Despite the bustle and complexity of modern life, the human tendency to take up more and more space, spreading the bustle ever outward, there are still places in the U.S. that remain untrammeled by the human footprint, except, perhaps, the ephemeral prints of hiking shoes.
Many of the country’s wild places have remained so because of state or federal protections — these were the most visited national parks in 2020.
Others are simply so remote and difficult to access that their very wild nature has kept them undeveloped. In a few cases, places appear unspoiled but, in fact, were once built up but have since lost their human inhabitants. Such places attract, not so much the nature lovers, but the curious.
It is notable that not all unspoiled places are remote or inaccessible. Many are within a few hours drive or less from population centers. Most Americans needing a break from the tumult around them can find natural serenity and solitude. For those who want to avoid human interaction altogether, here are the furthest places you can get from other humans in every state.
To identify the last unspoiled places in America, 24/7 Tempo consulted different internet sources to find secluded locations where people do not live regularly and rarely see foot traffic. We excluded national parks from consideration in order to focus on places not purposely designated as protected areas. Nearest city and its population was determined using the US Census Bureau, and population figures are for April 1, 2020.