9 Lonely and Beautiful U.S. Destinations You Should See

So you want your vacation to be far from any trace of civilization? Here are nine remote U.S destinations that will wow you with their beauty:  

Santa Elena Canyon [Big Bend National Park, Texas]

Big Bend National Park, Texas | In vast tracts of West Texas travelers can be splendidly alone with just the dusty desert and wide sky for companionship. Big Bend National Park hugs a remote region of the Mexican-American border and is home to snow covered-mountains as well as cactus strewn deserts. Travel deep into the park to see individual stars of the Milky Way brilliantly silhouetted against one of the nation’s darkest skies. In the daylight, lizards, cacti and tumbleweeds are the most likely things you’ll see.

Denali National Park in Autumn [Alaska]

Denali National Park, Alaska | Mountainous Denali National Park is home to America’s tallest peak, Mt. McKinley. Step off the park’s one access road and you’ll have 6 million acres of land to explore. Ride your canoe through frothy glacial melt water, scale peaks in the Alaska Range, or simply explore fields of untouched wildflowers while keeping a close eye out for bears, moose and other wildlife.

Molokai [Kalaupapa, Hawaii]

Hawaiian Islands | While it may not seem like it from your vantage point on Waikiki Beach, the Hawaiian Islands are the world’s most isolated landmasses. Hawaii is approximately 2,390 miles from the U.S. mainland and 4,000 miles from Japan. Escape Hawaii’s tourist crowds and take a slow boat to the small island of Molokai where there’s not a single stoplight. You’ll need a mule to take you down the world’s tallest sea cliffs to the remote village of Kalaupapa, which sits at the water’s edge.

South Turner Mountain and Sandy Stream Pond [Baxter State Park, Maine]

Baxter State Park, Maine | Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak, rears out of the mists at Baxter State Park. In autumn, this area becomes a riot of red, yellow and orange leaves. Moose bathe in ponds, frogs croak and deer rustle in clearings. Humans can enjoy the park on foot, by boat and in winter, by snowmobile. Bring a tent because lodging is hard to come by here.

Bison ford the Yellowstone River [Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming]

Southeastern Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming | If America’s first national park is also one of its busiest, how can Yellowstone provide you with a remote vacation? The trick is to head to the park’s southeastern corner where visitors are few and far between.  Here you’ll find the headwaters of both the Snake and Yellowstone rivers and bucolic mountain and forest scenery.

Route 50, the Loneliest Road in America [Nevada]

U.S. Highway 50, Nevada | U.S. Highway 50 has been dubbed “the loneliest road in America,” so pack gasoline, water, flashlights and get ready to drive hundreds of miles without seeing  signs of civilization. The landscape here looks like the moon and you’ll find yourself focusing on the horizon and the white-capped mountains that never seem to get closer.

Nebraska Sand Hills from scenic overlook [Nebraska]

Nebraska Sand Hills, Nebraska | Nebraska’s Sand Hills look nothing like the rest of the state. Say good bye to farm houses and corn-filled expanses and get ready to discover sand dunes and prairie grasses This mostly unfarmable land kept Nebraska’s early settlers out. Today travelers will find that many dune areas have no radio coverage.

Sawtooth Wilderness [Idaho]

Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho | Jagged peaks, alpine lakes and deep, secluded valleys could all be yours to explore in the Sawtooth Wilderness. The combination of 350 miles of trails and thousands of wilderness acres to bushwhack means that you can be as close to,  or as far from other humans as you’d like. Fish in icy headwaters, photograph alpine wildflowers and camp in the cool breath of the nearby mountains.

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge [South Carolina]

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina | Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is on a rapidly changing barrier island. Take an hour boat ride through the choppy Atlantic to get to this far out island. Salt marshes fill with busy birds during the day and bats swoop low at night. Visit loggerhead turtle rehabilitation efforts or take photos by the crumbling lighthouses that still stand at the water’s edge.

If you like these remote locations, wait until you see these 9 Remote Places Far From Their Home Countries.


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Carmen Fifield

The delight of finding an unknown park, a captivating history museum or a fantastic desert means exploration is never far from Carmen Fifield’s mind. Carmen’s favorite travel memories include biking to historic sites on the island of Guernsey, huffing and puffing up the stairs to the Great Wall of China and eating the most delicious crab cake ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Carmen’s Favorite Travel Tip: Say goodbye to airplane food and tuck some fruit and your favorite sandwich into your carry-on.