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Our Favorite Park Photos from 2016

From Park E-ventures, January 2017

We asked some of our most talented staff and volunteer photographers to share their favorite images from 2016—as well as their thoughts and feelings at each unforgettable moment in the Golden Gate National Parks.

Click the thumbnails for larger versions of the images, and the inside story behind each.

  • Tree Hug
    On a hike with Latino Outdoors in July, 20 community members walked from Camp Alice Eastwood to Muir Woods. At one point, a young girl and her family took turns listening to this redwood tree. “Close your eyes and feel what it is like to be the heart of a tree," a ranger said. It was a magical moment with the family. They really were in awe of the strength and stature of the tree, feeling the scars left from a fire in the distant past. And they imagined all that the tree has experienced. –Paul Myers
  • Working Together
    Crew members with California State Parks and the California Conservation Corps (CCC) replace the ladder on the Steep Ravine Trail. The 16-foot ladder, made by the team, is a replica of the original constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It was amazing to witness the process. From the harvesting of the redwood for the poles and the steps, to the final anchoring of the ladder, I documented the crew in all phases of the construction. My grandpa was a lineman for PG&E and a wood carver, specializing in ducks and birds native to California. For me, it was a wonderful experience seeing that the tools used by the trail crew were the same ones used by my grandfather. –Paul Myers
  • Moonrise on Mt. Tam
    This image came about due to a confluence of rare moments: A windless, warm, and clear night in June, combined with a spectacular "strawberry" supermoon. I doubt I'll ever experience a moment like this on Mt. Tam's East Peak again. –Curran White
  • Brush with History
    This image is steeped in legacy. The woman in the foreground is repainting the political slogans on the Quartermaster Warehouse, which her family members painted during the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71). In March, as part of the restoration of the warehouse, the National Park Service invited the original activists and their children and grandchildren to repaint and reassert these powerful statements. As an observer, it was truly humbling to witness the “passing of the torch” of political activism from one generation to the next. –Curran White
  • Connecting the Generations
    Aside from being the country's oldest park ranger at 95 years old (at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park), Betty Soskin is a fascinating speaker. Her long life teaches many lessons, which she shared with wisdom and grace during a Diversity Week talk with park staff. Afterwards, young rangers and National Park Service staff peppered her with questions, and I got a group photo of this magical encounter. I love this shot because it's a very special moment in time, combining history, diversity, youth, hope, and respect. –Alison Taggart-Barone
  • Sunrise Unfolding
    Dawn is a beautiful time to be on Mt Tam. The air is clear, damp, and fresh, and the landscape sings with interesting light, colors, and textures. It’s a long drive up there, but absolutely worth it. I love this shot because the city, gently peeking out of the haze in the background, reminds me how lucky we are to live here—with our magnificent parks so close by. Alison Taggart-Barone
  • Thank You Very Mulch
    I like this photo, taken during a volunteer work day on Alcatraz, not just for the action captured but also for the mischievous look on Price Sheppy's face. A longtime Parks Conservancy stewardship staff member, Price brings an infectious energy and passion to his restoration work. Making a work day FUN is a part of fostering community and helping volunteers build a connection with our national parks. I'm a big fan of bucket lines and the teamwork they require; through the airborne mulch, you can see the many hands that helped ferry the bucket of mulch up the hill. –Maria Durana
  • See-Saw Conversation
    On National Trails Day in June of this year, a young volunteer had the opportunity to compare tools with National Park Service Trail Crew member Kyle Mackiewicz. In a previous year, this same boy came to National Trails Day dressed as a park ranger—complete with flat-hat and forest-green pants!–Maria Durana
  • Joy of the Parks
    This group of park visitors at Rodeo Beach might never have visited the park if it weren't for the NPS Centennial partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, through which shuttles brought community members from branch libraries to nearby park sites this summer. These people had such a good time visiting with the rangers and volunteers, and learning about the parks in their own backyard. It was a joy to see the excitement on their faces. –Kirke Wrench
  • Day's End at Lands End
    This photo reflects the solitude and beauty of Lands End in the evening.

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