If you’re planning to explore some of the most remote places in the US and like getting off the beaten track (or maybe just looking for an unpopular honeymoon destination), you’re at the right place! In this post, we’ll share some of the most isolated places in the US where one can immerse in nature and its spectacular beauty while being miles away from what we like to refer to as civilization…
Hundred-Mile Wilderness, Maine
The 100-Mile Wilderness in Maine is the last major (and arguably most difficult) frontier for avid hikers who try to conquer the Appalachian Trail. The entire 100-mile stretch is one of the most remote places in the US and is almost entirely cut-off from civilization. So, if you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, the dense forests and secluded lakes of the Hundred-Mile Wilderness might be a great choice. Walking the entire route takes around 7-8 days on average.
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Wolfeboro boasts to be the “Oldest Summer Resort in America” but it’s still a place where you can find peace and quiet. The town is located in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lush forests to the south and to the north and from Lake Wentworth on the east and Lake Winnipesaukee on the west. Wolfeboro is also home to some of the most scenic trails in the area like the Cotton Valley Rail Trail.
Owl’s Head, Vermont
Even before becoming its own state, Vermont has always been considered as backcountry and a great getaway destination for people from Massachusetts and things haven’t changed much through the year. Vermont is still one of the least visited states in the US despite the abundance of lush forests, scenic trekking routes, and incredible landscapes. Perhaps one of the most picturesque areas in Vermont is Owl’s Head Mountain and its summit, where you can get incredible views of Lake Memphremagog and Vermont.
Planning a trip to the east coast? Make sure you check out our favorite hidden gems in NYC.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
The Berkshires is a rural area deep in the remote mountains of Western Massachusetts that spreads across 11,000 acres of greenery waiting to be explored. It’s one of the most pristine spots on the east coast and a place you should definitely consider adding to your New England bucket list. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try climbing Mount Greylock, a part of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in the state of Massachusetts.
Susquehannock State Forest, Pennsylvania
Sitting on the Allegheny Plateau, the Susquehannock State Forest is one of the most remote places in the US that lies east of the Mississippi River. A fun fact about the area is that when looked from above, without any light pollution, one could actually notice the Milky Way casts a shadow above the area. That’s why that this park was actually designated as America’s second International Dark Sky Park by the IDSA (International Dark-Sky Association). And if you want to get way off the beaten path, you can head to the Hammersley Wild Area, probably the most remote part of the forest.
Green Bank, West Virginia
Green Bank isn’t geographically isolated but we decided to mention it on this list of the most isolated places in the United States because wireless signals are illegal here. This means no cell phones, no Wi-Fi, and not even radios. Moreover, electronic transmitters of any kind are also completely banned.
If you’re wondering what’s the reason for such bizarre regulations, it’s because Green Bark is located in the heart of the National Radio Quiet Zone. This is a 13,000 square-mile area where the government’s radio telescopes operate without any interference. To make sure that the regulations are respected, the Police regularly inspects the city’s streets for any illegal wireless signals. So, if you’re wondering how life without the internet feels like in the 21st century, visiting Green Bank might be a good idea.
Appalachia, West Virginia, and Tennessee
The back hills of Appalachia that cover large portions of Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky are so remote that locals had to come up with a brand new word just to describe them. Locals refer to these hills as “the hollers”. The Hollers is an epitome of a remote place. Most people in America never heard about it, it’s extremely rare to see people that are not locals visiting the area, and the people who stay in the Hollers rarely venture more than 100 miles away from their homes which contributed to the creation of a unique local counterculture in the heart of the US.
Okefenokee Swamp, Florida and Georgia
Okefenokee Swamp is a blackwater bog that straddles the Florida-Georgia line with lush nature, an abundance of prairie grass, bald cypress, and picturesque lakes. The swamp is located a short drive away from Jacksonville but it still feels cut off from civilization. Roughly 350,000 acres of the swamp are officially designated as federal wilderness by the state of Georgia and are best accessed by canoes or kayaks. But if you’re planning of exploring the blackwaters of Okefenokee, watch for gators and cottonmouths.
Planning a trip to Georgia? Make sure you check out our favorite hidden gems in Atlanta.
Mississippi Delta, Mississippi, and Arkansas
The iconic Mississippi Delta lies in the distinctive northwest section of Mississippi (and parts of Arkansas and Louisiana). The area is also often referred to as the “most southern place on Earth” not because of its geographic location but because of its unique racial and cultural history. This region was originally covered in hardwood forest and it developed as one of the richest cotton-growing regions in America until the Civil War. After the war, the region has been slowly decaying and today, it’s one of the most remote places in the US and is largely ignored by people from both, the east and the west.
