Sequoia National Park

A backpacker at Sapphire Lake on the John Muir Trail in Evolution Basin, Kings Canyon National Park.

Ask Me: How to Load a Bear Canister Into a Backpack

High Sierra Trail above Middle Fork Kaweah River, Sequoia National Park.

Ask Me: Backpacking in Sequoia National Park

Hello Michael.

While researching for a summer backpacking trip with my wife, I came across your excellent website for the first time. Thank you for setting such a high bar in quality images and narrative. My daughter is a writer and would appreciate your style. Two questions about your article on the 6-day, 38-mile Sequoia National Park loop: If you were hiking that loop without your children, would you have still been content with the daily mileage, or would you have done something different? (We are physically fit and 60, so we do have limitations.) Secondly, you mention the mosquito population. Our trip would have to be in that mid-to-late July timeframe. Do you know if most hikers experience such a thickness of mosquitos that the experience is negatively affected to a great extent?

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Climbers hiking toward the Mountaineers Route on California's Mount Whitney.

Roof of the High Sierra: A Father-Son Climb of Mount Whitney

By Michael Lanza On the long, uphill hike toward the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, in the middle of April, the alpine sun and wind behave like a couple married for far too long, who take their frequent disagreements to extremes that make everyone else uncomfortable. The sun offers us a hug of much-needed warmth one moment, only …

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Near high base camp below Mount Whitney's East Face.

Review: Gear For Climbing Mount Whitney

By Michael Lanza

For our spring ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney—highest peak in the Lower 48—my 15-year-old son (in lead photo, above, approaching our high camp below Whitney’s East Face) and I used technical gear that you would use on many classic snow and glacier routes up peaks from Cascade Range volcanoes like Shasta, Hood, and Rainier to Mount Olympus, the Tetons, and the Alps. Here are my from-the-mountain observations about the gear that got us up and down Whitney, including backpacks, a mountaineering tent and boots, climbing hardware, super warm sleeping systems, and technical apparel.

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Ouzel Lake in Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Looking For A Great National Park Trip? Look Here

By Michael Lanza

When I think about U.S. national parks, I remember hiking with my family to Yosemite Valley’s waterfalls. Seeing Yellowstone’s geysers both in summer (a great park trip with kids young or older) and cross-country skiing in winter. Sea kayaking in Alaska’s majestic Glacier Bay. Exploring the canyons and gazing in awe at the sculptured rock of southern Utah’s Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. And numerous, incomparable backpacking trips in Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, Sequoia, North Cascades, Rocky Mountain (lead photo at top of story), Great Sand Dunes, and, of course, Glacier.

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