The USA has some beautiful, unspoiled places whether it is a huge national park, a remote little, uninhabited island, or some far-flung nook or remote cranny. Some of these places may be a bit less accessible at present, yet they are all worthy of attention. Thus, without further ado, here are America’s most unspoiled places.
America’s Most Unspoiled Places
1. Cumberland Island, Georgia
Cumberland Island can be found just off the southeast coast of Georgia. Here you will discover almost 10,000 acres of vast unspoiled wilderness including marshes, salt-sprayed forests, and wetlands. It is a barrier island where loggerhead turtles nest and wild horses gracefully graze on the dune grass that sprouts from the pale sand here.
2. Molokai, Hawaii
Hawaii is no stranger to tourism. Still, some places are comparatively less-visited than others. You can find teal water and palm-fringed beaches on all these islands. Molokai, a.k.a. “The Friendly Isle”, is significantly more rural. This little isle is only 10 miles wide and 38 miles long but it is highlighted by the world’s highest sea cliffs and the world’s officially longest continuous fringing reef too.
3. Big Bend National Park, Texas
Prior to the pandemic, the only time this park was ever closed was in the summer due to high temperatures. Thus, the best time to visit is during cooler months. This vast park includes part of the Chisos Mountains, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the Rio Grande. Veteran visitors suggest hiking the Lost Mine Trail. See the sunset here too!
4. Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
The bleak Bonneville Salt Flats actually resemble Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. This stark white cracked, and curled, lunar-like landscape spans 30,000+ acres. Once ancient Lake Bonneville dried up, these salt pans were pretty much all that remained. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you will find absolutely nothing growing here.
5. Supai, Arizona
At the bottom of the famous Grand Canyon is the remote little village of Supai. It was founded by people who chose to avoid the hustle and bustle of urban areas and live a much more isolated life. Members of the Havasupai Tribe have lived in this place since 1300. Mail is delivered here via pack mule. Highlights here include the Navajo Falls, Beaver Falls, Fifty Foot Falls, Havasu Falls, and Mooney Falls.
6. Alvord Desert, Oregon
This unspoiled mountain-fringed landscape was once a lovely lake. Over a period of time, it evaporated leaving nothing but a number of pale alkali beds. It is reminiscent of Chile’s Atacama Desert. It features multiple natural hot springs. Alvord Hot Springs is popular for its mountainous backdrop. Mickey Hot Springs comes complete with mud pots that hiss and turquoise pools that bubble.
7. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas
While huge sections of the USA were once carpeted with prairie land, one of the few places this specific ecosystem still remains is here on this unspoiled preserve in Kansas’ Flint Hills. Here you can hike the winding trails through the flowing fields of copper-tinted grass, past fields often grazed on by white-tail deer and bison.
8. Caddo Lake, Texas and Louisiana
Caddo Lake is situated on the border between the states of Louisiana and Texas. It spans an area of 25,400 acres and is not just a simple lake. It is an ethereal, almost eerie network of mysterious marshes, ponds, bayous, and Spanish moss-covered cypress trees whose knotted, broad trunks are underwater. Even Bigfoot was once supposedly sighted here!
9. Monhegan Island, Maine
You will find this inspiring isle off the coast of Maine. Monhegan Island includes some lovely, lush landscape. There are under 80 people living here on this impressive mountainous enclave, and most of them are actually artists. It has a vibe all its own and features craggy outcroppings, wild woodlands, ocean bluffs, and refreshing, salty sea air.
10. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
This strange 275-square-mile distinctive desert is nestled in Tularosa Basin between the Sacramento and San Andres Mountain ranges. These shortbread-tinted dunes are actually composed of rare gypsum sand. They curve, dip, rise, and fall, and seem to go on forever. While gypsum easily dissolves in water, the state’s dry climate allows this special sand to thrive here. Take a ranger-led tour and learn more!
11. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
While Lake Superior is pretty popular with Northerners, few put this awesome archipelago on their bucket list. This group of often underrated isles offers visitors numerous natural wonders to witness. Visit during the winter months, and you can see the ice caves that form here. As previously reported, the untouched coastline is said to be gorgeous.
12. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
This vast national park is highlighted by crystalline lakes, snow-capped mountains, and wild woodland. Here you can discover Jackson Hole, and the park’s popular namesake, the 13,775-foot Grand Teton Mountain. This is a great place to visit in the winter. Indeed, every year, more than 3 million people visit to hike to the great glaciers.
13. Finger Lakes, New York
The famous Finger Lakes region is famous for its wineries and vineyards. It also includes 11 different long lakes. Here you will also see gorgeous gorges, dense woods, rolling hills, and waterfalls. Indeed, you can hike to 19 different waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park. Looking for more to do? Do some fishing at sparkling Skaneateles Lake.
14. Carova Beach, North Carolina
This is a little place in the northern Outer Banks. Here herds of wild horses run free across the rolling dunes and pale beaches. These stunning steeds are believed to be the descendants of Spanish mustangs that were shipwrecked here back in the 15th century. This unspoiled area has made it easy for these graceful animals to live here wild and free for centuries.
15. Black Hills, South Dakota, and Wyoming
The Black Hills are well-known for their beauty and all the outdoor adventures available there. The area encompasses 5.4 million acres of canyons, cascading waterfalls and lovely lakes, majestic mountains, open grasslands, and pine forests in the state’s southwestern region. This noteworthy natural belt is impossible to entirely cover on just one trip. See Mount Rushmore too!
