Winners of the 2018 HCN reader photo contest

Audience and editor favorites to help us find some solace.

  • Reader’s Choice | Heart’s Home: The photographer captures a scene while packing into the Lizard Head Wilderness in Colorado.

    Sara Goodnick
  • Editor's Choice | Lewis Lakes: Jess Reilly and Mark Howe hike in Bridal Veil Basin in the Lewis Lakes area, Telluride, Colorado.

    Whit Richardson
  • Runner up | Canyon church light: The photographer hikes down the Paria River on a BLM trip near Kanab, Utah, with Ursula Hermasinski.

    Michael Bye
  • Runner Up | Lake McDonald: The photographer traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana, to capture the northern lights. Though she didn’t see any aurora that night, she did capture this photo of the rental row boats docked for the night.

    Debbie Schwartznau
  • Sunrise view of the shadow of Middle Sister: The photographer captured sunrise from the summit of Middle Sister on July 26, 2018 after spending the night alone on the summit under a full moon. The ridges in the shadow of Middle Sister are the foothills of the Oregon Cascades.

    Dudley Chelton
  • Drying Off: After going underwater in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a salmon a brown bear shakes himself off.

    Ralf Burgert
  • Morning Light at the Edge of the World: The depths and tortuosity of the landscape across this photo is muted by the soft shadows of the morning light. From The Maze, Canyonlands, Utah.

    Peggy Hodgkins
  • Fajada Sunset: An evening at Chaco Canyon World Heritage Site.

    Bob Hamre
  • Sunset at Cape Blanco, Oregon: After a windy and mostly cloudy day, the sun breaks through for a few minutes at sunset on the beach just North of Cape Blanco, Oregon.

    George B. Hug
  • Above the Clouds: Go high enough and get clear.

    Jose Garza
  • Colorful Perspective: On a crisp January morning during the Bluff Balloon Festival, balloons float through Valley of the Gods, Utah.

    Andrew Wracher
  • Reflections of Dream Lake: One of the first snows of the season dusts the calm, unbelievably quiet, almost eerily quiet Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Michael Hackett
  • Bisti Totem: A late afternoon sunset in the Bisti Badlands Wilderness Area, New Mexico.

    Bob Hamre
  • Chukar: The John Day basin is home to a robust population of Chukar partridge and enough topography to challenge even the most energetic and persistent pursuers - canine and otherwise.

    Tim Green


These are complicated times, with news and headlines that can feel overwhelming. That’s why we dedicated this year’s photo contest to the people, places and animals of the West that help you find solace. Our readers submitted more than 160 photos filled with light, solitude, creatures and vistas, providing a much-needed respite in these times. 

See all the images submitted to this year's contest.