If you’re talking about natural wilderness, most people tend to think of the Amazonian rainforest, or somewhere remote like Antarctica, rather than a heavily industrialized country like the United States. When you think about it though, the US, although technically one vast country, is made up of states that in another continent would be countries in their own right, and most of them have some very wild areas indeed.
What kinds of wilderness does the USA have?
Among those wild areas are vast, mystical forests in which people still get lost and are never found, and places like the Nevada desert, one of the hottest places on the planet, stretches for endless arid miles in every direction.
If you took any one state in the US, you could find some virtually untouched wildernesses, and if you go for some of the less well-populated states, then you could find areas that are still largely unexplored.
Where are the best wilderness locations?
Some examples to get you started include:
- The forests and trails of Bryce Canyon in Utah. Explore on foot, mountain bike, horseback, or go on the thrilling Bryce Canyon ATV Tours.
- New England forests. Maine’s North Woods feature the Allagash Wilderness Waterway; Maine’s highest mountain, Mount Katahdin; the Appalachian Trail; and Baxter State Park, a forever wild 200,000-acre reserve.
- Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia and Florida. 354,000 acres of bog, islands, prairie grass, lakes and scrub, filled with alligators and snakes.
- Jarbridge Wilderness on the northern edge of Nevada’s Great Basin. 113,000 acres of one of the wildest areas in the US. It also has the cleanest air in the country, due to its remote location.
How do I stay safe on a wilderness vacation?
Of course, if you’re planning on exploring the wilderness, you don’t want to end up as a snack for a bear or be the lead story on the six o’clock news! So before you head off, you need to make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
An excellent place to start is to look at the website for the area you wish to explore. You’ll find wilderness areas in the US come under the jurisdiction of various public bodies, like national parks, that protect the environment and make it accessible to visitors.
What information do I need to prepare for my wilderness vacation?
On the websites, you’ll find both general tips for budding explorers, and advice specific to your location. It will tell you where you can and can’t go, and what potential dangers there might be, from possible predators to poisonous plants. There’s likely to be information about cell phone coverage, GPS, refuges, contact details if you need assistance and plenty of other useful information. You’ll typically find all the information you need to explore the wilderness without putting yourself at risk.
There’s something magical about going somewhere very few other humans have been, or looking at a view and wondering if you’re the first person to see this precise vista. Wilderness areas are fascinating and a great place for wildlife enthusiasts, so enjoy your time in the wilds, but make sure you get back in one piece.