Sometimes, what you really need is to get away from it all. Away from the traffic, pollution, and your neighbor’s barking terrier. Whether you’re ready to put down roots somewhere as far away as possible from the nearest Starbucks, or just looking to visit somewhere way off the beaten path, these remote locales are the perfect spots. Here are some of the most secluded towns in the U.S.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte is a ski resort town that spans only 0.7-square-miles. It has a permanent population of 1,487 people and is 21 miles away from the next closest town, Gunnison. Though the town has its own airport and Nordic cultural center, this place is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. That's definitely a plus if you're into pristine ski slopes and stunning starry skies.
2. Marfa, Texas
Deep in the high desert of west Texas, Marfa has a population of 2,121 and plenty of sky. It's home to an odd work of art: a storefront that resembles a Prada shop. Marfa has also been the filming site of many movies, including "There Will be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men." In spite of this, Marfa is incredibly isolated. There isn't another town west of Marfa for another 500 miles.
3. Eureka, Nevada
Eureka is an old mining town on Highway 50. Its location on a major roadway does little to lessen its seclusion, however – the next town is over 77 miles away. Eureka has a small population of 610 people and, bizarrely, an elaborate opera house. The town has become something of tourist attraction due to its quaint architecture, but Eureka is by no means crowded. Lovely as the town may be, it's still awfully far from anything else.
4. Jordan Valley, Oregon
The town may be tiny (2.08 square miles) but one thing Jordan Valley isn't lacking is space. Its 181 residents enjoy 30 miles of green valley and mountain range all around. Tourists may stop by to check out the Jordan Crater Field, which is – you guessed it – a field with a bunch of craters in it, but otherwise, Jordan Valley doesn't see many outsiders.
5. Jarbrige, Nevada
This place is right on the skirts of the Jarbidge Wilderness area, and is only accessible by two dirt roads, one of which is 80 miles long and closes for most of the year due to snow accumulation. If you're going to visit, the best time is undoubtedly the spring, when fields of wildflowers erupt into bloom all around the sleepy town.
6. Kalaupapa, Hawaii
This place is an unincorporated community on the island of Molokai, Hawaii's least visited major island. It's located within Kalawao County, the least populous county in the nation according to the most recent census. It can be accessed by sea or mule train. Situated at the base of sea cliffs and nestled right up against the ocean, this tiny town is the perfect tropical getaway for when you REALLY was to get away.
7. Mentone, Texas
Mentone is the only settlement within the county of Loving County. It is the second-least populous county in the country, and Mentone is home to most of its 95 residents. There's no grocery store, bank, or even hospital in Mentone. The Loving County Sheriff has been quoted as saying "if you've got to have rattlesnakes or lawyers, which one would you have?" We have a feeling Mentone is happy the way it is.
8. Arthur, Nebraska
Teeny tiny Arthur may not have much of a downtown (pictured) but it has a lot of heart. Their church is actually constructed from baled straw, which was once a common method of building in Nebraska. Their small courthouse serves as a museum celebrating the history of the town.
9. Winnett, Montana
Winnett has a population of 506 people, and is one of the least populous counties in the country. The town convened its third jury EVER in 2007. There isn't much around Winnett, but the people take the history of their town very seriously, and are happy to share their stories and dinner tables with visitors.
10. Shelter Cove, California
Located on the aptly named Lost Coast, this place experienced severe depopulation in the early half of the 20th century that has left much of the land undeveloped. The few people that remain here live in almost complete isolation from the rest of the state. Other small towns on the Lost Coast include Whitehorn and Petrolia.
11. Whittier, Alaska
Whittier is actually only accessible via a 2.6-mile tunnel that is only open during daylight hours. This town shelters fewer than 200 people during the brutal winter, and most of the residents live in a single building, Begich Towers. If you want to visit, make sure you bring your snow boots – this place gets up to 55 feet of snow per year.
12. Green Bank, West Virginia
This place may not be geographically isolated, but it's cut off from the rest of the world in one very crucial way: wireless signals are illegal in Green Bank. That means no cell phones, WiFi or even radios. Furthermore, electronic transmitters of any sort are banned. Say goodnight to that electric blanket. The reason? Green Bank is in the National Radio Quiet Zone, which is a 13,000-square-mile area that the FDC has set aside to allow government radio telescopes to operate without interference. Police actually roam in the streets in Green Bank, checking for illegal wireless signals.
13. Angle Inlet, Minnesota
This tiny community is actually only accessible by going into Canada's Manitoba and then back southwards. It has a population of 60 people, and is the only settlement north of the 49th parallel. The town is absolutely lovely in the warmer months, when the surrounding woodlands are in bloom and the waters are warm.
14. Supai Village, Arizona
All of Supai's visitors must come by horse or helicopter. The surrounding landscape is unsuitable for vehicles. It's actually the only place left in the country where mail is delivered via mule. Even though this tiny village is hard to reach, people still flock to the area for the sight of spectacular Mooney Falls. Supai is the most secluded town in the contiguous United States.
15. Barrow, Alaska
Barrow is the northernmost human settlement in the whole of North America. Temperatures frequently drop below -22 Fahrenheit. It has a fluctuating population of around 4,500 people, and the town experiences up to a month of total darkness during the winter. The town is mainly populated by members of the Inupiat community, researchers at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory. You can't reach Barrow by road, so the town's airport is its lifeline to the rest of the world. Barrow is the most secluded town in the United States.