Our 25 favorite #WeAreTheWild photos

Greatest hits: 25 "We Are the Wild" photos and stories

We asked, you delivered.

As part of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we asked supporters to submit favorite wild moments in the form of photos, videos and stories to our We Are the Wild campaign.

The results were amazing! Below are 25 great moments from our supporters that show the wild beauty and amazing times we share in wilderness. These are the moments that remind us how much wilderness shapes us, the moments that remind us that "We Are The Wild."



1) Surf's Up at The Wave!

By Editha Yangco at Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

"Amazing 4th of July hike at The Wave in the Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness!"

Photo by Editha Yangco


2)  Sunset Reflection at Island Lake

 By Adam Brazile at Desolation Wilderness, California

"While taking three friends on their first backpacking trip into the Desolation Wilderness, this scene was what greeted us on our first evening at Island Lake. Thunderclouds greeted us the following day."

Photo by Adam Brazile


3) Pronghorns

By Chip Carroon at Buffalo Hills, Nevada

"Working for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, I was visiting a very remote area of the Buffalo Hills, NW Nevada.  I was up way before dawn to look for sage grouse.  The grouse were in a different place but I saw a group of pronghorns in the distance.  In the low light I moved a little closer and set up my telephoto lens.  Luckily, the animals moved towards me and did not see me since I had set up when it was fairly dark."

Photo by Chip Carroon

4) The Power of Nature

By Steve Sniteman at Jackson Hole, Wyoming

"We were camping overlooking the Tetons when a storm suddenly appeared. Within minutes, our campsite was blown over and the rain and wind came in torrents. As suddendly as the storm hit, it was over. In the process of cleaning up, the same storm hit the mountain range, so much so, we couldn't see anything. And then the storm passed by. The different hues of blue were amazing especially contrasting with the whites."

Photo by Steve Sniteman


5) South Sister - 4th of July

By Cody Weaver, looking out to Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood, Oregon

"What better way to celebrate the birthday of this gorgeous country than from atop a mountain.  After a looooooong day of trekking, I am relaxing on the summit of the South Sister taking in the views of the Middle and North Sister along with Mt. Jefferson and Mt Hood in the distance.  Happy Birthday America!!!"

  Photo by Cody Weaver


6) When the wind picks up

By marjar147, instagram.

"Sometimes, when the wind picks up and the clouds are moving in, you have to stop, observe, and decide if you're going to continue on or turn back. Life's kind of like that. Sometimes, you just have to suit up and keep going. Because there isn't lightning, and while it isn't easy going, the real danger is giving up too easily."

 Photo by marjar147, Instagram.


7) Moonshadows

By The Walkers at Pasayten Wilderness, Cascade Range, Washington State

"Burned-out snags, April snowpack, & ice-bright moonlight enlighten the post-midnight hour along a patch of the Pasayten Wilderness in Washington State's North Cascades as we headed south on the Pacific Crest Trail from Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia."

Photo by The Walkers


8) Teton Return

By Cat Dale Grand Tetons, Wyoming

"My mom and dad were forest service fire fighters when they met, and they had a honeymoon backpacking trip there.  We all returned this summer, and I too fell in love with these mountains."

Photo by Cat Dale


9) Bisti Badlands

By Chip Carroon at Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico

"As I was visiting the Bisti Badlands, I saw many unusual formations.  After the sun set, I started working my way out of the wilderness area.  On my return I just happened to see this alignment of hoodoos.  I took a picture in the soft light of evening."

 Photo by Chip Carroon



Where is your wild? Explore more wild moments and share your own!


10) Stargazing

By Mason Cummings in Emigrant Wilderness, California

"Clear night skies in California's Emigrant Wilderness make for excellent stargazing opportunities."

Photo by Mason Cummings


11) Resting Among the Meadows and Mountains

By Keri Sprenger at Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

"After a long, hot hike up to Elk Meadows in the Mt. Hood Wilderness, my wife Tracy was ready for a short break. We found this beautiful spot in the meadow; alas, Mt. Hood's summit remained shrouded in clouds for our visit there but we still enjoyed the views of Oregon's highest summit."

Photo by Keri Sprenger


12) Bear 399's Cubs

By Virginia Kickle at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

"My husband and I visited Grand Teton National Park in September 2011.  A highlight of this trip was seeing the locally famous female grizzly bear known as Bear 399 when she walked by very close to our parked car near Oxbow Bend.  When we returned to the park the following spring, we heard that Bear 399 had three cubs.  We roamed the park roads hoping to catch a glimpse of Bear 399 and her cubs.  On our last day we were thrilled to see the three cubs run down a hillside onto the road followed by their mama, Bear 399.  We were excited to be able to watch the bear family frolic in the wildflowers on the side of the road for about ten minutes.   It is wonderful to be able to visit a place where wild creatures like grizzlies roam."

