Tag Archives: Park Creek Pass
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 bugs, and fall foliage color. Autumn also stands out as an ideal season for many canyon hikes, with moderate temperatures and even some stunning color.
From Yosemite to the North Cascades (lead photo, above), Grand Canyon to Grand Teton, the Great Smokies to the Olympics, and more, here are 10 of my favorite backpacking trips that are best served up in fall.
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By Michael Lanza
On my first trip to North Cascades National Park, I was sure I’d found heaven. The hard-earned views of a sea of jagged spires and snow- and ice-covered peaks stretching as far as you could see instantly cemented the place as one of my favorite mountain ranges. I’ve returned many times, backpacking, climbing, ski mountaineering, and dayhiking and backpacking with my family.
But not many hikers and backpackers know much about Washington’s North Cascades, one of America’s least-visited national parks. And the season for heading into the backcountry there is upon us.
Check out the gallery of photos below; I think it will persuade you to put this park high on your list. Find links to my stories about the North Cascades below the photo gallery. Continue reading →
I’m looking for a backpacking loop, out and back, or shuttle that allows me about 20 miles a day for about five days. I’ve done a ton of multi-day backpacking and lots of long-distance trails. I’m an elementary-school teacher, and I usually take a solo trip the first week of my summer vacation. It can be tricky as it’s the second week of June and there is usually too much snow to attempt certain trails. I saw your piece on the Timberline Trail around Mount Hood in Oregon, which is an option, but I’m looking for more like 75 to 125 miles in total. Ideas would be sooo appreciated. Continue reading →
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 the jagged peaks nearly a vertical mile above us. Battleship-gray skies threaten a common meteorological occurrence in these mountains—rain—although we’ve seen only sprinkles and wind so far. We’re hiking downhill past ripe huckleberry bushes toward a thicket of slide alder and chest-high brush that the trail passes through—ideal bear habitat.
“That’s where they’ll be,” I say to Todd. Without taking his eyes off that tangle of alder and tall brush, Todd just says, “Yup.” Continue reading →
We are thinking about a trip to North Cascades National Park in late August or early September. We will have about four days for a backcountry trip. I would love to camp one night at Sahale Glacier Camp. It looks more like an out-and-back trip. Any suggestions on how to incorporate Sahale into a three- to four-night trip in that area? Just my wife and me, 10 miles a day max, preferably seven to eight miles a day. Thanks for the help. You responded to an email I wrote last year on Grand Teton National Park. We did the Teton Crest Trail—it was great. Thanks for the advice on that trip.
Hartselle, AL Continue reading →