Ching Fu’s love of the outdoors took her to the backcountry of the Bridge-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. That snowboarding trip also propelled her to first place in the 2018 Share the Experience photo contest.
Now, her photo of a snowshoer breaking a trail through the deep, snow-covered wilderness will grace the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass.
“We love the outdoors. Being in the outdoors is the reason we moved into an RV and hit the road full-time,” Ching Fu said of being on the road for four years. “We lived in a wonderful place in Asheville, and we absolutely loved it. But the fact that we were in this incredible place, we knew there was much more we wanted to see and do. We went on vacations, and we would go out West. There is so much to see. A two-week vacation doesn’t do it, so we wanted to be immersed in it.”
Ching Fu, who writes a blog about living and traveling in an RV, said she and her partner enjoy Forest Service destinations because they prefer more remote places away from the crowds.
“Our lifestyle is a little bit different. We don’t go to RV parks,” she said. “We don’t visit towns. We don’t go to historical sites. We go to trailheads where there is hiking and space and quiet. We try to learn about trails that other people haven’t learned about. It’s just being in nature, and it’s being surrounded by the beauty and the peacefulness and realizing how incredibly gorgeous our country is. It’s a great reminder, and it makes us feel good and satisfied.”
She said her photo represents the first time they ventured into that area of the Bridger-Teton backcountry. They did so with the aid of an experienced backcountry adventurer.
“The pristine snow-covered slopes, the sea of trees, the mountains, and particularly the lighting just stopped me in my tracks—it was stunning,” Ching Fu said. “I’ve done several other backcountry tours in this forest and love the unique perspectives and views I got from each trip.”
Ching Fu bested more than 8,000 photos submitted to Share the Experience last year. The second-place winner is a haunting photo of a Yellowstone bison emerging from a snowstorm. Third place went to a mother and baby moose walking alongside a lake in the Grand Tetons mountain range at sunset. Two fan favorites also win prizes each year, as do photos in several additional categories, including recreation, wildlife and history.
You, too, could be a winner. The 2019 Share the Experience contest kicked off with the announcement of Fu’s win. To enter, you must be a legal resident of the U.S. and at least 13 years of age as of May 30, 2019. The contest is only open to amateur photographers who own their original photos. Photos must be taken on lands or within facilities managed by the USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Our national forests and grasslands make ideal locations for outdoor photography, from the broad, windswept grasslands of Nebraska to towering peaks in the West that offer 360-degree views as far as the eye can see. These lands play host to hundreds of species, from black and brown bears, to tiny burrowing owls, to the iconic American bald eagle. Use our interactive visitor map to find great places to visit, use Recreation.gov for reservation and destination information, and visit our website for tips on photographing wildlife.
The grand prize winner receives $10,000; second place receives $5,000; and third place wins $3,000. The top three winners also receive outdoor gear, hotel packages and a one-year National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
The annual Share the Experience photo contest is hosted by the National Park Foundation and Booz Allen
Hamilton in partnership with the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Recreation.gov. Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreational lands. It is a showcase for the more than 500 million acres of federal lands and draws entries from across the United States.