Announcing the 2019 PCTA Photo Contest winners

I’m proud to announce the winners of the 2019 PCTA Photo Contest. This is a great contest because it showcases the beauty and majesty of the Pacific Crest Trail, it reminds us of the incredible spirit of the people who are out enjoying the trail, and it’s a great collection donated to the organization by volunteers. We received 1,145 entries this year. Many thanks for all your submissions!

The winners of the contest are:

  • 1st – From the Bottom of My… by Ido Dayan

Descending from Forester Pass, we didn’t realize how important is to get up early and get to the pass quick as possible. Photo by Ido Dayan.

  • 2nd – The Knife Edge by William Rushin   

Gazing at Mount Rainier from the Knife’s Edge. Photo by William Rushin.

  • 3rd – Tenting Under the Stars by Mark Bruening

Stars above the Sierra. Photo by Mark Bruening.

Congratulations to our three winners! They will receive prize packages from out contest sponsor, LEKI.

View the slide show

Thank you

The PCTA wishes to thank our volunteer judges for their effort. Sorting through and considering all of your submissions takes a lot of time and effort. Lee Terkelsen has been organizing this work as a volunteer for more than two decades. Lee, we cannot thank you enough for your continued support.

Our volunteer judging panel includes:

  • Lee Terkelsen: A former PCTA board member and editor of the PCT Communicator
  • Peter Amend: A professional commercial photographer whose clients include Sierra Designs and Thule
  • Roger Gong and Medelyn Serpa: A professional photographer team whose work includes a significant collection from Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks.
  • David Velasquez: A high school photography teacher who also operates his own photography business and saunters on Sierra trails whenever possible
  • Linda Wozniczka: A courier who takes her camera along on her work and recently published a book of her “On The Road” photographs

Special thanks to our contest sponsor, LEKI. The company’s dedication to conservation and outdoor recreation is amazing. LEKI provided prize packages totaling $1,000 that are being awarded to the top three overall winners.

Finally, to all our photographers, thanks again for your contributions. Your photos will be used in perpetuity to promote the PCT and the important work we all are doing at the PCTA to protect the trail. Congrats to all!

Here is the complete list of winners in each category:


An awesome morning at Thousand Island Lake in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, California. Photo by Jeff Louch.

1st — Wow by Jeff Louch

2nd — Winter in Bucks Lake Wilderness by Kelly Weintraub

3rd — Mount Shasta by Stephan George

Honorable mention — Gold Meadows on the PCT by Travis LaCoss

Honorable mention — Burney Falls by Dominik Neugebauer

Honorable mention — Berry Heaven by Husein Pistoljevic


A regrowing burned area in Washington provides insight to the cycle of life. Photo by Amanda Shipley

1st — Burning Anew on The Trail by Amanda Shpeley

2nd — Elixir of Life by Alexander Hormann

3rd — Hiking into the Clouds by Connor Rafferty

Honorable mention — Space Cowboy by Zola Doyle

Honorable mention — Hikers Silhouetted at Sunrise by Rob Thwaites

Honorable mention — Paintbrush Leaps by Michael Irving


While taking a break at Crater Lake, I caught a chipmunk trying to steal food out of my hip belt pocket. Photo by Alexandra Waga.

1st — Chipmunk Attack at Crater Lake by Alexandra Waga

2nd — Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel by Larry Bettinger

3rd — White Lined Sphynx Caterpillar by Tom Standley

Honorable mention — Clearance for Take Off by Damien Delteil

Honorable mention — Tarantula Hawk Wasp by Mark Bruening


The Old Snowy Blast Crew cleared boulder after boulder off the high alpine trail. Photo by Brianna Leahy.

1st — Rocks Will Roll by Brianna Leahy

2nd — Lunchtime Equals Friend Time by Mick McBride 

3rd — Sawing with a Crosscut Saw by Jennifer Stewart

Honorable mention — Trail Boss by Laurie Meade

Honorable mention — Keeping Up With the CCC by Sean Day


A man rides through a field of Western Anemones in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington. Photo by Stephan Miser.

1st — Lonely Cowboy by Stephan Miser

2nd — Leader by Kyle Soeltz

3rd — Good Thing He Can Read by Alison Meyn

Honorable mention — Switchbacks by Damien Delteil

Honorable mention — Nigel Checking in by Rhonda Marquis

Honorable mention — Woman and Two Llamas by Kane Hernandez

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.