Pool Canyon by Darrell Staggs

The National Park Foundation announced the winners of this year’s photo contest. The annual Share the Experience contest encourages amateur photographers to explore America’s federal lands and submit their favorite shots.

Nearly 20,000 photos were submitted over the course of the contest, which ended December 31, 2013. Courtney Kotewa of southern Michigan won the $10,000 grand prize for her image captured during a family outing to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along the shore of Lake Superior.

Second place and $5,000 went to Michael DeWitt of Ashland, WI, for his photo of the sunset through an ice-covered porthole during a winter canoe trip in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Third place and $3,000 went to Darrell Staggs of Mooresville, IN, for his illusionary photo that appears to show a hiker walking along the edge of a cliff in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. (Click on a photo to enlarge or continue reading below)

The winning picture may also be featured on the annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

View a complete list of the 2013 winning photos here.

You can enter the 2014 Share the Experience photo contest online through December 31 at www.sharetheexperience.org.

Winners also received outdoor gear provided by Celestron, hotel packages courtesy of Historic Hotels of America, and an annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

There are also prizes for fan favorites and the following six category winners:
Adventure and Outdoor Recreation
Historical and Cultural
Scenic, Seasons, and Landscapes
Let’s Move Outside
Night Skies (a new category for the 2014 contest)

Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreation lands. The 2014 contest is sponsored by the National Park Foundation, ACTIVE Network, and Celestron in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and Recreation.gov.

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