With over 15,000 submissions, it was a difficult task, but undoubtedly a pleasurable experience, sifting through the gorgeous photographs of our federal lands.
Yang Lu took home first place honors with a breathtaking photograph of a sunset over Glen Canyon. Kostubh Kulkarni, with a picturesque scene of bighorn sheep at Joshua Tree National Park, and Sarah Gustafson, with a self-portrait on the salt flats of Death Valley National Park, round out the top three.
You can scroll through the slideshow at the bottom of the page to view all the winning photographs.
This year’s contest begins April 28 and will run to the end of the year.
Whether you’re an avid outdoor photographer or a wide-eyed visitor with a smartphone, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome to submit photos taken on partner agency lands: National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corpse of Engineers.
You must submit all photos in one of six categories. The categories include Scenic, Seasons and Landscapes, Adventure and Outdoor Recreation, Historical and Cultural, Night Skies, Every Kid in a Park, and Wildlife.
Prizes include a $10,000 grand prize to the winning photographer, $5,000 to the first runner-up, and $3,000 to the third place finisher. There’s also a $1,000 prize given to two fan favorite photographs, as well as an honorable mention for each category that includes a stay at Historic Hotels of America, Celestron equipment and an Annual Recreational Lands Pass.
For more information about this year’s competition, be sure to visit the Share the Experience website, here.
This annual photo contest encourages visitors of our nation’s beautiful federal recreation lands to capture their experiences via photography and share it with the rest of the world. It’s our hope that these stunning photos and the stories they tell of our gorgeous land will inspire others to visit, explore and protect these incredible places.
Grand Prize WinnerYang Lu 1 of 12
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
2nd Place WinnerKoustubh Kulkarni 2 of 12
Joshua Tree National Park, California
3rd Place WinnerSarah Gustafson 3 of 12
Death Valley National Park, California
Fan FavoriteMatthew Sorum 4 of 12
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Fan FavoriteHeather Martin 5 of 12
Mt. Whitney, Inyo National Forest, California
Historical & Cultural Category WinnerDavid Regela 6 of 12
Cedar Mesa, Utah
Adventure & Outdoor Recreation Category WinnerRebecca Wilks 7 of 12
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell, Utah
Night Skies Category WinnerErik Fremstad 8 of 12
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Scenic, Seasons & Landscapes Category WinnerSteve Ancick 9 of 12
Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area, New Mexico
Wildlife Category WinnerBrent Wauer 10 of 12
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Every Kid in a Park Category WinnerKimberly Hall 11 of 12
Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John, Caribbean