backpacking Bechler Canyon

Iris Falls on the Bechler River, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: Backpacking Yellowstone’s Bechler Canyon

By Michael Lanza

I wade slowly into the natural pool known as Mr. Bubble, deep in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, feeling the swirling blend of hot water from the natural hot springs pouring into one corner of the pool, and the cold creek water entering from another corner. I lower myself to a sitting position, chest-deep, and crab crawl to find a spot with a perfect, hot-tub water temperature—and plant myself there for a long time.

And I’m thinking: This is quite a sweet treat on a wilderness backpacking trip. I could get used to this.

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Larch trees glowing with fall color, reflected in Rainbow Lake in the North Cascades National Park Complex.

10 Awesome Fall Backpacking Trips

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 …

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A backpacker hiking the Timberline Trail around Mount Hood, Oregon..

15 Great Backpacking Trips You Can Still Take in 2022

By Michael Lanza

So you didn’t plan months in advance to reserve a permit for backpacking this summer in Glacier, Yosemite, on the Teton Crest Trail, Wonderland Trail, or John Muir Trail or in another popular national park? Or you applied for a permit but got rejected? Now what? Where can you still go this year?

You’re in luck. This story describes 15 backpacking trips you can still plan and take this year—either because they don’t require a permit reservation or, in the case of Yosemite, North Cascades, Sequoia, Yellowstone, and Olympic national parks, you can still obtain a backcountry permit reservation for many summer dates and trails, where one is required.

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Iris Falls on the Bechler River, Yellowstone National Park.

In Hot (and Cold) Water: Backpacking Yellowstone’s Bechler Canyon

By Michael Lanza I step off the grassy riverbank into the slow-moving Bechler River, in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, and the shock of the cold, calf-deep water makes me gasp unconsciously. After a few careful steps forward—with the mucky, silted river bottom threatening to either make me slip or suck a sandal off my foot—the river rises above …

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