Tag Archives: Washington hiking backpacking

December 22, 2016 Rainbow Lake, North Cascades National Park Complex.

3-Minute Read: Backpacking 80 Miles Through the North Cascades National Park Complex

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By Michael Lanza

I decided to tackle a big piece of unfinished business this fall. Over the course of several backpacking and climbing trips in Washington’s North Cascades region over the years, I had yet to explore the very heart of the North Cascades National Park Complex, a sprawling swath of heavily glaciated mountains and deep, thickly forested valleys. So in the last week of September, with huckleberries ripe and tasty beside the trails, and the fall color giving the larch trees the appearance of glowing yellow in sunlight, my friend Todd Arndt and I set out for an 80-mile stroll. Continue reading →

December 19, 2016 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: Every National Park I’ve Visited

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By Michael Lanza

The National Park Service turned 100 in 2016. That marked not just the diamond anniversary of what writer and historian Wallace Stegner famously called “the best idea we ever had,” but also the evolution and growth of that idea from a handful of parks created in the early days to a system in many ways without parallel, that protects 52 million acres of mountain ranges, canyons, rivers, deserts, prairies, caves, islands, bays, fjords, badlands, natural arches, and seashores in 59 parks. Without that protection, these places that draw visitors from around the world would otherwise almost certainly have been exploited and destroyed. Continue reading →

December 12, 2016 Floating the Green River in Canyonlands National Park.

My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2017 already? I have four (with others in active planning stages)—and three of those are with my family. In fact, planning months in advance and involving my family are my first two rules for getting outside more. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps, researching online and in guidebooks, and poring over my list of adventures I want to take—which is now nearly 18,000 words long and growing. I need to get busy—and so do you.

To help you out with ideas and inspiration for next year, here are My Top 10 Family Adventures at The Big Outside, a list that includes seven national parks, three amazing paddling adventures, four trips that should be on every backpacker’s to-do list, hiking an active volcano, and cross-country skiing amid the greatest concentration of active geysers in the world. Continue reading →

December 5, 2016 Sunset at Idaho's City of Rocks National Reserve.

10 Photos From 2016 Adventures That Will Inspire You to Get Outdoors

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By Michael Lanza

What trips did you take in 2016 that reinvigorated you and fired your enthusiasm for the outdoors? Looking back through thousands of photos I took over the past year, I’ve selected some favorite images I captured on 10 memorable adventures in 2016—including several with my family. The list ranges from multi-day backpacking, river, and climbing trips in five states to outings as short as a half-day within an hour of my home. These trips occurred in seven national parks and an equal number of places managed as wilderness, from Washington’s North Cascades to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado, from California’s Mount Whitney to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Perhaps more than anything, these pictures illustrate the diversity and wealth of natural beauty that we have many reasons to celebrate in America. Continue reading →

November 7, 2016 The Subway, Zion National Park.

5 Great Adventures to Take in 2017

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   12 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Where will you take a big outdoor adventure in 2017? This is the time of year when I like to start planning for next year, because if you lead a busy life, big trips don’t happen unless you get them on the calendar early. For two of the national park trips I describe below, Zion and Everglades, the prime season is around the corner; and for other destinations in this story—Sequoia and Olympic national parks and Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains—you be wise to plan dates and the route and travel logistics in advance.
Continue reading →

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