Long Island, Michigan
There are many remote places in Michigan to get away from it all but none can compare to Long Island. Technically, this is a small island that lies off another bigger island (Isle Royale) that’s quite remote too. Getting to Long Island is not very easy but it’s a place that will quickly win you over with its breath-taking, scenic landscapes. So, if you’re looking for one of the most isolated places in this part of the United States, Long Island is a great choice for a peaceful vacation.
Washington Island, Wisconsin
Lying at the tip of Door County lies an island that’s known as “Death’s Door”. The nickname comes from the choppy waters that caused the death of many local sailors. However, this doesn’t stop curious adventurists from getting to the island via kayak. Most of the island is covered by lush forests and greenery, there are a lot of pretty beaches and sunset spots and an interesting Medieval-style church that you wouldn’t expect to find on such an isolated island.
Boundary Waters Wilderness, Minnesota
Boundary Waters consists of more than 1,000 lakes and hundreds of miles of waterways and untouched nature. It should come as no surprise that the area offers some of America’s best canoeing opportunities with more than 1,200 miles of canoeing trails. But please keep in mind that if you’re planning such an adventure, know what you’re doing or have someone experienced with you because the region is very remote and you wouldn’t want to get lost in the middle of nowhere.
Angle Inlet, Minnesota
When speaking of the most remote places in the US, we just have to mention Angle Inlet, a region so remote that you would have to cross into Canada by car or by sailing the Lake of Woods to get there. Some of the most interesting activities in the area include fishing, hiking, hunting, and golfing but most travelers visit Angle Inlet for its natural beauty, peaceful atmosphere, and the feeling of isolation that comes with exploring this remote region.
Bayous of Louisiana
Louisiana is always in the conversation when it comes to tourism in the deep South. However, even though it’s one of the most visited southern states, most of its visitors visit either New Orleans or Baton Rouge leaving the state’s rural regions are virtually unexplored. The bayous of Louisiana is one of the most unique and picturesque destinations in the United States. There might not be any prominent tourist attractions in the region but the vibrant scenery of the bayous is a reason enough to visit if you ask me.
Fun fact: the landscape of the bayous was used as inspiration for creating Disney’s iconic “Princess and the frog”.
Mentone is the smallest town of Loving County and one of the most unique small towns in Texas. Loving County is the second-least populated county in America with only 165 residents. 19 of these 165 live in Mentone, a town that doesn’t have a grocery store, a bank, and there isn’t even a hospital. So, if you’re planning to cover some of the most isolated places in the US, Mentone should definitely make it to your list.
Crested Butte, Colorado
If you’re looking for a remote place that’s a great starting point for exploring the scenic mountains of Colorado, Crested Butte is the perfect place. It’s one of. Few ski towns where you don’t have to wait long lines at every lift. The town itself has around 2,000 residents but because of its remote location, not too many tourists choose to visit. However, despite this, the town has a great tourist infrastructure and offers all the recreational activities you’d expect in a mountain ski town. All that without the crowds…
Sand Hills, Nebraska
Stretching over 50,000 square kilometers, the stretch of Highway 2 that connects Alliance to Grand Island is one of America’s most scenic routes. In the heart of it lies Nebraska’s Sand Hills, one of the world’s largest plant-anchored sand dune regions. The Sand Hills area has been designated a National Natural Landmark since the early 1980s but because it’s in the middle of nowhere, it definitely deserves a mention on this list of the most remote places in the US.
Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming
Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains are not easily reachable during winters because of harsh weather but even in the summer, you’re unlikely to find many other humans around. A 58-mile drive along the scenic Bighorn Scenic Byway takes you over the mountain’s crest and offers some of the most beautiful landscapes of Wyoming. Lush meadows, dense forests filled with waterfalls, and large canyons decorate the scenery and with miles of hiking trails, this is one of the best places in the US for avid trekkers.
Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana
If there’s anything Montana is famous for, it’s for the vast spaces of wilderness and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex is one of the most remote and scenic areas in the state. The complex stretches across 1.5 million acres of alpine meadows, lush forests, and scenic ridges and is populated by many different species, including grizzlies, wolves, mountain lions, elks, mountain goats, deers, and more. And if that’s not enough, the complex is also home to one of the most beautiful natural features in the United States; a limestone escarpment deep in the wilderness that’s also known as “the Chinese Wall”.
Red Lodge, Montana
If you’re wondering if there are still many areas in the US that offer a taste of the old Wild West, you’ll be happy to hear about Red Lodge. Red Lodge is a historic mining town in Montana with a rugged Western charm and culture. Like most other places in Montana, the town is surrounded by nature and large green areas with a lot of hiking trails. The town also lies next to the famous Beartooth Highway that leads to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
Frank Church-River of no Return Wilderness, Idaho
Suitably named Frank Church-River of No Return, this wilderness area might make you not want to return where you came from. Covering more than 2.5 million acres and several different national forests, this is one of the largest wilderness areas and one of the most remote places in the United States. The area has more than 2,000 miles of trails, most of which are unmarked and hence, recommendable only for experienced trekkers.
