Congrats to the 2021 PCTA Photo Contest Winners

OVERALL WINNER: “Glacier Peak” by Igor Pankovcin (click the image to view larger)

We’re happy to present the winners of this year’s photo contest. It’s been a long year since the pandemic began in March of 2020. For many of us, it was a lost season on the PCT—and we sustained our love for the trail through photos and videos. Though it was a lean year for being on the trail with our phones and cameras, we asked you to send us your photos for the 2021 Photo Contest—and you responded with over 600 of them! Many thanks to everyone who sent us photos—there were so many fantastic images our judges still had a tough time choosing the winners. As they do every year, these photos show us the vast and diverse scenery the Pacific Crest Trail offers us.

SECOND PLACE OVERALL WINNER: “At the Top” by Kevin Scott – a hiker atop Kearsarge Pass (click the image to view larger)

Whether you were picked as a winner or not, your photos will be put to good use. 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. Congratulations to you all.

New this year was the “Old School” category. We received many great images from the PCT before 2000, and they brought back memories of external frame packs, paper maps and compasses, and canned food on the trail!

THIRD PLACE OVERALL WINNER: “Best. Day. Ever. Seriously.” by Ryan Weidert – White Pass in the Glacier Peak Wilderness (click the image to view larger)

A special thanks to our judging panel led by Lee Terkelsen: Dave Thurber, Roger Gong, Peter Amend, Maddy Serpa, David Velasquez, Linda Wozniczka and Peter Amend. You all are amazing volunteers. We would not have a photo contest without you. And special thanks to Daniel Carmin, designer of our magazine, for managing the contest and working with our judges.

And of course, our top three winners will get great prizes from our contest sponsors:

  • First Place – Uphill Designs leather and canvas goods (including a camera case, a minimalist wallet, a small leather notepad cover and two tree notepads); a Hydro Flask hydration pack; and a set of National Geographic PCT Trail Maps — a value of $500
  • Second Place –a Hydro Flask hydration pack and a set of National Geographic PCT Trail Maps maps — a value of $290
  • Third Place – a set of National Geographic PCT Trail Maps maps — a value of $125

Many thanks to all our partners above for their overwhelming support for the trail and our association. They are dedicated to making our outdoor adventures the best they can be, and we appreciate their partnerships.

Slide Show

Enjoy the slideshow below—click on the first thumbnail image to view all this year’s winners and honorable mentions. Each photo has more information about the scene as provided by the photographer. Use the right and left arrow keys on your computer’s keyboard to move forward and backward through the images, or click the arrows at either edge of each photo.

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Winners by Category:

Overall Winners

1st“Glacier Peak” by Igor Pankovcin

2nd“At the Top” by Kevin Scott

3rd“Best. Day. Ever. Seriously.” By Ryan Weidert

Trail Majesty 


FIRST PLACE: Trail Majesty – “Serenity” by Laurie Meade (click the image to view larger)

1st– “Serenity” by Laurie Meade

2nd– “The Best In NorCal” by Nok Yan Joshua Leung

3rd–  “Crater Lake Sunrise” by Aaron Bocchi

Honorable mention – “Now You See Me” by John Reglinski

Honorable mention – “Mount Jefferson From Park Ridge” by James Parsons

Honorable mention – “Oregon Trail” by Kevin Dickson

Human Spirit


FIRST PLACE – “Cowboy Stargazing” by James Lamers (click the image to view larger)

1st– “Cowboy Stargazing” by James Lamers

2nd– “Knife’s Edge Joy” by Patricia Dansereau

3rd– “One Jump Closer to Canada” by Justin Holdefer

Honorable mention – “Doc Near Rock Pass” by Kevin Scott

Honorable mention – “Early Morning Start” by Robert Loudon

Honorable mention – “Feeling Minuscule” by Kristi Kose

Honorable mention – “500 Miles” by Cindy Lou Aillaud



FIRST PLACE – “Tiger Lily With Butterfly” by Larry Bettinger (click the image to view larger)

1st– “Tiger Lily With Butterfly” by Larry Bettinger

2nd– “Thru Hikers Cheerleader” by Ed Lyons

3rd– “Trail Transformation” by Ted Lubeshkoff

Honorable mention – “Delicate But Tough” by James Lamers

Honorable mention – “Greatest of All Time“ by Gregory McWade

Honorable mention – “North Cascades Mountain Goats” by Scott McCorquodale

Honorable mention – “Chillin On The Crest” by Ed Lyons



FIRST PLACE – “Killen Creek Falls at Mt. Adams” by Gary Pegg (click the image to view larger)

1st– “Killen Creek Falls at Mt. Adams” by Gary Pegg

2nd– “PCT South Off SR2 Lake Susan Jane” by Wendy Ford

3rd– “Cispus Pass” by Sarah Boyle

Honorable mention – “Rae Lakes Pack Train” by Cindy Lou Aillaud

Honorable mention – “Knife’s Edge” by Rebecca Meyers

Honorable mention – “Kasha and Racket Trail Magic” by Grace Sorensen



FIRST PLACE – “The Cornerstone of the PCT” by Ya Yun Lee (click the image to view larger)

1st– “The Cornerstone of the PCT” by Ya Yun Lee

2nd– “That’s A Big One” by Gordon Wellington

3rd– “The Office At Sonora Pass” by Maria Petersen

Honorable mention – “PCT Alt Eagle Creek Morning” by Susan Tracy

Honorable mention – “Iconic Trail Marker” by Gary Pegg

Honorable mention – “Mormon Rock Trail Crew” by Noel Williams

Old School


FIRST PLACE – “Lost on the PCT” by Chris Hosmer (click the image to view larger)

1st– “Lost on the PCT” by Chris Hosmer

2nd– “Me Nearing Suiattle Pass” by Rick Hoffman

3rd– “Bordertime 1977” by Marty Mccormick

Honorable mention – “Border 4-1-75” by Stephen Funk

Honorable mention – “Funk Brothers Monument 78” by Stephen Funk

Honorable mention – “Doin’ The Down Log Dance” by Jan Levet-Le Pouvoir

Honorable mention – “Mount Rainier Rest Stop” by Bob Stilger

Author: Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson is the PCTA’s Content Development Director. A former professional musician, Scott has 20+ years of experience in almost every marketing role. Before joining the PCTA he was a marketing/creative director at West Virginia University and the University of Oregon. A serious outdoor addict, Scott is an experienced whitewater paddler, hang glider pilot, flyfisher, mountain biker, and (of course) hiker and backpacker.