Opt Outside Photo Contest

Explore the Outdoors this Season! 

Contest Opens November 24!

Instead of spending the winter months camped inside, explore some of Arizona's most beautiful spaces by visiting a state park and enjoying all the amazing wintertime activities available. Make memories and take pictures, and share your photos for a chance to win major prizes! 

Arizona State Parks and Trails encourages you to Opt Outside and submit photos between November 24, 2023, and January 15, 2024 at midnight. Each contestant may submit up to five entries and may be entered in multiple categories. Winners will be announced in February 2024. The categories are:

  • Living creatures, spotlighting Arizona plants, animals, and insects
  • Friendly faces, featuring visitors enjoying the parks
  • Outdoor activities, showcasing the many recreational activities available in the parks, like kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, etc.
  • Landscapes, exhibiting the dramatic views from within the state parks
  • Arizona history, illustrating our state’s rich cultural resources and storied past

This photo contest is open to all nature lovers over age 18 who visit and take photos in one of our amazing state parks. 

Each category will have a first, second, and third place winner. A grand prize winner will be selected for the contest overall, and will receive an exciting package any outdoor enthusiast will love. The grand prize package includes a two-night stay in a Pin Drop micro-camper at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, an Arizona State Parks annual pass, a cave tour at Kartchner Caverns State Park for two, an REI gift card for $15, and an AppreciateAZ gift box.

First-place winners in each category will receive an Arizona State Parks annual pass, second-place winners will receive two day-use passes, and third-place winners will receive one day-use pass. All winners will also receive a limited-edition Arizona State Parks and Trails sticker and AppreciateAZ water bottle. Honorable mention may also be given to photos of particular merit.

Entries will be judged anonymously on creativity, uniqueness, clarity/composition, and effectiveness in conveying a story within a state park. The contest judges include Arizona State Parks and Trails staff; Tim Elinski, mayor of the city of Cottonwood and co-owner of Pin Drop Travel Trailers; and Lauren and Owen Steinwall of the popular Arizona adventure social media account, The AZ Hikeaholics. Click HERE to learn more about our contest judges and listen to our recent podcast episode where we dive deeper into the prize packages and interview Arizona State Parks and Trails' staff photographer to get tips and tricks on taking great pictures in the parks!


About Our Judges

Hear about our photo contest judges, plus details about the grand prize package and (bonus!) photography tips and tricks from our agency's photographer in this podcast episode. Check out the bios for our judges, below.


About The AZ Hikeaholics

We’re Lauren and Owen, aka The AZ Hikeaholics. We started sharing our hikes in April 2020 after we found ourselves outdoors every weekend in the beautiful state of Arizona and beyond. We quickly gained an appreciation for the outdoors beyond what we knew possible, almost an indescribable feeling and passion for nature.

During that time we realized we wanted to share with others, without gatekeeping public lands. However, we also recognize the responsibility to promote safe and responsible recreation, especially to high traffic and highly sensitive areas. We are strong believers in incorporating the Leave No Trace Principles into our posts and representing Appreciate AZ principles.

Visit The AZ Hikeaholics website at TheAZHikeaholics.com and follow their adventures on Instagram at @theazhikeaholics.


About Pin Drop Travel Trailers

Pin Drop Travel Trailers are solar-powered, fully self-contained micro-campers manufactured in rural Arizona. The company was launched in 2018 by avid campers and entrepreneurs, Tim and Ruth Ellen Elinski.

Pin Drop Travel Trailers are intentionally designed and crafted in small batches using premium materials. Combining unmatched, superior quality with user-friendly functionality, the trailers provide travelers the ultimate camping and adventure experience. Sturdy enough for remote, off-road destinations, they are constructed with built-in conveniences for established campgrounds and equipped with comforts appreciated by weekend adventurers who prefer a glamping experience.

Tim leads design and manufacturing operations, bringing over 20 years’ experience as a licensed general and HVAC contractor to the company. Raised in a family of tradesmen, Tim honed his skills restoring historic homes and building energy efficient additions and new homes. Now licensed by the State of Arizona as both a trailer manufacturer and dealer, Tim brings his talent, creativity and eye for design to lead the manufacturing team. Together, they create custom, teardrop trailers that are rolling works of art.

Ruth Ellen leads business operations, customer relations and marketing for Pin Drop. She is an entrepreneur and small business advocate, having launched several successful businesses, including a national, manufactured leather goods business, a crafts gallery in Jerome, Arizona, and a successful vacation rental management business, where she curates exceptional destination experiences in the Grand Canyon State. She currently serves as a business consultant for companies and entrepreneurs throughout northern Arizona via her role as Center Director for the Yavapai Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Tim and Ruth Ellen are very active in their local communities. Tim has served as a member of City Council since 2006, currently serving as the mayor of Cottonwood, Arizona. Ruth Ellen is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and was instrumental in creating the Jerome Art Walk and in helping Jerome to achieve its reputation as a fine arts destination. She serves on the Board for Verde Valley Leadership. Both Tim and Ruth Ellen are Fellows of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership’s Flinn Brown Leadership Academy. They are the proud parents of two young daughters who enjoy testing PinDrop Travel Trailers on their many adventures.

With their combined grit, work ethic and love of the outdoors, Tim and Ruth Ellen have created a company that is prepared to “Recharge Your Wonder.” Working collaboratively from their repurposed 115 year old production facility in historic downtown Miami, Arizona, the team utilizes Arizona resources and supplies whenever possible and aims to revitalize rural Arizona, producing a clean, sustainable and environmentally-friendly product.

Pin Drop Product Design

Fully self-contained and solar powered, Pin Drops allow novice and experienced campers the opportunity to stay out longer, off the grid, in remote destinations without the need to plug in. Powered solely by the sun, this micro-camper boasts a surprising number of features and conveniences in a compact, super-efficient, well-insulated shell. Light and aerodynamic, Pin Drop Travel Trailers can be towed by vehicles with tow capacities starting at 2,300 lbs.

Pin Drops are designed for year-round use, comfortable in most climates and are extremely adaptable to suit any traveler’s adventure needs. Select models offer options for 42 gallons of fresh water storage for longer stays in the destinations you want to explore, providing optimum camping without worry.

Pin Drop Travel Trailers are powered with a roof-mounted solar array which charges an onboard battery bank that powers all electrical systems, inside and out, including overhead and undermount lighting, power stations, a stereo system, 2-directional fan, radio and more . The battery bank can also be charged by a compatible tow vehicle while driving. There is no need to pack a noisy generator or a fuel can for access to the essentials. Relax, and let the sun do the work.

Pin Drops offer a variety of adventure gear and food storage options including bike racks, kayak racks, rooftop tent or storage, shade awnings with enclosed rooms, a Canyon Cooler or refrigerator and even a solar shower with water heater.

Travel into the backcountry or to your favorite national park or campground. Pin Drops offer an unmatched premium product, crafted with intention from raw materials.

More information on Pin Drop Travel Trailers and the company’s owners, Tim and Ruth Ellen Elinski, can be found on their websitewww.pindroptraveltrailers.com.

Check out the videos below to get a sneak peek at what the Pin Drop micro-camper looks like, which the grand prize winner will get to enjoy a two-night stay at Dead Horse Ranch State Park!


Back to top