White Cloud Mountains

A backpacker above Liberty Lake on the Ruby Crest Trail in Nevada's Ruby Mountains.

The 22 Nicest Backcountry Campsites I’ve Hiked Past

By Michael Lanza It is one of those unfortunate inevitabilities of life, like death and taxes: Occasionally on backpacking trips you will hike past one of the most sublime patches of wilderness real estate you have ever laid eyes on, a spot so idyllic you can already see your tent pitched there and you standing outside it, warm mug in …

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A backpacker on the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park.

12 Expert Tips for Finding Solitude When Backpacking

By Michael Lanza Solitude has always reigned as one of the holy grails of backpacking: We all dream of finding that lonely campsite deep in the wilderness with an amazing vista, or hiking for miles or days encountering few or even no other people on the trail. But reality often conflicts with expectations for many backpackers when they discover that …

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Fishhook Creek, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

12 Simple Landscape Photography Tips For Better Outdoor Photos

By Michael Lanza Do you wonder how some people come back from national parks and other outdoor trips with fantastic photos? Would you like to take the kind of pictures that make people ooh and aah? It may not be as complicated as you think. The following tips on outdoor and landscape photography, which I’ve learned from studying photography and …

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Fishing at Lake 8522, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Photo Gallery: Father-Son and Father-Daughter Adventures

By Michael Lanza

The annual tradition began when my son, Nate, was five years old, and we hiked about a mile up a trail in the Boise Foothills, starting at a trailhead a 10-minute drive from our house, and camped beside a creek small enough to step over. It was the most mellow trip we’d take, and the closest to home, on the annual father-son outdoor adventure that we’ve come to call our “boy trip.” My daughter, Alex, two years younger, adapted that name and gave me a pass for my inferior gender when we began taking an annual “girl trip” together. Now it has grown into something bigger than any one, individual outing.

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Quiet Lake in Idaho's White Cloud Mountains.

Photo Gallery: A Father-Son Backpacking Trip in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

By Michael Lanza

As we approached the rocky, 10,877-foot summit of Patterson Peak, we saw them from a distance, a couple of white specks moving slowly, but standing out against the gray rock and cliffs on that overcast day in early October. It was a pair of mountain goats, scrabbling over the loose, shifting talus. We tried to get a closer look, but even as they appeared to move effortlessly, they quickly expanded the gulf between us. Within minutes, they had disappeared into the cliffs and swirling clouds. But we had gotten another taste of the wild nature of Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains.

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