National Park Foundation Find Your Park


Check out the monthly winners of the 2018 contest below! Also, scroll down to read about our 2017 overall contest winners. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram at @share_the_experience. Who knows...maybe you'll see one of your own images out there! Be sure to use #ShareTheExperience to spread the word!

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2017 Winners

Grand Prize | Manish Mamtani, Acadia National Park, Maine

The winning image was captured in Acadia National Park. Me and my wife drove to Acadia National Park from Boston for a summer weekend getaway. After taking this picture, we spent a couple of hours at the Boulder Beach enjoying the beautiful clear star-filled sky and the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. It was very beautiful and peaceful experience, and we had the whole beach to our self.

Second Place | Kristy Burns, Fort Union National Monument, New Mexico

As we've traveled through the western United States, we've been stopping at historical sites and national monuments learning more about western expansion and how it impacted the native Americans who lived in these areas. We had read about Fort Union because of its significance in the American Indian Wars and it was on our route so we planned a visit. It was a blustery, but sunny November morning with that famously blue New Mexico sky crowding the horizon, 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, Coconino National Forrest, 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 and the stream was flowing too full and fast for a reflective picture. However, that rain had given us a very fortuitous reflective puddle in the field in front of Cathedral Rock.

Fan Favorite #1 | James Fong, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This photo was taken during a family RV road trip through multiple national parks including Yellowstone, Zion, Arches, and Bryce Canyon. I woke up one morning and all I could hear were the sounds of "Wake up! There are baby foxes frolicking in the campsite across from us!" echoing from within our humble mobile abode. Still dressed in our finest camping pajamas, we hurried outside in hopes of catching a brief glimpse of them in their natural environment. We got more than we ever thought we would and watched these cute baby foxes play with each other and interact with the world around them. I sat on the dirt road for hours taking photos of these playful baby foxes and watching them interact with one another and the world around them.

Fan Favorite #2 | Mark Rutt, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

We were in Grand Teton National Park for a few days as part of a larger multi-park road trip and were fortunate enough to see not only this sow and cubs but a second family of a sow and two cubs... all in the same vicinity multiple times a day. It was the second week of June, so pretty early in the season and the new life and spring flowers were beautiful. Such a happy pair of cubs, carefree and playing. It was an amazing thing to witness and experience.

Adventure & Outdoor Recreation | Kevin Gross, Denali National Park, Alaska

This was my first visit to Denali National Park. I was helping my professor collect meteorological data from a weather station he uses to contextualize ice core data. This photo is of Patrick Saylor, who was also helping out.

Historical & Cultural | Curtis Creath, Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawaii

This photo was taken more as a close-up to focus upon the actual faces and headpieces. The evening sun allowed some shadowing to emphasize the carving details. I entered this particular photo because I thought it was a little different than some of the other entries. I thought including the close-up, instead of the larger vertical perspective, would stand out.

Scenic, Seasons & Landscape | Michael DeWitt, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

This secluded little beach on Stockton Island is a place I’ve frequented for years. We’ve enjoyed many a sunny summer afternoon here, swimming, paddling, and enjoying the absolute solitude that comes with a location that is both remote and subject to the whims of The Lake. From the very first time I saw this gorgeous little beach and sea stack, I’ve wanted to shoot a sunrise here. But, it isn’t an easy thing to do – the conditions must be perfect. After literally years of visualizing this image, and more wings and misses than I care to admit, this was finally the day.

Family, Friends & Fun | Jess Curren, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

For the last four years our family has been traveling the country full time in an Airstream travel trailer. We've loved the opportunity to visit many of our National Parks and Monuments as we've traveled. On this particular trip, we were enjoying a winter in the southwest and were joined a few other full time traveling families at White Sands National Monument. The kids had a blast running up the dunes and then jumping or sledding their way down for hours. I love how this image captures their excitement, joy, and energy!

Wildlife | William Sweet, Acadia National Park, Maine

My wife Lisa and I were on our annual spring vacation in May of 2017 when this photo was taken. We were walking the trail near at "the Tarn." We were observing the warblers and bother birds in the area as it was prime time for the migration. As we were searching for a particular bird, my wife sighted this Mink coming down the trail and as we looked, it stopped to apparently size up the situation and figure out how it can get by us with its brook trout dinner. The combination of the mink, the trout, the pink granite... all caught in one photo was one we knew was special. To me it says... Acadia National Park.

Night Skies | Jose Torres, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

My wife and I have always wanted to camp at Dry Tortugas National Park. We planned our visit around the New Moon so we could get the best view of the night sky. The absence of light pollution made for a incredible view of the stars. Once I realized that the Milky Way core was directly above one of the bastions, I had to take that picture. There was a sliver of a moon behind to my left which assisted with the foreground lighting. Making the scene even more impressive.