The West: Familiar and phenomenal

See winners from our annual photo contest.

  • Editor’s choice: A summer moon, mountain lake and night swim in the Swan Range, Montana.

    James Chapman
  • Readers’ choice: Aaron Henriquez climbs an ice pillar in Rollinsville, Colorado, while Ellie Stanton belays.

    Austin Nash
  • Runner up: Joshua Tree National Park, California.

    Lena Luna
  • Runner up: Roadrunner, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    Bob Hamre
  • Runner up: 100 years ago this was the world's biggest gold mine. Today the forest is devouring the ruins in Douglas Island, Alaska.

    Andrew Dunmire
  • Runner up: A quiet morning hike above Silverton, Colorado.

    Nicole Von Gaza-Reavis
  • Runner up: The Elvis Church and the barn from the Apacheland movie sit in front of the Superstition Mountains in Youngsberg, Arizona.

    Judd Slivka
  • Runner up: Construction in the resort town of Big Sky, Montana.

    Ben Wickham
  • Runner up: White Sands Monsoon, White Sands National Park, New Mexico.

    Bob Hamre
  • Runner up: Slowing down.

    Nancy McIntyre


Even when a pandemic limits how far Westerners can travel, our region provides plenty of inspiration. For this year’s photo contest, we asked readers to share notable nearby sights, perhaps glimpsed in their backyards or on a hike in the back hills. From intimate shots of hatchlings in a nest and snails stretching across sidewalks, to vast landscapes and star-strewn skies, we received more than 120 entries, proving that beauty can be found even in the most difficult of times.

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