Weekly Winner | Week 6

You can almost hear the waves crashing and the shore birds above when you take a look at Susan Kim's photo of Los Padres National Forest. Susan tells us- "My picture was taken at beautiful Pfieffer Beach. The minute I stepped onto the unique purple-hued sand, I knew I was in for a treat. The beach itself felt intimate and tucked away in a forest. Then I saw it - this uniquely beautiful rock in the ocean with what looked like a window in it! The beach was empty and windy. I enjoyed watching the sunset while the tide splashed through the hole in the huge rock. It was unforgettable!"

As with all of our Weekly Winners, Susan will get a America the Beautiful Pass, hopefully that will inspire discovering some new "unforgettable" places! Enjoy!

Weekly Winner | Week 5

If I did not know better, I would think Mt. Rainer National Park was paying off the judges as they rack up their second weekly winner of 2014. Marlin Thorman told us a little about the sky high photo from the summit. "Shortly after sunrise the valleys remain shrouded in clouds, but the sun illuminates the mountain above as a climber ascends the steep snow at 10,500 feet. My climbing partner and I are on an ascent up Mount Rainier's Curtis Ridge which is a technical, seldom-climbed route on the north side of the mountain. The last two days were filled with clouds, snow, cold, and wind, but on summit day we were treated to this beautiful weather."

Thanks to Marlin, we all get treated to the beautiful weather that morning in this awesome photo! We hope you enjoy your America the Beautiful Pass and can summit some more peaks this year!

Weekly Winner | Week 4

Arches has a huge draw with over a million people a year visiting the otherworldly rock formations and incredible vistas. Harold Fritsche tells us about his experience about catching both in one frame.-
"As is frequently the case, I was hanging around this area near sundown hoping for good light, but the low clouds obscured the sun. I was preparing to leave the park for the evening when suddenly the sun broke through and some of the most wonderful golden light I have ever seen shown forth. I spent the final 10 minutes before sunset photographing the Balance Rock groupings. After the sun set, I was again in process of putting my camera away and happened to turn around and saw the warm/purple sunset afterglow on the La Sal mountains. I quickly set my tripod back up and captured this shot. I wish I could say that I judiciously waited until the automobile with his headlights on came into the frame but that part, was just good fortune, though in my opinion, it makes the shot."
Good fortune or not, we think this is a great shot! Enjoy your America the Beautiful Pass Harold!

Weekly Winner | Week 3

Sunrise shot are always crowd pleasers, especially in places like Ruby Mountain Wiliderness! Photographer Corbin McFarlane tells us-
"This is Overland Lake in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada. I took the picture on the third day of an eight day backpacking trip from one end of the mountain range to the other. There is still a little snow to be seen, but this day ended up being the hottest day of the year. I had a difficult time orienting the rising sun with my map. As a result of this photograph I learned that in the summer the sun rises as much as 30 degrees north of east!"
Always good to walk away with a little new knowledge as well as a great photo! Now Corbin can walk away with a America the Beautiful Pass, enjoy!

Weekly Winner | Week 2

Week 2's winner is from Glacier National Park, a park that is on many people's "must visit" lists. Lorianne Simon made the trip and tells us-
"An early riser, I love to walk the area around Many Glacier Hotel before the rest of the world are rousted from their slumber. This morning, I was struck by the soft green mountains blending into the bright blue sky and the reflecting clouds on the water. The splash of red from the flag and the boats was the perfect contrast to the blue. I will always remember this morning. Truly grateful to experience the majesty of the Swiftcurrent Valley."
Well, we already knew the early bird gets the worm, turns out they get a winning shot as well! Thanks for sharing Lorianne and enjoy your pass!

Weekly Winner | Week 1

The first weekly winner of the 2014 contest comes to us from Mt. Rainer National Park and Vaqas Malik. Vaqas said "This night shot was taken around midnight at Camp Shurman on an Emmons Glacier climb last summer. This was after the summit day and you could see the snow wall around the tent melting after being out in the sun all day. Though being tired after the summit push, the night was very pleasant with calm winds and I got motivated enought to get out and take some night shots." We are very happy you got motivated Vaqas! Enjoy your America the Beautiful Pass!

Weekly Winners

Due to the overwhelmingly strong response to the 2014 contest kick off and the amazing photos that have been coming in, we will be starting the Weekly Winners next week (5/26)! This is almost a month early! Thanks for all of your support and good luck.


Just a quick update that the language regarding sponsorship and administration of the contest in the rules was updated recently.

2013 Winners!

More than 17,600 accepted entries viewed by 133,174 unique visitors for a total of 1.7 million photo views. That is one way to summarize the 2013 Share the Experience Photo Contest. However, the numbers do not do it justice, the real story is in the photos themselves. Covering every federal land from Acadia to Zion, every scenario from family vacations to technical expeditions, the photos are the stars of this contest.

If the photos are the stars, then these are our All-Stars! The winners of the 2013 Share the Experience Photo Contest!

This year’s grand prize winner comes to us from a family outing and according to Courtney Kotewa; it almost didn’t happen as she was not sure she would take her phone with her on the kayak trip for fear of dropping it in the choppy lake. Lucky for Courtney, she decided to risk it and bring the phone to document the trip. Although she grew up in Michigan, this was Courtney’s first trip to Pictured Rocks and she described it as being on her mom’s “bucket list.” Both Courtney and her mom are always up for adventure in the outdoors as Courtney describes it best by “Nature grounds you where you can get your perspective on life back. That’s what it does for me.” We could not agree more! Congratulations Courtney!

This year was truly the year for the Midwest Lakeshores! Whereas Courtney Kotewa captured the summertime fun, Michael DeWitt enlightened us to the winter beauty that is out there as well. “In late December, a friend and I launched a canoe from the pack ice at Meyer’s Beach, gateway to the mainland sea caves in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. We broke skim ice and dodged ice bergs out to the caves, and we were well rewarded for our efforts.” We were all rewarded with a beautiful shot and a glimpse into a park that not many venture into in the winter.

When Darrell Staggs’ photo was submitted, it took the Share the Experience team a moment or two to figure out exactly what we where looking at. Which side was up? Which size was down? What exactly where we looking at? Darrell sorted it all out, “This canyon housed a pool of water that was sheltered from any wind, making it a perfect mirror for the canyon walls lit by the late afternoon sun.” Perfect mirror indeed and something that is completely unique to that spot. Darrell summed it up best with “Not all spectacular shots are obvious.” We completely agree, but also think this shot is obviously spectacular.

Honorable Mention Winners

  • Peter Blanchard-Fan Favorite

  • Manish Mamtani-Fan Favorite

  • Eric Magayne-Honorable Mention (Adventure)

  • Linnea Charnholm-Honorable Mention (Let's Move Outside)

  • Sarah Malerich-Honorable Mention (Historical)

  • Michael McRuiz-Honorable Mention (Scenic)

  • Graham McGeorge-Honorable Mention (Wildlife)

  • James Van Lydegraf-Sweepstakes Winner
  • Thanks again to all those who entered, we hope you enjoyed as much as we did!