Congrats to the 2015 PCT photo contest winners

The PCT is a photographer’s dream. Our annual photo contest proves it year after year. This year’s photos are amazing. I hope you enjoy the slide show.

Whether or not your photo was recognized, know this: we use photos submitted to the contest to promote the PCT and the PCTA’s important work to the world. They end up in our publications, including our magazine and annual calendar, in brochures, on our website and in media stories. By entering, you are helping PCTA care for the trail.

So a big THANK YOU to you all. In my book, you are all winners. Your work is wonderful and inspiring.

Our contest couldn’t go on without our panel of independent judges who volunteer their time to go through hundreds of submissions. Special thanks to Lee Terkelsen, a retired photography teacher and former PCT Communicator editor; Dave Thurber, retired owner of Thurber Photographic; and Marc and Brenda Bergreen, owners/photographers of Bergreen Adventure Photography. We are humbled by your dedication to our contest.

And the winners are…

We have three great prizes from Eagle Creek for the top three winners:

  • Grand Prize – Hiker Midnight – Brandon Sharpe
  • Second Place – Toward the Light – Ethan Gehl
  • Third Place – Butterfly – Susan Caster

And the Judges recognized the following photographers for their outstanding contributions by category. Again, congratulations to you all.


  • First – A Sight for Sore Eyes – Brandon Sharpe
  • Second – Evolution – Cameron Vaughan
  • Third – Ramona Falls – James Parsons

Honorable mentions:

  • Oregon Sunsets – Alexander Kingsbery
  • Sunrise Reflection Below Mt. Whitney – Chris Lorenz
  • Rock Pass – Andy Porter
  • Through the Burn – Aaron Breniman
  • Pollen on Wanda Lake – Melody Shah
  • Trail to Cascade Locks – Eric Valentine


  • First – A Walk Across the Desert – Brandon Sharpe
  • Second – Aqueduct Walking – Liam Cameron
  • Third – The Three Sisters Sunrise – Alexander Kingsbery

Honorable mentions:

  • Thirsty Boots on the Knife’s Edge – Andy Porter
  • A Sea of Stars – Cameron Vaughan
  • Napping Under Mt. Adams – Mike Henrick
  • Muir Mirrors – Henrik Frederiksen
  • Go Your Own Way – Ashley Ross


  • First – Mountain Yellow Legged Frog – Sarah Siefken
  • Second – Chipmunk – Susan Caster
  • Third – Cactus Splendor – Matthew Jinings

Honorable mentions:

  • Marmot in Evolution Valley – Ethan Gehl
  • Pinchot Pass Pika – Amy Cecchettini
  • Lizard on Post – Mandie Carter
  • Beauty After Fire – Wesley Trimble


  • First – Riding Into Town – Carolyn Tepolt
  • Second – Horses at White Pass – Ashley Gossens
  • Third – High Sierra Packer – Dave Hall

Honorable mentions:

  • Pack Goats – Chris Laster
  • Crowbar and Mount Ranier – Diane McCuin
  • Cruisin – Jeffrey Winchester


  • First – Crosscut Brigade – Ethan Gehl
  • Second – Trailcrew in Washout Area – Reiner Stenzel
  • Third – Trialwork – Tianna Turner

Honorable mentions:

  • Trailwork – Jeffrey Winchester

Here are the winners of the 2015 PCT Photo Contest

Author: Mark Larabee

Mark Larabee is the PCTA's Advocacy Director. He is the former editor of the "PCT Communicator" magazine and co-author of "The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America's Wilderness Trail" published in 2016. Larabee is a journalist, part of a team who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for The Oregonian newspaper. He hiked the PCT across Oregon for a 2005 series for the paper and has been with PCTA since 2010. He lives in Portland.