By Michael Lanza

How was your 2021? I hope you stayed healthy and got outdoors as much as possible with the people you care about—and you enjoyed adventures that inspired you. Despite some obstacles, I was able to fit in several trips backpacking, floating for days down a wilderness river, and dayhiking—four of which were in new places for me. In the second year of the pandemic, on top of which I was recovering from some injuries (which I’ve thankfully healed from), I was reminded yet again just how important these experiences are to me.

The 14 photos in this story are favorite images from my 2021 trips, some of which you may want to take.

This story includes a backpacking trip in an iconic national park widely considered one of America’s best—Yosemite — but in an area I had overlooked on several previous multi-day hikes over the past 30 years there. I left convinced I’d found Yosemite’s best-kept secret. But this story also shares images from a few backpacking destinations far off the beaten path: the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park and Washington ’ s Pasayten Wilderness. You’ll also see photos below from family adventures floating the Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon section of the Green River in southern Utah; a bit of rock climbing; backpacking in the Wind River Range with my son (a trip cut short by horrendous weather, yet which just got the two of us fired up to return), and hiking on the big island of Hawaii.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

A backpacker on the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness.
” data-image-caption=”My wife, Penny, backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness.
” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?fit=683%2C1024&ssl=1″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?resize=427%2C640&ssl=1″ alt=”A backpacker on the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness.” class=”wp-image-49659″ width=”427″ height=”640″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?resize=683%2C1024&ssl=1 683w, https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?resize=150%2C225&ssl=1 150w, https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/DSC_3105.jpg?w=800&ssl=1 800w” sizes=”(max-width: 427px) 100vw, 427px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />My wife, Penny, backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness.

Scroll through the photos and short anecdotes from each trip below. Some include links to stories about those places that I’ve already posted at The Big Outside—many of which require a paid subscription to The Big Outside to read in full, including my tips and information on how to plan and take those trips. Watch for my upcoming stories about other the places described below.

And I can help you plan any of these
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/forget-that-planet-that-orbits-every-16-hours-thats-so-last-week-now-astronomers-have-found-a-metal-planet-that-orbits-its-star-every-8-hours/

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