Tag Archives: Lake Ellen Wilson

July 3, 2017 Image Lake, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: 15 Favorite Backcountry Lakes

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Water makes up about 60 percent of our bodies—and, I suspect, 100 percent of our hearts. We crave it not only physically, for survival, but emotionally, for spiritual rejuvenation. We love playing in it for hours as children and we paddle and swim in it as adults. We’re drawn by the calming effects of sitting beside a stream or lake in a beautiful natural setting, an experience that possesses a certain je ne sais quoi—a quality difficult to describe, but that we can all feel in our heart. Continue reading →

July 2, 2017 Backpacking the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, Glacier National Park.

My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   10 Comments

By Michael Lanza

What makes a great backpacking trip? I’ve thought about that more than a mentally stable person probably should, having done many of America’s (and the world’s) most beautiful and beloved multi-day hikes over the years. Certainly top-shelf scenery is a mandatory qualification. An element of adventurousness enhances a hike, in my eyes. As I assembled this top 10 list, longer trips seemed to dominate it—there’s something special about a big walk in the wilderness—but two- and three-day hikes also made my list. Another factor that truly matters is a wilderness experience: All of my top 10 are in national parks or federal wilderness areas.

Some things, though, don’t require explanation; the validation comes in just doing it. So I give you here my admittedly personal and subjective list of the 10 best backpacking trips I’ve taken over more than a quarter-century (and counting) of humping a pack on trails all over the country, as a longtime field editor for Backpacker magazine and creator of this blog. Continue reading →

April 10, 2017 Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   29 Comments

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 more than two 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 two spots where I camped in the past year: below the East Face of Mount Whitney, and on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. Below my top 25 list you’ll find a second list of campsites that were previously in my top 25.  Continue reading →

May 17, 2016 Jerry Hapgood on the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: Looking For a Moderate, Three-Day Backpacking Trip in Glacier National Park

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

Hi Michael,

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!

Clare
Merriam, KS Continue reading →

May 10, 2015 Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana.

One Photo, One Story: Dayhiking the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park

In Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

High above Gunsight Lake on Glacier National Park’s Gunsight Pass Trail, beneath a bluebird sky, I got this photo of my wife, Penny, standing on a ledge along a stretch where the trail makes a long traverse of a cliff face. A little while later, we passed a mountain goat grazing trailside. Popular with backpackers for its scenery, easy access, and relatively low commitment for distance, the 20-mile traverse of the Gunsight Pass Trail can be done in a day by fit hikers, because of its moderate grades and good footing. And what a spectacular day it is—an unforgettable way to sample Glacier National Park if you have the legs for it. Continue reading →

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