Tag Archives: Ramona Falls

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

My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips

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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 →

August 3, 2015 Gnarl Ridge, Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.

Full of Surprises: Backpacking Mount Hood’s Timberline Trail

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By Michael Lanza

Minutes after we walk past the sign warning that this section of the Timberline Trail is closed due to “a deep chasm,” with 100-foot drop-offs, created by flooding from a storm—rendering the creek crossing ahead of us “very unstable and unsafe”—Jeff and I reach the top of the ridge high above the east bank of Eliot Creek. If you’ve ever wondered about the destructive power of water, take a look at Eliot Creek. A few steps ahead of us, the trail disappears as if bitten off by a set of jaws about 300 feet wide. The slope below is a torn-up debris field of rocks and crumbling earth. At its bottom, Eliot Creek, the foaming, white-and-gray spawn of Mount Hood’s Eliot Glacier, spits and rages loudly as it courses downhill, like an angry young man spoiling for a fight. Continue reading →

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January 23, 2015 Ramona Falls, Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.

One Photo, One Story: Mount Hood’s Timberline Trail

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By Michael Lanza

On the final morning of a backpacking trip last August on the 41-mile Timberline Trail around Oregon’s 11,250-foot Mount Hood, I woke early to find a thick, Pacific Northwest morning fog enveloping the absolutely silent forest surrounding us on the mountain’s west slope. After packing up camp, I walked a few minutes to the base of 120-foot Ramona Falls, an enchanting, broad curtain of water that tumbles over scores of small ledges, giving it a complex, sculpted appearance, and I shot this slow-exposure photo of myself standing in a shower of mist at the waterfall’s base. Continue reading →

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