Tag Archives: John Muir Trail

March 12, 2017 The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 25 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Glacier. But I’ve also learned a few tricks for landing coveted backcountry permits in those flagship parks—which all receive far more requests for permit reservations than they can accommodate. Continue reading →

March 8, 2017 A climber on the Ptarmigan Traverse, North Cascades Range, Washington.

Training For a Big Hike or Mountain Climb

In Backpacking, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   8 Comments

By Michael Lanza

When three friends and I decided to attempt to thru-hike the John Muir Trail—221 miles through California’s High Sierra, with numerous mountain passes ranging from 11,000 to over 13,000 feet in elevation—in just one week (backpackers traditionally take three weeks)—the plan seemed like a wild dream. Hike 31 miles a day for seven straight days through some of the biggest mountains in the Lower 48? It was an agenda for lunatics. So we started training. Seriously training. Continue reading →

March 5, 2017 Lake 8522, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

12 Simple Tips For Taking Better Outdoor Photos

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   9 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Do you wonder how some people come back from national parks and other outdoor trips with fantastic photos? Would you like to take the kind of pictures that make people ooh and aah? It may not be as complicated as you think. The following tips, which I’ve learned over three decades of shooting the finest scenery in America and the world, will help you take home better photos whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer. Continue reading →

Ask Me: Hiking Yosemite’s Half Dome

February 28, 2017  |  In Ask Me, Backpacking, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment
Mark Fenton atop Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Mark Fenton atop Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Hi Michael!

I contacted you a while back about hiking and backpacking with my toddler. Your advice was amazing and my two-year-old is getting better and better when it comes to distance. He is walking two miles straight and absolutely loves nature. We recently hiked the Mist Trail in Yosemite to the top of Vernal Fall and we all enjoyed it—the best hike we have ever done so far. Now I am contacting you because my husband and I decided we wanted to make Half Dome our next year’s challenge. As soon as I saw Half Dome from Glacier Point I knew I wanted to be on the top of that rock. It has always been in my bucket list, but I think I am ready to check that off. I don’t know if you have done that climb or not, but wanted to ask about tips for a long trip (we plan on making it a three-day backpacking trip), gear and “training.” Continue reading →

February 19, 2017 Wanda Lake, John Muir Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.

Photo Gallery: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

By Michael Lanza

The John Muir Trail is frequently referred to as “America’s Most Beautiful Trail,” and there may be no long backpacking trip that’s more spectacular, step for step, than a thru-hike of the JMT through California’s High Sierra. From Yosemite Valley to the summit of 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park, you walk 211 miles past jagged peaks of clean, golden granite, through a constellation of sparkling mountain lakes and more waterfalls than anyone could name, and over numerous passes from 11,000 to over 13,000 feet.
Continue reading →

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