Undeniable Proof this Land is Worth Experiencing

May 24, 2018Rocío LowerNPF Blog

The results are in! The winners of the 2017 Share the Experience photo contest have been unveiled. From the more than 16,000 submissions, these 11 shots showcase wonderful moments from the more than 500 million acres of federal lands across the country.

As the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreational lands, Share the Experience invites amateur photographers to submit their favorite views, moments, and experiences through this annual competition. The 2018 photo contest is now accepting entries through December 31, so be sure to check out the full listing of prizing and rules and submit a photo here.

Ready to see some undeniable proof that this land is worth exploring? Get ready to be inspired to #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque and then share your experience as part of this year’s contest. Your thirst for adventure and wanderlust will only be exasperated by scrolling through this post – consider yourself warned!

Grand Prize Winner

Manish Mamtani

Colorful Milky Way over Boulder Beach at Acadia National Park

Location: Acadia National Park, Maine

“I always wanted to capture a long exposure image of Milky Way with the waves crashing on the rocks of Boulder Beach, but the weatherman never co-operated with me before. When I visited in May 2017, I got the perfect conditions. It was a clear night sky with no moon, the tide level was perfect and the Milky Way was rising at an angle that I wanted. While taking the picture itself I knew that I would enter it in the Share the Experience contest as this image shows the beauty of the night sky in the federal lands.”

Second Place

Kristy Burns

Wooden wagon wheels against the walls of a fort at Fort Union National Monument

Location: Fort Union National Monument, New Mexico

“It was a blustery, but sunny November morning with that famously blue New Mexico sky crowding the horizon. We stopped at the visitor center to look at their displays and watch their documentary film before walking back to the ruins of the fort. The film made me think of how the fort offered protection and help to some and fear and threat to others. An automated recording of a bugle playing revelry blasts out across the field every hour and I was listening to how the prairie wind pushed the bugle sound away. I turned to face the wind and saw the intersection of the earthen red walls of the fort with that blue sky, backdropped by the gold of the prairie grass framed like a painting in the arched doorways and snapped the shot with my camera phone.”

Third Place

Dorrie Henderson

Red sandstone of Cathedral Rock reflected in water in a green field at Coconino National Forest

Location: Coconino National Forest, Arizona

“In March of 2017, my best friend and I were on a girls’ trip to Sedona, AZ. We had planned to take reflective pictures at Red Rock Crossing, but there had been too much rain the previous day. The creek was roiling and muddy. However, that rain had given us a very fortuitous reflective puddle in the field in front of Cathedral Rock.” 

Adventure and Outdoor Recreation

Kevin Gross

Person cross-country skiing in the snow at Denali National Park

Location: Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska

Historical and Cultural

Curtis Creath

Location: Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawai'i

Scenic, Seasons, and Landscapes

Michael DeWitt

Stockton Island during sunset from the shore at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Location: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

Family, Friends, and Fun

Jess Curren

A group of children running barefoot through the white sand dunes at White Sands National Monument

Location: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Wildlife

William Sweet

Brown mink with a brook trout in its mouth at Acadia National Park

Location: Acadia National Park, Maine

Night Skies

Jose Torres

The Milky Way over the brick fortress of Dry Tortugas National Park

Location: Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Fan Favorite

James Fong

Close-up of a red fox kit at Grand Teton National Park

Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Fan Favorite

Mark Rutt

Grizzly bear mother with 2 cubs at Grand Teton National Park

Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

These shots are both a feast for your eyeballs and also irresistible motivation for you to get out there and experience your federal lands! The 2018 Share the Experience photo contest is now open, so grab your camera, find your park, make new memories, and submit your favorite shots here.

Comments

oh my gosh these make me weep with joy they are all so stunning! what a wonderful world
Sandy
P
Perfectly said !!! They are all phenomenal !!! Congratulations to all and thank you for sharing with all of us !
beverly
dow
So breathtakingly beautiful.....all of the photos!!
mary
white
I would hate to be a judge!! Just so many beautiful photos to have to chose from. Congrats all. Well done!!
Kay
Wilkinson
Some excellent pictures. The grand prize picture is stunning!
Clint
Magill
Wonderful representations of our beautiful National Parks.
Kat
V
ABSOLUTELY incredible photos! Just proves, once again, that we live in a beautiful country!!
L
Charles
My husband and I spent the last three years traveling this country. I’ve lost count of the National Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas, Shorelines, and Monuments we have seen. Some of the most stunning beauty on earth. My favorite so far is Death Valley. It all takes my breath away.
Elizabeth
Colombo
We travel by car whenever we can, so we can see as many beautiful places our country has to offer. Thanks for highlighting some of those.
Lynda
Kukla
Gorgeous! I need no coaxing, but if I did, these pics would do it!
Valerie
Piek
So beautiful, they absolutely take your breath away!!! Ken Burns was so right---Our national parks--America's best idea!!!
Marilyn
Mock
My husband and I have been fortunate to travel our wonderful country for nearly 7 years and enjoyed so many beautiful scenes such as these. Since we live in Maine, the Acadia shot is of course our favorite!
Pat
Clark
These pictures are jaw dropping!
Ken
Kendall
What beautiful pictures! 1: I need a new camera. 2: Need to get out more to the parks!
Linda
Morgan
Beautiful photos! I'm on a tour of National Parks in Alaska right now, and I hope I get some great shots like these.
Beth
Jones
I only wish I could go see them all; but these photos help to ease the pain
Jeanne
Markowski
A couple that live in my building who originally came from Germany "You people in the United States have NO idea what you really have in this country." Amen
Shirley
Perkins
These photos are wonderful. We live in a beautiful country without a doubt!
Lynn
Parsons
Hats Off to all the photographers for their determination and time to create these beautiful images.
Al
Talacek
Stunning pictures!
Claudia
Schaub
Beautiful! God Bless America!
Katy
Huffman
Stunning beauty! I have been privileged to see many of these and some still to explore! thank you for sharing our National Parks!
Cindy
Burns
These are amazing! Well done to the photographers for showing the beauty of the National Parks.
Nerissa
Alford
The 1st Place photo is where I live, on Mt. Desert Island, Maine! I'm SO lucky! P.S. BEAUTIFUL photo!
Gabrielle
Graham
Worthy of all the wins. Beautiful Pictures. Will they be made available as postcards or note cards or posters or???
Elizabeth
Allbright
Photos are stunning and truly works of art. I would second the request that they might be available as posters for framing! We love our parks!
Deborah
Schobel
You won't see or experience natures beauty if you don't get out and DO IT!
Bill
Leigh
What a gold mine we have in our national parks. Just love the one taken at Grand Teton with the bear, her cubs in the midst of gorgeous wildflowers.
Sarah
Liu
Absolutely beautiful! This country is amazing.
Gail
Leach
Exceptional - knew the photos would be nice, but still surprised about their beauty.
Daniel
Freburg

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