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Spectacular Photographs of America’s National Parks That Will Leave You Awestruck

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Our sister publication ‘Country’ magazine received more than 2,000 entries in their “Our National Parks” photo contest. Here are the stunning winners and honorable mentions.

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Grand prize: Good as gold

“Fall is a great time to visit Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. Moody weather often leads to spectacular photographs like this one. I call this shot ‘Good as Gold.’” —Erica Harvey, Rapid City, South Dakota. Although, you may want to consider visiting in the spring too. Check out 4 national forests with breathtaking fall foliage

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First place: A spectacular sky

“I love photography, nature, and astrophotography. I took this photo at Cedar Pass in Badlands National Park just before sunrise.” —David Schaefbauer, Rapid City, South Dakota. Don’t miss 20 amazing wildlife photos in Yellowstone national park.

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Second place: A river runs through it

“This early morning view of the Grand Canyon was taken from Lipan Point. You can see the Colorado River snake through the canyon.” —Nathaniel Gonzales, Baltimore, Maryland. Make sure you check out the 15 best places to camp in national parks.

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Third place: A touching moment

“While driving through Badlands, we turned a curve and there was a bighorn ewe with her lambs. This was a once-in-a-lifetime photo, and we wanted to share it with others.” —Ron Linton, Rapid City, South Dakota. Here are adorable pictures of baby birds you’ll instantly love as much as this one.

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Honorable mention: In the presence of history

“On a foggy morning drive near Gettysburg National Military Park, I couldn’t help but think of the soldiers who fought here.” —Susan Grove, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Love history? Here are 5 reasons you should visit the oldest town in Texas.

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Honorable mention: Green as far as the eye can see

“The New River Gorge National River is a beautiful place. I captured this scene from Diamond Point.” —James Jarrett, Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. Check out 5 national parks perfect for social distancing.

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Honorable mention: Mirror lake

“A friend and I were on the hunt for a moose to photograph in Grand Teton National Park. After fruitless searching, this moose appeared.” —Katherine Plessner, Verona, North Dakota. Not a lake person? Check out the 15 best national park road trips to take all year long.

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Honorable mention: A lone caribou

“Bill Sheldon, my late uncle, snapped this photo of the caribou in Denali National Park. He loved photography, traveling, and nature.” —Nicole Sheldon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If you think this caribou is breathtaking, take a look at these beautiful photos of hummingbirds.

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Honorable mention: The highest peak

“My husband didn’t want to walk to the highest point in Yosemite. So I handed him the camera and he took this shot. I’m in the blue shirt.” —Lucy Sullivan, Ocala, Florida. Check out 35 national parks you can tour online right now.

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Honorable mention: A breathtaking herd

“Fog hanging over the Tetons almost disappointed my visiting family. Then this herd of elk showed up. It was a splendid moment.” —Cassandra Sturos, Hyattville, Wyoming .Don’t miss 7 awesome facts about national parks.

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Honorable mention: Sand surfer

“What I love most about Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado is that you can actually play on the sand.” —Sarah Tidwell, Eustis, Florida. If you plan to drive to your destination, check out the best RV parks in every state.

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Honorable mention: A painted landscape

“On vacation in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we drove up to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, and watched the most amazing sunset.” —Philip Steury, Auburn, Indiana. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains to see birds and wildlife.

Originally Published in Country