Torres del Paine National Park

Trekkers on the Alta Via 2 in Italy's Dolomite Mountains.

My 30 Most Scenic Days of Hiking Ever

By Michael Lanza

We can all remember specific places that we consider the best days of hiking we’ve ever had. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate: I have hiked many trails in America and around the world that would probably make anyone’s list of most-scenic hikes. From numerous trips in iconic national parks like Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Glacier to the John Muir Trail and Teton Crest Trail and some of the world’s great treks, including the Alta Via 2 in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains (lead photo, above), the Tour du Mont Blanc, New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park, Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail, and the icy and jagged mountains of Norway and Patagonia, here’s a list of the 30 hands-down prettiest days I’ve ever spent walking dirt and rock footpaths.

I think you’ll find some places in here to add to your must-do list.

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A family hiking the Alta Via 2 in Parco Naturale Paneveggio Pale di San Martino, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

10 Expert Tips for Doing Adventure Travel Right

By Michael Lanza

What exactly is “adventure travel?” While we may all define it slightly differently, I think there are universal commonalities to it. Real adventure transports you into a physical and emotional place you have never gone before, or rarely go. It brings surprises and occasionally hardships. But the good surprises are a gift that often comes wrapped in wonder and awe, while the hardships teach us something about the world and, usually, about ourselves.

Our earliest adventures can help kindle a fire for more experiences that deliver that buzz again—that feeling of being entirely on your own and not knowing what’s going to happen next, but whatever lies ahead, you’re eager to leap into it.

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A hiker on the Tour du Mont Blanc in Italy.

15 Adventures on Earth That Will Change Your Life

By Michael Lanza

Can travel “change your life?” How many experiences have such an enormous impact? I can name several that shifted my perspective, or expanded how I view the world and other people. Exploring the surreal landscapes of Iceland and Patagonia. Walking among Earth’s highest mountains in Nepal, through remote villages where people live much as their ancestors did for centuries. Immersing myself in the mountain culture on hut treks in the Alps like the Tour du Mont Blanc (photo above). And seeing unforgettable places like Norway’s Jotunheimen National ParkItaly’s Dolomites, and Alaska’s Glacier Bay through the unclouded eyes of my kids.

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A hiker in Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile's Patagonia region.

Ask Me: Trekking Patagonia’s Torres del Paine

Michael,

This is great and thanks for sharing. How difficult would you rate the “W” trek [in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park] for a beginner? I will be going with five other friends and want to make sure I have enough time to finish it safely.

Also, what type of rain paints would suffice? Do you recommend something like Gore-Tex or a water-resistant pant? We plan to go in Jan/Feb.

Thanks.

Rick

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Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile's Patagonia region.

Patagonian Classic: Trekking the ‘W’ in Torres del Paine

By Michael Lanza We march upward through innumerable switchbacks on the steep and dusty last mile of trail to the Torres del Paine. Small stands of Patagonia’s ubiquitous, twisted lenga trees cling to an otherwise barren mountainside of dirt and rock, earth overturned by glaciers and continually rubbed raw by the abrasive wind. The whitewater roar of the Rio Ascencio …

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