John Muir Trail

A hiker at Trail Crest on the John Muir Trail on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park.

Video: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

By Michael Lanza

Will 2019 be the year that you hike the John Muir Trail? While next summer may seem very far off, an ambitious undertaking like a thru-hike of “America’s most beautiful trail”—more than 220 miles and anywhere from under two weeks to over three weeks—requires significant advance planning, and the time period for applying for a permit for it is coming up soon. Take your first step on that adventure right now by watching this video from my thru-hike of the JMT, and then click the link below to my story about that great trip, with my tips on how to do it right. Plus, read on to see how I can give you the best expert advice you’ll find to planning a JMT thru-hike.

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Young kids backpacking over the Big Spring Canyon-Squaw Canyon pass in the Needles District, Canyonlands National Park.

5 National Park Backcountry Trips to Put on Your Radar Right Now

By Michael Lanza

Your next national park backcountry adventure may seem far off your planning radar at this time of year—but this is precisely the time to start planning and looking into backcountry permits if you have your sights trained on the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Yosemite, Grand Teton, or the John Muir Trail. For all of them, the time to apply for a permit for a trip during the prime season next year is fast approaching. Here’s what you need to know and do.

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A backpacker at Sapphire Lake on the John Muir Trail in Evolution Basin, Kings Canyon National Park.

Ask Me: How to Load a Bear Canister Into a Backpack

Video: Hiking to Yosemite Valley Waterfalls

By Michael Lanza

Yosemite Valley gets a bit wetter and louder at this time of year. With snow melting out of the mountains and swelling the park’s creeks and rivers, world-famous waterfalls begin roaring and raining heavy mist onto hikers on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, Mist Trail, and other paths. Whether you’ve been there to experience it or just hope to, live it vicariously through this video of dayhiking with my family to the top of America’s tallest waterfall, Upper Yosemite Falls, 2,425 feet above the valley floor, and to 317-foot Vernal Fall and 594-foot Nevada Fall.

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