As a boy, native Coloradan Pete McBride dreamed of racing for the U.S. Olympic ski team. But a life capturing the world with a camera soon became his passion. A self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker, he has traveled on assignment to over 75 countries for the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, Outside, Esquire, Microsoft, The Nature Conservancy, and many more.
His first feature for National Geographic was a re-enactment of the first African Air Passage of 1920, flying a W.W.I. open cockpit bomber from London to Cape Town, up the Nile and down eastern Africa. The most challenging assignment he has done was Bhutan’s Snowman Trek—a 230-mile walk along Bhutan’s border with Tibet, covering 20 miles every day for a month.
After a decade documenting remote expeditions as a photojournalist, Pete decided to train his lens closer to home, on his local river, the Colorado. The result was an acclaimed book, The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict, as well as three award-winning documentaries, and a PBS program. Other watersheds soon called, including a source-to-sea look at India’s sacred Ganges River. DeleteUpon completing the journey, The National Geographic Society named Pete a “Freshwater Hero.”
I think the Colorado today is a very powerful metaphor on so many levels because it shows us what happens when we ask too much of a limited resource.
Pete’s most recent project was an epic hike along the entire length of the Grand Canyon National Park—more than 700 miles of backcountry, without a trail. The story was featured in National Geographic in September 2016 and became a best-selling book. McBride and his hiking companion, writer Kevin Fedarko, were dubbed “Adventurers of The Year” by National Geographic. Pete went on to published a second book in September 2018. A and a feature-length documentary is scheduled for release is to released in 2019. His lectures about the journey have also captivated audiences around the world. After completing the journey, he and his hiking companion, author Kevin Fedarko, were listed by National Geographic as “Adventurers of the Year.” His lectures about the journey have captivated audiences across the world.
When not paddling rivers, Pete explores the Rocky Mountains, plays mandolin on his back porch in Colorado, or dances.
Find out about upcoming programs and expeditions with National Geographic photographers, view more work, or purchase a print by Pete McBride.