North Cascades National Park

A backpacker on the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

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

By Michael Lanza Backpackers trying to plan a trip in popular national parks like Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, and others have one experience in common: A high percentage of them see their backcountry permit application rejected. Countless backpacking trips over three decades—during which I was the Northwest Editor of Backpacker …

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A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail on Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

12 Expert Tips for Planning a Backpacking Trip

By Michael Lanza Wilderness backpacking opens new worlds to us. While dayhiking can bring you to many beautiful places in nature, walking for days through the backcountry, carrying all you need on your back, inspires a liberating sense of self-sufficiency and solitude as you escape the crowds to explore places most people never see. This article lays out in 12 …

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A backpacker near Park Creek Pass in North Cascades National Park.

Primal Wild: Backpacking 80 Miles Through the North Cascades

By Michael Lanza “Lots of bears at Grizzly Creek.” Those words that a backcountry ranger spoke to me over the phone just yesterday echo through our heads now, as my friend Todd Arndt and I descend switchbacks from misleadingly named, 6,500-foot Easy Pass into the densely forested valley of Fisher Creek in Washington’s North Cascades National Park. Fog swirls around …

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Larch trees glowing with fall color, reflected in Rainbow Lake in the North Cascades National Park Complex.

10 Awesome Fall Backpacking Trips

By Michael Lanza The imminent end of summer always feels a little melancholy. After all, it marks the close of the prime season for getting into the mountains. But it also signals the beginning of a time of year when many mountain ranges become less crowded just as they’re hitting a sweet zone in terms of temperatures, the lack of …

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A backpacker on Nevada's Ruby Crest Trail.

9 Great Backpacking Trips You Can Take in 2021

By Michael Lanza My family just returned from two wonderful backpacking trips—six days in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness and four days on Nevada’s Ruby Crest Trail (photo above)—and especially in this year of chaos, serious health concerns, and unusual stress, these getaways were precisely what we needed. Are you looking for a wilderness backpacking trip you can take this year? …

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