Photo Of Colorado's Hanging Lake Wins 8th Annual National Natural Landmark Photo Contest

This photo of Hanging Lake in Colorado by Debra Miller won top honors in the 8th annual National Natural Landmark photo contest.

A magical setting of a glacially carved lake in the White River National Forest 10 miles east of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, photographed by Debra Miller, has won top honors in the 2011 National Natural Landmarks Photo Contest sponsored by the National Park Service.

The beautiful setting, taken with a slightly slow shutter setting to ever-so-slightly blur the waters cascading out of the forest into the lake, will be featured along with a dozen other photographs in the 2012 National Natural Landmark calendar specially designed to commemorate the NNL Program’s 50th Anniversary.

Second-place honors went to Reed Bowman of Sebring, Florida, for his photo of that state’s Archbold Biological Station, and third place to Rob Graham of Great Bend, Kansas, for his image of Monument Rocks Natural Area in northwest Kansas.

One hundred and fifty-two images of 92 different NNL sites across 31 states were submitted for judging. A National Park Service-wide vote took place in mid-August to determine the 13 winning photographs.

“These stunning photographs not only highlight the beauty of these spectacular places, but the longevity of the National Park Service’s relationship with partners for resource conservation,” said Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Monument Rocks was designated in 1968, only six years after inception of the National Natural Landmarks Program, and Hanging Lake was one of the most recently designated sites in June of this year.

"Next year, as the program reaches its quinquagenary, the National Park Service is pleased to be celebrating 50 years of supporting conservation of America’s natural landmarks.”

You can view all of the winning shots on this page.

There are 591 national natural landmarks across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.