Tag Archives: Granite Park
By Michael Lanza
We all want our wilderness backpacking trips to have two sometimes conflicting qualities: mind-blowing scenery, but also few other people around. A high degree of solitude somehow makes the backcountry feel more wild—makes the views more breathtaking. However unrealistic the notion may be, we like to believe we have some stunning corner of nature to ourselves. But in the real world, if you head out into popular mountains in July or August, you’ll probably have company—maybe more than you prefer.
Not on these five trips, though. From California’s High Sierra to the Cascades, and Idaho’s beloved Sawtooths to the peerless majesty of the Grand Canyon, here are five multi-day hikes where you’re guaranteed to enjoy a degree of solitude—at least on long stretches of the trip—that’s equal to the scenery. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
If you have ever backpacked in Glacier National Park, you know you want to return. If you haven’t yet, then isn’t it time? One of America’s flagship national parks, it’s a must-see destination for backpackers because of the eye-popping scenery, remoteness, and rare variety of wildlife—as my photo gallery below from a 90-mile, hike of a lifetime in northern Glacier shows. And the time to apply for a backcountry permit for a trip this summer is now. Continue reading →
I found your blog through your “5 Perfect (Big) Days in Glacier National Park” post–fantastic-sounding hikes. If you have some time, I was looking for advice for an upcoming trip. I am traveling to Great Falls, Montana, soon for work, and I’ll have one day to explore Glacier National Park. Of course one day is not enough, but these are my circumstances. Anyway, my main question: What would you recommend for an eager hiker with one day to spend in paradise? Are there trails with a high wow-factor you can recommend that are likely to be open, even if the high country is snowed in? Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Want to know where I shot the mountains photo in the banner across the top of The Big Outside? It was in Granite Park in the John Muir Wilderness, on a 32-mile traverse of one of the highest and most achingly gorgeous sections of California’s High Sierra, from North Lake, outside Bishop, to Mosquito Flat, between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. My route linked up trails with long stretches of rugged cross-country hiking over lake-studded alpine basins and six passes between 11,150 and 13,040 feet, exploring corners of the Sierra rarely seen by people.
John Muir himself would have been pleased, as I think you’ll agree after seeing this photo gallery from that trip. Continue reading →
We are planning a trip to Glacier National Park in August. We would like to take a short (two-night) backpacking trip while there. We are a couple in our late 50s and will be bringing our 20-year-old daughter. We have done a little backpacking, but are not very experienced. We are in good shape, though I don’t want anything really strenuous (unlike my husband and daughter). I read your piece about the Gunsight Pass Trail, and that sounds pretty good, but if you have other ideas I would love to hear them. We will be car camping and dayhiking the rest of the time (a total of a week), maybe staying in a lodge or hotel a couple of nights.
Thanks, love your blog!
Merriam, KS Continue reading →