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Share your thoughts and images of the West!

Check out upcoming contest topics, and submit your essay(s) or photo(s) for others to enjoy. Viewers can vote on their favorite essays and images, and entries with the most votes will be featured on the Web site, and earn consideration from our editorial and production staff for appearing in the magazine!

The West is not just about the varied terrain in which we live, but the collection of perspectives and realities of the people who occupy this inspiring land. Add your voice to High Country News – or enjoy those of other readers – and embrace your community of fellow people who care about the West.

finishedThis contest has ended.

The Natural West

Entries: (182)
Began: Feb 01, 2010
Ended: Mar 15, 2010

Check out these fantastic landscapes of the American West! Thanks to all participants who submitted and voted on these images.
(Read more ...)

Winning Entry

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

by Aaron Merritt — Photo I took of the Grand Prismatic Spring while visiting Yellowstone National Park.

by jdr 19

Dancing Marmots

A pair of Hoary Marmots dance with joy in the summer wildflowers of Mt. Rainier National Park.

by jdr 7

Nevada Roundup

A fall roundup on a gray day near "the loneliest highway in America."

by keith_breazeal 21

Gold Country Poppies

Poppies line the foothills in Amador County. The view was absolutley stunning.

by keith_breazeal 16

Wolf Moon

The full "Wolf" Moon rising above the snow covered California Sierra Nevada Mountains is always awesome, but the addition of the simultaneous brilliant red sunset than was reflecting off the snow, rocks, and trees was a bonus. The photo was taken on Hwy 88's Bear River Scenic Overlook in Amador County, California. Moon rise was just south of Lake Tahoe from this vantage point. What a view it was!

by graywolf28 4

coral pink sand dunes, utah

Wyethia in summer flower

by jdr 18

Yellowstone Colors

The sun reflects in oddly named "Black Pool", in Yellowstone National park.

by graywolf28 3
by MtnGoat 47

Fire in the Sky

Sunset on Glendo Resevoir, WY

by MtnGoat 44


Take at the Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix AZ

by jaycanode 4

Looking West

Sunset on the Navajo reservation near Blue Canyon.

by jaycanode 4

Chevy Seco

Chevy Detail-Arroyo Seco , NM

by MtnGoat 43

Wilson's Arch, Moab, UT

About 250 ATV miles taking pictures in some very remote places just to get this shot off the highway from the truck.

by jaycanode 8

Patagonia, AZ

Stock tank reflecting the big sky of southern Arizona.

by psychohalicslag 1
by dhold2 6

Chimney Rock, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

Taken at sunset on a stormy day, F11 @ 1/250th sec. Canon 5D MkII, Sigma 50mm macro lens.

by psychohalicslag 1

Turtle Mountain

Sunset in Catron County, New Mexico

by dhold2 1

Cactus, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

An unusual type of cactus. Shot at F22 to keep background in focus. Canon 5D Mk II, Sigma 50mm macro lens.

by dhold2 14

Mule Deer at Sunset

These impressive trophy bucks were caught grazing south of Kiowa on the high plains of Elbert County before a spectacular Colorado sunset.

by dannerphotos 15

Sharing the Beauty

It takes All of us sharing to make it work.

by SMPhoto 6


Black Necked Stilts feeding at Bear River NWR, Utah

by DTB 7

Evening at Cedar Breaks

Late fall evening Cedar Breaks NM, Utah

by Andree 7
by Andree 4
by dannerphotos 6

Hey U Guys

No matter where one looks, someone else may be on the outside.

by dannerphotos 3

Weathered Warrior

Just about anywhere in the west, these divisional markers, bear witness to the taming of the environment.

by randers 25

Island In The Sky

Clouds Filling the Green River Canyon, UT

by SMPhoto 7

Sunrise on the Salt Flats

Late winter sunrise on a flooded Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

by wrenchy 0

Sand - yet again

White Sands National Monument round Christmas time.

by wrenchy 1

Sand - again

White Sands National Monument round Christmas time.

by wrenchy 2


White Sands National Monument round Christmas time.

by GlennP 19

the wave

The wave is a compressed sandstone formation in the vermillion cliffs wilderness. Northern Arizona.

by O'Neill 8
by lydiajball 10
by daweva 12

Mush more than words

The annual Pinedale Classic Sled Dog Race is the howl of the town.

by IGT 1

aspen and snowberry tapestry

This photo was captured on the west side of the La Plata mountains in October of 2008.

by IGT 3

hairy woodpecker unfazed by maurading scrub jay

Mini drama captured in the juniper tree in my front yard near Dolores Colorado.

by chindi 1

Isn't my canyon grand?

An early spring dusting of snow added to the majesty of The Canyon.

by mroedel 5

Young Montana Pronghorns

This shot was taken with a long lens using slide film at the National Bison Range, at Moiese, Montana, about an hour north of Missoula. The area is not hunted, so the animals aren't very skittish. The steep and rugged loop road has always been worth the time.

by sanchez8773 5

Capitol Reef

Stunning rock formation in Capitol Reef, Utah.

by chindi 2

Taking it back ~ St. Elmo

A crumbling cabin in the ghost town of St. Elmo, Co, with aspen trees trying to surround it.

by sanchez8773 3

Jake watches the sunset.

Jake watchesthe sunset, as sister Lizzie is nearby in Escalante, Utah.

by sanchez8773 2

Barn in Utah

Barn near Capitol Reef, Utah.

by Catherine Etherton 18


While photographing in the Crested Butte cemetery, my eye was drawn to this fox. She was quite aware of my presence and continued hunting the entire time I was working.

by Catherine Etherton 5

Artist's Point - Death Valley National Park

A beautiful spring sunrise in Death Valley.

by Catherine Etherton 3

Oxbow Bend, Revisited

Surrounded in all four directions by forest fires, the smoke resulted in a beautiful sunset at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park.

by LisaLouLou 9

Travel at Own Risk

Sign on a rugged desert road leading to Seminoe Reservoir in Wyoming.

by LisaLouLou 14

Black Canyon Tree

Weathered tree on the north rim of the Black Canyon above the Gunnison River in Colorado.

by LisaLouLou 13

Gunnison River in Black Canyon

View from the north rim of the Black Canyon looking west and down to the Gunnison River.

by Michael Hodges 3

Ladder of Light

A Kiva Ladder provides access to a reconstructed Kiva at ancestral Pueblo ruins located at Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico.

by Michael Hodges 3

Shadow of the Cross

A rustic cross marks the final Resting place of an early pioneer, near Dos Cabazos, Arizona.

by Michael Hodges 5

Morning at Gates Pass

Gates Pass, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

by devawolfe 3
by mudpuppy 15
by mudpuppy 17

AZ Sunset

Preamble to a peaceful night in the tent.

by schnitzerphoto 177

Summer: Wyoming Prairie

A timeless summer afternoon in Wyoming's Shirley Basin

by schnitzerphoto 6

Autumn: Bighorn

Fall colors and a Wind River Range bighorn sheep

by schnitzerphoto 6

Autumn: Deschutes

A steelhead angler taking in the late-day sun on Oregon's Deschutes River canyon.

The topic: Do you have an image that reflects a quintessential example of the West's intrinsic natural beauty? Submit it here!

About submitting images: Entrants may submit up to three (3) photos for each photo contest, in JPEG, PNG and GIF file formats only; each image submitted may be no larger than 2 megabytes in size.

About voting on images: Instead of making you choose only one entry to vote for, we decided to allow viewers to vote positively for any entry they want to -- one vote per viewer, per image. But be careful - you can't undo your vote once you've clicked the "vote" button, so CHOOSE CAREFULLY!