If you’re searching for the most isolated places in the US, Salmon, Idaho has to be on the list. The town lies right outside of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and is entirely surrounded by lush forests from all sides and it seems completely cut-off from the rest of the country. But the town is not just famous for its nature; it’s also an important part of Idaho’s history as one of the stops of the Lewis & Clark expedition and as the birthplace of Sacagawea (their Shoshone navigator).
Planning a trip to Idaho? Make sure to check out our list of things to do in Boise.
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Covering an area of over 30,000 acres, Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural landmarks in the Beehive State. It’s the spot where teams from around the globe go every year trying to break the world’s speed record. The fact that this place is located in the middle of nowhere makes the Bonneville Salt Flats a great choice for this which is also why it was featured as a backdrop for many famous Hollywood movies.
The site is open for visitors for most of the year. In my opinion, the best time to visit the flats is the winter because around this time of the year, the flats collect a lot of water that perfectly reflects the blue skies and the towering surrounding mountains…
Havasupai is often mentioned in reference to the most isolated places in the US. The area is famous for the scenic Havasu Falls, the eponymous canyon, and the Havasupai Native Reservation that’s home to the Havasupai people; a tribe that has been living in the area for more than 800 years. The place is so remote that you’d have to walk for 10 miles to get to the nearest road and it’s the only place in America where the post is still delivered by donkeys.
Jarbidge Wilderness, Nevada
Comfortably situated in Nevada’s northeastmost corner, 200 miles away from the nearest town (that’s quite remote on its own), Jarbidge Wilderness is one of Nevada’s best-kept secrets. If you’re looking for a place to avoid the crowds and reconnect with nature, this wilderness area might be the place for you. The area covers more than 100,000 acres of wilderness that features mountains, waterfalls, untouched alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife, including mountain lions, deer, elk, and eagles.
Hood River, Oregon
Hood River is a charming port town on the Oregon-Washington border that has everything you might need for a peaceful vacation despite its remoteness. The town is famous for its beautiful surrounding outdoors and trekking routes, for offering a lot of mountain biking options for beginners and pros alike, breweries and cideries, and for being home to the confluence of Hood and Columbia. And if that’s not enough, in near proximity, you’ll also find Mount Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon (3,429 meters).
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Copper Salmon Wilderness, Oregon
Even though the Pacific Northwest isn’t as unpopulated as it was in the past, there are still many places that are good candidates for our list of the most remote places in the US. One such example is the Cooper Salmon Wilderness. Located in the northwest corner of Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Cooper Salmon holds one of America’s largest remaining stands of old-growth forest and is also one of the best destinations for fishing in this part of the world. However, despite these natural wonders, the wilderness remains relatively unfrequented even during the peak tourist months, mainly because of the remote location.
San Juan Islands, Washington
Finding a secluded spot in the northwest is slightly easier compared to the rest of the country (at least the mainland) but none of those places are like the remote archipelago of San Juan. The archipelago is known for its marinas, farmlands, and the orcas that inhabit the waters surrounding the island. The only way to reach the San Juan Islands is by boat from Bellingham or Port Angeles.
Aleutian Islands, Alaska
One could argue that the entire state of Alaska is one of the most isolated places in the US and even in the world but there are still parts of Alaska that get a lot of tourists. However, the same can’t be said for some of Alaska’s remote regions like the Aleutian Islands. The islands are a place where harsh climate rules and wildlife thrive. In addition to this, the seas surrounding the area are often rough and stormy and there are even several active volcanoes on the islands. As for wildlife, the islands are home to many different kinds of migratory birds, as well as sea lions, seals, walruses, humpback whales, orcas, and sperm whales.
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Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
Lake Clark National Park is a wildlife playground that’s the epitome of the term ‘remote’. There are no roads leading to the park and it can only be accessed by a boat or a small (private) aircraft. If you’re wondering how does it feel like to visit an area that’s completely untouched and unaltered by human life, this park is as close as it gets. Because of its remoteness and inaccessibility, there aren’t nearly as many tourists as some of the other national parks but the journey, even though difficult (and often expensive) is definitely worth it.
Kalaupapa is one of the most remote unincorporated communities on the island of Molokai which is one of Hawaii’s least visited islands. Kalaupapa is a part of Kalawao County which is also the least populated county in America, according to the census of 2013. The town lies at the base of sea cliffs comfortably situated right up against the ocean and is one of the best tropical getaways in the US for people who need to get away from it all.
How did you like this list of the most remote places in the US? Did you ever visit any of them? Which are some of your favorite isolated places in the US? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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