Check out our photo contest winners for 2017

Sudden Magnitude

“Sudden Magnitude,” by Brad Goldpaint—one of the 2017 Photo Contest Overall winners.

Spring is in the air. Thru-hikers are tending to early blisters and making their way north. Trees are budding in the Pacific Northwest and the Sierra snowpack is melting, albeit stubbornly. And we have a new batch of amazing photos to share via our annual photo contest.

This is one of the best parts of my job as the PCTA’s editor. Our community has a great eye for beauty, and our muse rarely disappoints. The PCT is an amazing place. And your photos help us protect it, inspire support for the work we do together and get people excited about getting out there.

So, as you pause over a burger in the next trail town or contemplate your next overnight on the PCT, take a little time to watch a slide show of our 2017 contest winners. Congratulations to all our volunteer winners and to all of you who entered the contest. We’ll use your photos in our magazine, calendar and promotional materials throughout the year.

A special thanks to our volunteer judges led by Lee Terkelsen: David Thurber, Roger Gong and Madelyn Serpa. Over many hours, they painstakingly pored over more than 1,000 entries this year to come up with the following list of winners. We could not do this without them.

And of course, our top three winners will get great prizes from our contest sponsor, LEKI. Many thanks to our friends at LEKI for their overwhelming support for the trail and our association. The people at LEKI are dedicated to making our outdoor adventures the best they can be and we appreciate the partnership.

Here’s the list:


  1. Connor Welch – Snow Skylight
  2. Brad Goldpaint – Sudden Magnitude
  3. Leonardo Nicoletti – Tears in the Desert


  1. Thomas Piekunka – Purple Mountains Majesty
  2. Abel Rojas – Mount Jefferson at Sunset
  3. Patrick Beggan – Lower Miner’s Creek Falls

Honorable Mentions
Charlie Willard – Crater Lake Moonrise
Rick Morgan – Morning Light
Thomas Piekunka – Olympus on Fire
Patrick Beggan – Camp Under the Big Dipper
Matthew Kennedy – Mossy Oak on the McCloud


  1. Nick Pritchard – Descending Mount Whitney
  2. Jean-Paul Jutras – Resupply of Precious Water
  3. Maria Geraldine Ignacio – This Is Us

Honorable Mentions
Lou Solly – PCT Junction
Lachian Fysh – Album Cover
Jeremy Jones – The Wonderful Team I Finished With
Todd Bast – Bevmo Crossing the “Falls”
Andy Berger – Cowgirl Camping


  1. Charlie Willard – Wildflowers Jefferson Park
  2. Jake Thum – Huckleberry Hang Out
  3. Chris Alexander – Mushroom

Honorable Mentions
Conner Welch – Slither Away Rattlesnake
David Sayer – Mario Mushroom
Carolyn Mason – Adorable Marmots
Brandan O’Connor – The Beauty of Details
John Reglinski – Misty Morning
Rick Morgan – Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Philippe Davignon – Black Bear


  1. Bri Leahy – Worksite with A View
  2. Bern Gross – Bunk Beds Not Included
  3. Anna Sofranko – Bandana Face Mask Trail Worker

Honorable Mention
Sammy Lyon – L.A. Youth Volunteers on the Trail


  1. Greg Spencer – Onward to Shasta
  2. Brad Lane – Horseback Mountain Tops
  3. Gillian Larson – Gillian And Shyla

Honorable Mentions
Bri Leahy – Cowboys on the Ridge
Jean Hacquart – Riders Having a Break

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.