Autumn

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September 15, 2016 Navajo/Queens Garden Loop.

Photo Gallery: My Favorite Hike in Bryce Canyon

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

By Michael Lanza

Bryce Canyon’s Navajo Loop/Queens Garden Loop is a popular trail for good reason, with constant views of hoodoos—the multi-colored, limestone, sandstone, and mudstone spires that look like giant, melting candles, including the famous formation called Thor’s Hammer. But once turning onto the Peek-a-Boo Loop, you lose the crowds—and discover the scenic heart of Bryce Canyon while hiking below the Wall of Windows and row after row of towers in fluorescent shades of red and orange.

Continue reading →

Gear Review: Leki Micro Vario Carbon Antishock Folding Trekking Poles

September 14, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Antishock Trekking Poles

Leki Micro Vario Carbon Antishock Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Antishock Folding Trekking Poles
$220, 1 lb. 1 oz. (110-130 cm).
Sizes: regular/unisex 110-130 cm, Lady 100-120cm
backcountry.com

How much does a good pair of trekking poles matter? I used these three-section, folding poles on a dayhike in August that I wasn’t certain I could finish: the 32-mile, 10,000-vertical-foot, nine-summit Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. For the last few miles, the poles may have been the only thing holding me up. Whether or not you intend to take absurdly long hikes, this one did help me identify the many strengths of Leki’s Micro Vario Carbon Antishock Folding Trekking Poles, and evaluate the usefulness of the antishock mechanism. Continue reading →

Gear Review: La Sportiva TX3 Hiking Shoes

September 13, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   2 Comments
La Sportiva TX3

La Sportiva TX3

Hiking/Approach Shoes
La Sportiva TX3
$130, 1 lb. 9 oz. (men’s Euro42/US 9)
Sizes: Euro men’s 38-47.5, women’s 36-43
backcountry.com

If a shoe manufacturer asked me to design my ideal, low-cut hiking shoe, I’d say it should be lightweight, with good flex yet enough cushion and support for rugged dayhikes and ultralight backpacking. I’d want it supremely breathable, reasonably armored against abusive terrain, and to have an outsole that grips any surface. I’m still waiting for a shoe manufacturer to ask me. But La Sportiva seems to have read my mind with the TX3. That shoe jumped to the top of my list after several dayhikes, including a 16-hour, August ultra-hike of the 32-mile, 10,000-vertical-foot, nine-summit Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s rocky and wet White Mountains. Continue reading →

September 12, 2016 Tonto Trail, Grand Canyon National Park.

10 Awesome Fall Backpacking Trips

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

The imminent end of summer always feels a little melancholy. After all, it marks the close of the prime season for getting into the mountains. But it also signals the beginning of a time of year when many mountain ranges become less crowded just as they’re hitting a sweet zone in terms of temperatures, the lack of bugs, and fall foliage color. Autumn also stands out as an ideal season for many canyon hikes, with moderate temperatures and even some stunning color.

From Zion and Yosemite to the White Mountains, Grand Canyon, Mount Hood, and more, here are 10 of my favorite backpacking trips that are best served up in fall.
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September 11, 2016 Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

Video: Backpacking in Grand Teton National Park

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

After almost 20 visits to Grand Teton National Park to backpack, dayhike, rock climb, backcountry ski, and paddle a canoe, the sight of that jagged skyline still gives me chills. One of America’s premier multi-day hikes, the Teton Crest Trail is, step for step, one of the greatest mountain walks in America, with incomparable views, scenic campsites, wildflowers, mountain lakes and creeks, and a chance of seeing moose, elk, marmots, pikas, mule deer, and black bears.

And the best time of year to head out backpacking in the Tetons is right now. Continue reading →

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