The US has some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. From Yellowstone Park to the deserts of Texas and everywhere in between, there are countless picture-perfect places that would take an entire lifetime to explore. However, that’s just it. Most of the beautiful places are easy to get to and known for being tourist hotspots. If you’re just not into that, it can ruin your experience.
On the other hand, there are plenty of remote places far off the beaten track that you can still get to but are just as beautiful and definitely not as populated. These are the hidden wonders and the secret escapes of the US. If you feel like backpacking and stepping off the map, these are the places you need to know about.
Maze District, Utah
Part of the Canyonlands National Park in Utah (this won’t be the last time we mention this remote place), the Maze District is a vast and unforgiving landscape. Known for being the least accessible part of the national park, you need to make sure you can feed and support yourself, and it’s highly recommended on the official website to bring gear to help self-rescue if you need too.
If you’re looking for a challenge and want some of the most incredible views of one of the most remote places on Earth, you might not need to look further than this. Most visitors will spend at least three days here exploring the area, and a week-long trip is the suggested time you’ll need to take. Get ready to absorb yourself in some of the most surreal landscapes in the world!
100-Mile Wilderness, Maine
As the title suggests, Maine is home to the 100-mile wilderness. It’s pretty self-explanatory. The second-to-last section (or first depending on which end you’re starting) of the Appalachian Trail and is renowned for being one of the most beautiful and most rewarding areas of the trail. However, in some places, it’s also home to some of the hardest parts.
If you’re walking the whole trail, you’ll adore this part of the path, and it’s a great way to finish off your hike. If you’re just going for this bit, get ready to leisurely enjoy yourself and everything this area of natural spectacles has to offer.
Torngat Mountains National Park, Newfoundland & Labrador
Regarded as one of the last of the unspoiled and untamed places on Earth, the Torngat Mountains national park is sure to leave you breathless. The 9,700 square kilometers of wilderness, mountain ranges and stunning nature is just mind-blowing. We mean, come on, just look at this.
Are you looking for remote? It’s here. You can’t drive to this national park since there are no roads (remember, it’s untamed land here) and you’ll need to fly into the park if you want to spend any time here. However, once here, you’ll enjoy minimal human contact, breathtaking vistas, and maybe even the Northern Lights and auras if you’re lucky!
Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minnesota
Containing over 1,090,000 square acres of unkempt wilderness, describing the Boundary Waters area as ‘vast’ is simply an understatement. Home to over 1,000 lakes, some of these are very accessible, hence the title suggesting there are easy-to-get-to canoe areas. If you want to try this out for yourself, go right ahead. In fact, this is probably where you’re going to want to get started.
However, once you realize there are over 1,500 miles of canoe routes available, the further you go, the more remote your adventure becomes. Go at your own pace. Go where you want. Make this trip your own. Don’t forget food and supplies!
Hidden under the aura of the prestigious Grand Canyon nearby, Supai is a hidden gem of the state. The town is officially the most remote town in the lower 48 states of the US, and there are only three ways to get there; helicopter, riding a mule (this is how the post is delivered here), or hiking along the Havasupai Trail. We recommend all three as their own experience.
With beautiful rock formations, accommodation and restaurants, waterfalls, and only around 200 residents, this is as remote as it gets. It’s the perfect place for a well-deserved break away from the business of modern life.
The Joshua Tree, California
Okay, the Joshua Tree might not be as remote as some of the other places on our list today, but when you think of California and how busy and crazy the cities can be, the Joshua Tree National Park is as remote as it gets. The size of this park (which is roughly the same as the Rhode Island state) is massive, meaning there are endless places you can take yourself and your backpack while on adventuring.
Crested Butte, Colorado
This is another place on our list, which may not be as remote as some of the other recommendations. But if you’re looking for a ski holiday that’s out of the way and nowhere near as crowded as other places (and you won’t even have to queue at the ski lift), Crested Butte in Colorado is for you.
Despite being relatively accessible with its own airport, there are less than 2,000 residents in this small town, yet some jaw-dropping views. In the summer, you can even get involved in activities such as hiking and mountain climbing. We highly recommend you take a mountain bike for a spin. You won’t regret it.
Bonneville Salt Flats – Utah
The Salt flats of Utah is one of the most beautiful yet remote places on Earth. In reality, it’s just acres and acres of nothing but salty white ground, but this creates a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Bordered by mountains, if you’re lucky enough to go after rain, you’ll also bear witness to the largest natural mirror on Earth, which is an experience you’ll simply never forget.
Wilderness Waterway, Florida
Truly breathtaking and utterly surreal. That’s the only way we can describe the Wilderness Waterway. If this is the first time you’re hearing about this place, take a look at Google images, and you’ll see just what we mean. Found between Everglades City and Flamingo, this is a 99-mile stretch of land (and water), which is practically untouched apart from dedicated canoes and paddlers.
Yes, there are alligators and crocodiles, as well as mangrove forests and marshes that make it feel like you’ve taken a huge step back in time and away from civilization. In some places, the nearest dirt path is 17 miles away. How much further do you want to get?
Alaska – The Entire State
When you think of Alaska, you probably think of desolate hectares of snow and ice that stretch on further than you can see and contain nothing but the odd tree popping out the snow, and maybe in a moose. For much of the state, you’d probably be right, but there are also countless pockets of lush forestry and beautiful landscapes you’re going to want to see for yourself.
Just check out this Rough Guides list if you don’t believe us.