16. Whidbey Island, Washington
Whidbey Island is one of a pair of islands just off the mainland of Washington State in the Pacific Northwest north of Seattle. Take the ferry and get back to nature here. See the clusters of oysters clinging to the shoreline, and try to spot orcas. Visit Deception Pass State Park and see the centuries-old trees there.
17. North Cascades National Park, Washington
North Cascades National Park is nestled on the beautiful border between Washington and Canada. One of the country’s least-visited parks, it’s only open in the summer as the connecting highway is usually closed by October 1st. Nicknamed “The American Alps”, It includes more than 1,000 glacier-crowned peaks, waterfalls, and over 500 pretty ponds and turquoise lakes.
18. Lost Coast, California
The famous Pacific Coast Highway, or California’s Highway 1, ends in Mendocino County where it merges with the busy 101 freeway. The coast itself, of course, continues. This 25-mile section beyond the above-mentioned highway is known as the Lost Coast. It is too wild and raw for a highway and is essentially a remote area of driftwood beaches and fog-filled forests.
19. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
This national park is actually part of the well-known Great Lakes. It’s an attractive archipelago of over 200 islands. Some of them even have waterfalls, lakes, and entire shipwrecks of their own. Isle Royale is the largest of them and is home to a lot of wildlife such as moose and wolves.
20. Rawah Wilderness, Colorado
Travel to the southern end of the mighty Medicine Bow Mountain Range. For it is here you will find the Rawah Wilderness. It is an unspoiled place spanning over 74,000 acres. This raw, wild area includes sapphire lakes, glacier-carved valleys, and mountain slopes dotted with fir trees too.
21. Everglades National Park, Florida
This vast, subtropical wilderness, roughly 45 minutes out of Miami, is yet another noteworthy unspoiled place. The best time to visit is in the winter when the weather is usually warm and dry. Spanning an area of 1.5 million acres, it’s the third-largest national park in the entire continental United States and home to the endangered Florida panther.
22. Assateague Island, Maryland, and Virginia
If you’re an equine aficionado, you’ve probably heard of this unspoiled place. It is a barrier island extending from Maryland to Virginia. Here you’ll find feral horses running free across sandy beaches soft as castor sugar. The two herds of wild horses are managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company and one by the National Park System.
23. Painted Hills, Oregon
The pretty Painted Hills’ peach, gold, and apricot stripes are both natural and memorable. These colorfully highlighted hills are the result of volcanic activity and reveal the changes in geology and local climate. They are quite reminiscent of the Rainbow Mountains in China. You will find them in the well-known John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
24. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys
This park is a seven-island chain located in the gleaming Gulf of Mexico just 70 miles off the shore of Key West. It’s most famous for its 19th-century structure, Fort Jefferson. Nevertheless, the focus here is on the water and marine life. Here you can see sea turtles nest, go kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and stargazing.
25. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota
This unspoiled attraction found in the Superior National Forest encompasses an area of 1,090,000 acres and stretches along the state’s border with the northern nation of Canada. It’s a watery expanse including 1,000 lakes, streams, and rivers and is very peaceful. This watery expanse is an incredibly peaceful place but beware of black bears.
26. Denali National Park, Alaska
Here you will find North America’s tallest peak. The park’s namesake, massive Mount Denali, is 20,320 feet tall and the highest mountain in the country. High adventure enthusiasts enjoy its numerous remote campsites and backcountry hiking trails within this six-million-acre park. It is the home of such wildlife as dall sheep, elk, caribou, wolves, and brown bears.
27. Washington Island, Wisconsin
Also known as Teraina, this atoll spans an area of 23 square miles. It remains largely unspoiled as it has under 700 residents. Here you will find a famous stone beach, and impressive hardwood forests as well. What’s more, the very air is scented with fresh lavender, which grows wild here.
28. Shasta Cascade, California
Shasta Cascade is situated in the area bordering Nevada and Oregon. US President Theodore Roosevelt was particularly fond of Burney Falls. He said the spring-fed waterfall that cascades into a shining pool was the “eighth wonder of the world”. Veteran visitors find the forests, lakes, lava beds, and mountains there also praiseworthy.
29. Texas Hill Country, Texas
The east meets the west just one hour out of Austin. The Texas Hill Country is a large area of unspoiled natural beauty that comes complete with rugged hills, pastoral plains, and vista-filled valleys. It is arguably most known for its wildflowers, especially bluebonnets, which you can see for yourself if you visit in the spring. This geographic region actually forms the southeastern portion of the popular Edwards Plateau.
30. The Adirondack Mountains, New York
Swap views of skyscrapers for views of a more natural nature by heading a few hours north out of New York City. These breathtakingly beautiful mountains are roughly within the boundaries of Adirondack Park. Here you will see snow-capped mountain peaks that eventually melt away into the lakes and rivers once spring arrives. Here you can hike tree-lined trails or wander in meadows of wildflowers.
31. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
While unspoiled Kenai Fjords is one of the state’s smallest national parks, it receives high marks for its beautiful scenery. Nestled on the stunning Kenai Peninsula, it includes great glaciers, harsh headlands, and, naturally, fjords. Highlights here are Resurrection Bay, the Harding Icefield, situated along the Harding Icefield Trail. This coastal park is also home to black bears, clown-faced puffins, coyotes, harbor seals, moose, sea otters, and wolverines.