Ah, Thanksgiving. Nice as it is to be with the family and eat until your clothes pop, sometimes you just want to get away. Of course, with the rest of the country traveling at the same time, it’s not as easy as you might wish, but at least there are a few places you can go to escape the kerfuffle of the day itself. Here are some ideas of where to go – pick one that’s within driving distance, and you won’t even have to face an airport.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
One of the most remote of America’s national parks not only is Mesa Verde in the middle of nowhere in south-west Colorado, but it’s a 14 mile drive around hairpin bends and cliff sides to reach it from the main road. The sunsets from here are extraordinary, and with a campsite, restaurant and a hotel – the Far View Lodge – on site, there’s no need to come back down to reality until the holiday rush is over.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is officially the most remote place in America – it’s the furthest distance from a road anywhere in the continental USA. As well as Yellowstone, it’s also surrounded by the Washakie and Teton wilderness areas.
Ok, so you’ll probably have to get on a plane for this one, but if you really want to escape, you could do worse than to head up to Alaska. And if what’s on offer on the mainland isn’t remote enough for you, try making your way to Diomede, a 117-person town on an island that’s nearer Russia than Alaska (25 miles off the coast of Alaska, but just two from Russia).
Not for the town itself, or even the fact that it’s the home of Pringles potato chips, but because Winnemucca is the gateway to Nevada’s Black Rock desert, one of the most remote places no the continent , the largest mudflats in the world and the site of the annual Burning Man festival. And while you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s not completely cut off from civilization – Reno is a four hour drive away, while Winnemucca has Amtrak connections to both San Francisco and Chicago.
Another national park, although it’s also a national forest – the Quinault rainforest is part of the Olympic National Park, which has officially been recognized as the quietest place on the continent. But it’s easy to get to – five hours from Seattle – and you don’t have to travel far into it to get remote. There are several lodges and campsites around Lake Quinault, and the temperate rainforest fans out from around the lake, spreading across the Olympic peninsula. After a morning there, you won’t be surprised that this is prime territory for Sasquatch spotting.