Tag Archives: Castle Peak

August 7, 2017 Hiking Half Dome's cable route, Yosemite National Park.

Extreme Hiking: America’s Best Hard Dayhikes

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By Michael Lanza

Imagine this: You’re heading out on a long, beautiful hike deep in the backcountry, but instead of a full backpack, you carry a light daypack. You’ve avoided hassles with getting a backcountry permit. There’s no camp to set up and pack up, because you’re not backpacking, you’re dayhiking. Yes, I love backpacking—living in the wilderness, getting into that mindset of not knowing or caring what day it is or what’s going on in civilization. And I do it a lot. But sometimes, I’d rather knock off a weekend-length—or longer—hike in one big day. Continue reading →

June 9, 2016 Quiet Lake, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Photo Gallery: Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

Picture a chain of peaks rising to over 11,000 feet, some composed of chalk-like rock that looks like snow from a distance. Scores of crystal-clear lakes above 9,000 feet, and creeks running with trout and salmon. Mountain goats, elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, even gray wolves. And the kind of solitude you can’t find in most wild lands. That’s the White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho. Put this brand-new American wilderness on your radar—and get there before every other backpacker discovers how gorgeous and quiet it still is, as you’ll see in this photo gallery. Continue reading →

October 8, 2015 Quiet Lake, below Castle Peak, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking Into Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

When a friend who’s a longtime backcountry ranger in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area, which includes the gorgeous and lesser-known White Cloud Mountains, told me his favorite spot in the White Clouds is Quiet Lake, my 15-year-old son, Nate, and I decided we had to go see why. We recently backpacked several miles of rugged, off-trail terrain, tagging a summit at nearly 11,000 feet and ascending and descending a lot of steep talus and scree, to camp beside Quiet Lake, at over 9,200 feet. We had the lake to ourselves. I got this shot the next morning of Quiet Lake beneath the nearly vertical north face of 11,815-foot Castle Peak, tallest in the White Clouds. Continue reading →

June 14, 2015 Below the Big Boulder Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: What Backpacking Trip Do You Recommend in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains?

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[Note: This is a combined response to two similar questions from readers.]

Michael,

Your spectacular photos of Castle Peak and the White Cloud Mountains have inspired us to take a backpacking trip there this August or September. Do you have any suggestions for a loop hike? We have backpacked out West—Maroon Bells, Teton Crest Trail, all over the canyons of Utah. We can easily do 8 to 10 miles a day, as we like to go slow and admire the beautiful Western scenery, and probably 5 to 6 days on trail. Thank you for any advice, I love looking at your pictures. Your Mount St. Helens pictures brought back many wonderful memories of our Pacific Northwest trip.

Helen
West Chester, PA Continue reading →

September 24, 2014 Hiking Trail 47 below Castle Peak, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Head in the Clouds: Hiking In Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

We gaze up at a wall of shattered, crumbling gray and white rock rising several hundred feet above us, a barrier of cliffs separated by severely steep gullies of loose stones. The gullies offer the only remotely feasible routes up or down, but they look about as stable as a mountain of marbles. We’re debating which gully to climb up, and it feels a little like choosing which heavy, hardcover book you want to use to smack yourself in the head. Continue reading →

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