Tag Archives: East Fork Owyhee River

April 9, 2018 Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you—it does for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over nearly three decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled the list of my favorite spots down to these 25.

I update this list every year, and each time, it becomes more difficult. This year, I’m adding a campsite in Titcomb Basin, in the heart of Wyoming’s majestic Wind River Range. Below my top 25 list you’ll find a second list of campsites that were previously in my top 25. Each campsite photo below includes a short description of where it is and the trip, and most have a link to an existing story about that trip at The Big Outside. Continue reading →

January 7, 2018 Campsite at Precipice Lake, Sequoia National Park.

Photo Gallery: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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

By Michael Lanza

Everyone has favorite campsites from unforgettable backcountry trips. I’ve been fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great campsites over nearly three decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. This photo gallery spotlights several camps from my list of 25 all-time favorite campsites, which I update regularly. Among them are jaw-dropping spots like Death Canyon Shelf along the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park, The Narrows in Zion National Park, Camp Schurman on Mount Rainier, Johns Hopkins Inlet in Alaska’s Glacier Bay, a couple of unbelievable spots in the Grand Canyon, and Precipice Lake in Sequoia National Park (photo above). Continue reading →

May 7, 2014 Lambert Gorge, East Fork Owyhee River

One Photo, One Story: Kayaking the Owhyee River

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By Michael Lanza

“This is one of the most special places in Idaho.”

Tim utters these words reverentially as we drift languidly on our third morning through the enveloping silence of Lambert Gorge on the East Fork of the Owyhee River. Lying back in our slowly revolving kayaks, we gaze hypnotized at cliffs shooting 400 feet straight up out of the water on both sides. Hundreds of freestanding pinnacles—exclamation points of eroding rock—punctuate the walls. A goose, honking aggressively, flaps its wings and splashes alongside Geoff for several minutes, a distraction intended to draw us away from its camouflaged nest. Continue reading →

Featured Photo Gallery: Kayaking the Upper Owyhee River

May 17, 2013  |  In Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

The Owyhee River carves narrow canyons of sheer rhyolite and basalt walls hundreds of feet deep into the sagebrush and grassland high desert sprawling over southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon. An area four times the size of Yellowstone, it’s the loneliest corner of the Lower 48. It’s hard just to get there because of the few, bad roads. Check out the canyons of the Owyhee in this slideshow. Then read my story about our eight-day, 82-mile kayaking descent of the upper Owyhee River, where we saw just one other kayaker, on our last night, a couple miles before the takeout.

 

May 31, 2011

The Wildest River: Kayaking the Upper Owyhee

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By Michael Lanza

I follow a short distance behind Geoff, our expert kayaker, as he weaves with deft turns around rocks in the East Fork of the Owyhee River. Sheer, 300-foot cliffs of black rock rise close on our right and left, amplifying the roar of whitewater. Although paddling vigorously, I shiver in my wetsuit, soaked from the 37° F downpour unleashed by a thunderstorm 20 minutes ago. It’s our third day on the river and our third day of cold rain and wind. Wet and shivering has become my default status.

Then Geoff cuts left around a boulder parting the swift waters like a hippo standing broadside to the current. I try to coax my inflatable kayak to mimic Geoff’s maneuver, but the river has other plans for me. An instant before the impact, I get an adrenaline rush with the realization that things are about to go very badly. Continue reading →

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