Mount Rainier National Park

Trekkers on the Alta Via 2 in Italy's Dolomite Mountains.

My 30 Most Scenic Days of Hiking Ever

By Michael Lanza

We can all remember specific places that we consider the best days of hiking we’ve ever had. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate: I have hiked many trails in America and around the world that would probably make anyone’s list of most-scenic hikes. From numerous trips in iconic national parks like Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Glacier to the John Muir Trail and Teton Crest Trail and some of the world’s great treks, including the Alta Via 2 in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains (lead photo, above), the Tour du Mont Blanc, New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park, Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail, and the icy and jagged mountains of Norway and Patagonia, here’s a list of the 30 hands-down prettiest days I’ve ever spent walking dirt and rock footpaths.

I think you’ll find some places in here to add to your must-do list.

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A backpacker hiking into the Cirque of the Towers on Wyoming's Wind River High Route.

14 Photos From 2020 That Will Inspire You to Get Outdoors

By Michael Lanza For many people, 2020 was a hard year. I hope you stayed healthy and safe and were able to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible—and to take some adventures that inspired you. I had five planned trips (four backpacking, one river) canceled due to the pandemic and wildfires, but I was also fortunate to get out …

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A backpacker on the Grand Canyon's Thunder River-Deer Creek Loop.

How to Apply for a National Park Backcountry Permit

By Michael Lanza

You want to backpack in Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Mount Rainier, or another popular national park? For trips in many parks, you need to know when and how to apply in advance for a backcountry permit reservation, to ensure you’re able to take your dream trip. In this video, I’ll walk you through the steps of applying for a backcountry permit online, so that you’ll know how to navigate a process that can seem complicated when you submit your own permit application.

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A backpacker in The Narrows in Zion National Park.

Photo Gallery: 10 Awe-Inspiring Wild Places

By Michael Lanza

Over many years of taking wilderness trips of all kinds, I’ve gotten pickier about my backpacking and other backcountry adventures. The best-known trails, peaks, and wilderness waters are usually beautiful; but sometimes, for various reasons, they don’t always do it for me. More and more, I seek out the places and multi-day adventures that inspire a powerful sense of awe. It certainly begins with exceptional natural beauty, but often also requires getting farther from civilization, onto paths less traveled, and occasionally entails greater physical and other challenges. But those adventures feel wilder. And that’s what I’m after.

The 10 places shown in the photos below are exactly that: still wild.

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