Photo by Virginia Kickle


13) Camping in the Clouds

By Gary Lyons at Ventana Wilderness, California

"Sunset in a sea of cluods. Prewitt Ridge, Ventana Wilderness, Big Sur California."

Photo by Gray Lyons


14) Jump!

By Ted Porter at Crater Lake, Oregon

"Bucket List:   * Jump off a cliff into one of the world's deepest lakes. ✔  — at Crater Lake National Park."

 Photo by Ted Porter


15) My Secret Falls

By Cindi Roddan at Zion National Park, Utah

"Deep in the Zion Subway on a cold Nevember afternoon, I had only seen one other person that day. I came upon one amazing waterfall after another. I reminded myself to keep my eye on the prize. The last five minutes of the hike that had eluded me my previous visit. I slowly slipped into the snowmelt chest high and waded to this 6x8 ft cavern and there before me was the most serene place."

Photo by Cindi Roddan


16) Bristlecone

By sheja756 in South Sister, Oregon

"A close up of my favourite ancient bristlecone pine on a starry night in Great Basin National Park. I was awestruck by the clear sky!"

Photo by sheja756


17) e m b r a c e

By Ingrid Mongenas in Colorado

"Embrace. Embrace it all. Nature, the colors,the weather, the moment. What you feel when you are 100% complete with nature... your thoughts, your bliss. This moment in Colorado, I felt full. I felt more than content. I had incredible thankfullness for the beauty in the world. Nature stole my heart, caught my breath, and swept me away. Life is Good.  God is Good."

Photo by Ingrid Mongenas


18) Trona Pinnacles

By Miles Morgan, Trona Pinnacles, California

"Trona Pinnacles in California's Mojave Desert is an otherworldly desert landscape. Visitors may find it hard to believe that water played a key roll in sculpting these mysterious spires. Between 10,000 and 100,000 years ago, this part of the Mojave Desert was part of the alkaline Searles Lake. Over time, calcium carbonate, in a form known as a tufa, formed underwater pinnacles before the lake went dry."


 Photo by Miles Morgan


19) May I Help You?

By Howard Snyder, Mount rainier national park, Washington

"I went to a new location in Mount Rainier to shoot sunset, the Glacier Overlook, to be precise. I think so far, this is my favorite shooting location: great, unobstructed vistas of the White River Valley and Rainier; plus lots of visual interest all around. Lots of marmots running around on the sharp rocks from this talus, who then disappeared as they saw me get down closer to where they were hanging out. I was pretty focused on doing my thing, when suddenly I realized that the marmots were running around me and being somewhat curious as to what I was doing. Then another discovery: mama marmot was keeping an eye on me, while her little ones were out exploring. I was pretty excited that I was fortunate to witness amazing light during sunset, have a crescent moon in my frame, as well as have these little creatures around me, particularly to mama, who was kind enough to pose for my shot!"

 Photo by Howard Snyder


20) Reflection Lakes

Photo by Miles Morgan at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Misty morning at Reflection Lakes, one of the most scenic vantage points in Mount Rainier National Park.


21) Flowers on Logan Pass

Jane Timmerman at Glacier National Park, Montana

"Hiking on a "goat trail" on Logan Pass, came across this nice scene of monkey flowers with The Garden Wall in the background."

Photo by Jane Timmerman


22) Reflections

By Taylor Manning in the Catskill Mountains, New York.

"My father and I were going backpacking in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. It was the first time I was taking my dog, Eko, with me and he was doing amazing. My dad and I finished our meals after a long hike and decided to sit in the comfort of our new camp spot and just look across the lake. As we were sitting there I became so happy and so at peace with the day and with the journey we were on. My dad took this photograph of me and my main man Eko as we were in complete peace rejoicing our day. I have it hanging in my apartment and my dad has it hanging in his office. The picture means a lot to both of us, but the trip means much much more."

  Photo by Taylor Manning


23) Agnes Island in Packwood Lake

By John Kuczynski, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington

"Agnes Island on an overcast day in Packwood Lake; Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington."


 Photo by John Kuczynski


24) Balcony seating

By The Walkers at Fin Dome & Rae Lakes in California's Seki Wilderness

"Long-distance hiker and passionate peakbagger Phil Walker prostrates himself on a lip of granite atop Fin Dome's 11,693-foot (3564 m) granitic summit and gets his senses dazzled by the Rae Lakes region in the Seki Wilderness, one of many postcard-worthy panoramas in California's stellar Sierra."

Photo by The Walkers


25) Lightning in the Mojave

By Chip Carroon at the Mojave National Preserve, California

"We were on our way to a very remote site in northern Mojave National Preserve to search for petroglyphs.  As evening came, we saw that a thunderstorm was brewing to the west and moving toward us.  I set up my camera and started taking long exposures.  As the storm moved over us, the lightning was fairly frequent.  I was able to take a number of images but finally had to stop as the rain started."

Photo by Chip Carroon


Where is your wild? Explore more wild moments and share your own!