Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon from the South Rim.

Photo Gallery: 10 Beautiful National Parks You Can’t Visit Now (And What To Do Once They Reopen)

By Michael Lanza

With the federal government closed, we can’t hike, paddle, backpack, or climb in our national parks right now. No one knows when the government shutdown will end, but it can’t go on forever, right? (Right?! Someone please make this end soon!)

I’ve assembled below inspiring photos from 10 national parks, with links to stories (with more photos) about great outdoor-adventure trips in each one. You can’t take these trips now, but you can start scheming plans for when the parks are back up and running. Many of these experiences require planning weeks or months in advance, anyway.

So get on it. Your next adventure awaits.

Read on

West Rim Trail, Zion National Park, Utah.

‘No, Kids, We Won’t Be Hiking in Zion National Park’

By Michael Lanza

I’ve woken up every morning this week thinking about where my family would be in Utah’s Zion National Park at that moment, instead of where we were: at home. I had secured a hard-to-get permit to backpack The Narrows, the 16-mile-long, 2,000-foot-deep, red-rock gorge whose walls close in to just thirty feet apart. We also planned to hike other trails in Zion Canyon and descend a slot canyon that involves eight rappels of up to 120 feet.

Then, on the very eve of our trip, the government of the most powerful nation in the world went off the tracks.

Read on

Lower Yellowstone Falls in winter, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Cross-Country Skiing Yellowstone

By Michael Lanza

The snowcoach rumbles away, leaving us in a wintry silence disturbed only by a slight breeze and the gastrointestinal emissions of a supervolcano that last let out a really big one 640,000 years ago. Back then, it ejected about 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the sky. Today, as seems always the case with these things, it just sounds a little rude and smells badly.

Read on