Tag Archives: Southern Olympic Coast

June 6, 2016 Angels Landing, Zion National Park.

The 15 Best National Park Dayhikes in the West

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By Michael Lanza

America’s most stunning landscapes are protected within our 59 national parks, and some of the finest corners of our national heritage can be reached on dayhikes. Many can be done by kids and novice hikers. I’ve spent a few decades exploring most major U.S. national parks, making numerous trips to popular ones like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Teton, and Zion. From the thousands of very scenic miles I’ve hiked over the years, I’ve assembled here a list of the best dayhikes you can walk in our parks. Continue reading →

May 9, 2016 Hiking over Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

My 25 Most Scenic Days of Hiking Ever

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By Michael Lanza

You’ve had days like this. Maybe it was a dayhike, or a single, exceptional day on a backpacking trip or hut trek—one so gorgeous and inspirational that it forges a lasting memory as one of the best experiences you’ve ever had in the backcountry. From iconic national parks like Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Glacier to some of the world’s great treks, like the Alta Via 2 in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park, and Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail, here’s a list of the 25 hands-down prettiest single days I’ve ever spent walking dirt and rock footpaths. I think many of these places would make your top list, too. Continue reading →

May 3, 2016 Backpackers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Looking for an unforgettable adventure to take your family on? How about hiking a volcano, exploring slot canyons, or rafting for six days down a classic wilderness whitewater river? How about backpacking a wild coastline or deep into the glaciated mountains of Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness (lead photo, above), or taking a multi-day float trip on one of the West’s most spectacular (and gentle) rivers? How about diving into a place that awes people of any age—the Grand Canyon?

Continue reading →

April 26, 2016 Angels Landing, Zion National Park.

10 Favorite National Park Adventures With Kids

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By Michael Lanza

The crowning achievement of our National Park System is that we have preserved such uniquely beautiful and significant pieces of nature in perpetuity. But the payoff for America’s foresight in creating and expanding the system is a lifetime’s worth of unforgettable experiences awaiting us in these places—many of them entirely accessible, safe, and really fun for families with kids in a range of ages, from very young to teenagers. Here are 10 favorites selected from among the many trips I’ve taken. Continue reading →

February 22, 2016 Backpacking the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, Glacier National Park.

My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

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 a quarter-century (and counting) of humping a pack on trails all over the country, as a longtime field editor for Backpacker magazine and writing for this blog. Continue reading →

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