Canyonlands National Park

Fort Bottom, Stillwater Canyon, Green River, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: Advice on Floating the Green River in Canyonlands National Park

Michael:

We were so enthralled by your story about floating the Green River that we’ve started to make plans for our own trip with another family. I’d like to ask which outfitters you used, and whether you’d use them again. I’d also be interested in your opinion as to whether it’s a better idea to do a jet boat shuttle or use a car relocation service. Finally, I’m deeply interested in your lessons learned on the trip, particularly what you’d do differently. If you were me, what questions should I be asking you, but haven’t?

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Campsite in Squaw Canyon, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking the Needles District, Canyonlands National Park

By Michael Lanza

On a three-family, overnight backpacking trip in The Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park last spring, we hiked up Big Spring Canyon and partway down Squaw Canyon to this campsite below bands of burnt-red cliffs. As a calm, chilled, clear night descended, I set up my tripod and framed two of our tents lit by headlamps below a sky speckled with the light of natural lamps that had traveled unknown light years to reach us.

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Trekking the Alta Via 2 in Parco Naturale Paneveggio Pale di San Martino, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

10 Favorite Photos From 2014 Adventures

By Michael Lanza

Was 2014 a good year for you? After poring through thousands of photos I shot on more than a dozen trips this year, including return visits to iconic national parks like Yosemite and Zion, and a couple of adventures that have been on my to-do list for years—backpacking the Timberline Trail around Mount Hood and trekking in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains—I picked my 10 favorite images of the year. I’ll write about these trips in upcoming stories at The Big Outside. For now, let these pictures give you a little inspiration to make 2015 a great year outdoors.

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The Green River in Stillwater Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: What Do You Do For Drinking Water When Floating the Green River?

Michael,

I was reading through your paddling adventure in Stillwater Canyon on the Green River. I first heard of it about a year ago and fell in love with the idea. My family (adult siblings and my mom) is committed to experiencing all of our national parks. In preparation for our trip planned for early July 2014 I’ve read that the fine silt of the desert rivers can be very hard on water filters.

Most of our trips to date have been eastern parks with fresh mountain streams or clear lakes. We’ve used an MSR Hyperflow with great results. However, I’m sure a hollow-fiber filter is awful for the Green River. I’ve had it partially clog once and it requires a lot of work. I’m considering a ceramic filter such as the Katadyn Pocket, but I’m unsure if it is up to the task, either. Can you comment on any experience you’ve had? Have you tried using any flocculants and/or know of a good source for them?

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Grand Canyon from the South Rim.

Photo Gallery: 10 Beautiful National Parks You Can’t Visit Now (And What To Do Once They Reopen)

By Michael Lanza

With the federal government closed, we can’t hike, paddle, backpack, or climb in our national parks right now. No one knows when the government shutdown will end, but it can’t go on forever, right? (Right?! Someone please make this end soon!)

I’ve assembled below inspiring photos from 10 national parks, with links to stories (with more photos) about great outdoor-adventure trips in each one. You can’t take these trips now, but you can start scheming plans for when the parks are back up and running. Many of these experiences require planning weeks or months in advance, anyway.

So get on it. Your next adventure awaits.

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