January 2, 2017 by Eric Hanson General, Photography 7

Best of 2016

Best of 2016

Whew, it’s been quite a year. It can be easy to forget all the amazingness one year can contain. So I decided to go through and cull my favorite images I shot this year. Some of these you may have seen, and others this is their first time seeing the light of day. If you have a favorite, please let me know in the comments below!

Without further ado…

It was my first time in Glacier National Park, and boy, is this place photogenic.

Natasha Moon on the Highline Trail, Glacier NPS.

Fog rolls in over the pass in Glacier National Park.

My most fun adventure, in terms of pure and constant joy, came in the form of a packrafting trip on the South Fork of the Flathead with Jacob and Natasha Moon, as well as the guy with the best real name ever; Donny Hazard.

Camping along the river. There isn’t much better than pulling you packraft to shore after floating all day, and camping wherever you please.

Four days around Zion National Park with Matt and Sarah Park, two fun-lovin’ people if ever there was such a thing. Coffee and morning sun in the desert. (Sarah Park pictured)

Sarah Park staring up at the wonder of a good slot canyon.

I was fortunate enough to be on the Colorado River for four separate trips this year, which is crazy to me. I was extremely lucky to have those opportunities, especially when you get to photograph such remarkable landscapes in the Grand Canyon. Deer Creek.

The Milky Way, as shot from the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I spent ten days in Quebec for an adventure travel conference, and got to do a little adventuring while there. A via ferratta high above a fjord.

From a photoshoot for FiveTen with the super talented climber Alyse Dietel.

If you need proof that she’s a badass beyond these photos, she broke her back not too long ago. Her story to get back into professional climbing is pretty amazing.

Canyoneering in Zion with old friends, Gerard and Kate.

Stormy weather in Zion usually leads to some incredible scenery.

Ski touring in Wyoming with some new friends that I met that morning.

I was on the road quite a bit, and happened to drive by Horseshoe bend 4 times in about a month. That meant I got to shoot it several times. Once here at sunset.

And one time while I was driving back from Wyoming, was dead tired, and needed to wake up. So I decided to hike out the rim at midnight and do a little shoot in the moonlight. I was very please with the results.

I met Elise Sterck randomly through Instagram this year, and then went on several adventures with her. One of the best adventures was doing a 5 day Rim to Rim to Rim backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon last winter. We got to the North Rim just after a snowstorm and our group of six were the only ones there.

The Grand Canyon, it’s not an ugly place.

Erin, outdoors. I guess that’s why she’s Erin Outdoors.

Not long after the backpacking trip, Elise and I tried to do a hut trip, but avalanche danger rerouted us into the desert, where we explored Zion, Coyote Buttes, and the White Pocket area. This is one of the craziest landscapes on earth, and it’s just a few hours away from me.

Winter Camping near White Pocket.

Elise taking in the view from Observation Point in Zion.

Adventure buddy Ryan Manuel standing on some rocks at Goblin Valley State Park.

Campfires in the desert. Ed Abbey might not approve of our vehicular approach, but I think he’d appreciate the bottles of whiskey.

Ryan Manuel in a slot canyon.

It’s a selfie. But I still really love this image, so sue me. Exploring one of the classic slot canyons in Southern Utah.

I spent five weeks in China documenting the climbing adventures of two amazing women, Rhiannon Williams and Amy Lipschultz. We got to climb in some amazing areas, including the infamous Moon Hill.

China was incredible. One of my favorite aspects of travel is the opportunity to interact with locals. Language and communication were incredibly difficult in China, but it’s pretty amazing how much communication can happen without words.

Another southwest destination that’s always been close to home, but I had never explored. Toroweap, a remote outpost on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, takes some effort to get to. But the rewards are truly breathtaking. Direct views of the Colorado River from the rim pretty much only happen here.

Sunrise at Toroweap.

From a mountain biking session in Sedona, getting to take shots of Clay Massey shredding the gnar.

Drop it!

And then having a local rider nearly run me over.

And then having that rider willing to reride some terrain for the shots. Alex Petitdemong, thanks for playing!

2016 was a pretty great year of adventure. Who wants in on some more in 2017?


Photographer, filmmaker, journalist, adventurer. I'm somewhere, maybe Flagstaff, AZ.


7 comments on this post

  1. dan waits

    January 2, 2017

    Thank you so much for the pics from 2016.

    But most of all, thanks for the chance to know you & to follow your amazing life.

    It means a lot to me 😉

    • Eric Hanson

      January 17, 2017

      Thanks Dan! I appreciate that as always.

  2. Rory

    January 3, 2017

    Some great images (and great adventures) in here! Good to see you crushing all over the globe, although I was a little disappointed that there were no images from our Snowbird/Snow Basin ski trip last January. 😉

    • Eric Hanson

      January 17, 2017

      Rory! Those shots just barely didn’t make the cut, probably because they were from my phone. We’ll have to get out and try to shoot some winners for the next Best-of!

  3. Danmcneely

    January 3, 2017

    Great Post! Thanks for sharing your adventures. I want to try and do Rock Canyon. What kind of vehicles did you have to get to the trailhead and did you have any issues getting stuck on the soft sand?


    • Eric Hanson

      January 17, 2017

      Hey Dan! Thanks! My buddy has a big ol’ truck that had no problems blazing through the deep sand. It could be a little rough if you don’t have high clearance, but it wasn’t too bad. Although I don’t know current conditions. Good luck! It’s a really fun canyon.