Monday, June 7, 2010

America's Great Wilderness Spots

Info via Yahoo! Travel

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

A combination of a few wildernesses, the Bob Marshall Complex is about 800 square miles larger than Rhode Island. You can hike its 60-mile length over 1,000 miles of trails skirting the Continental Divide. If you're ever going to see a grizzly bear in his unfenced backyard, it's here, in one of the country's most intact mountain systems with its original ecological continuity, from peak to valley.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

If you have the sudden need to escape to cross into Canada via kayak or canoe, try here. Extending almost 200 miles along the Minnesota-Canadian border, this area contains 1,200 miles of canoe routes over 1,175 lakes and hundreds of miles of streams — and, along the way, over 2,000 campsites. A healthy gray wolf population howls at night.

John Muir Wilderness

The 650,734 acres of the John Muir Wilderness, in the Inyo National Forest, is connected to the additional 1.38 million acres composed of the Ansel Adams, Dinkey Lakes, Golden Trout, Monarch, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness areas, all of which wrap around Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. There are 590 miles of trails in the John Muir itself, passing along canyons, river valleys, and numerous snow-capped peaks over 10,000 feet.

Pemigewasset Wilderness

New Hampshire
This area was once heavily logged. A half-century of preservation has reversed that, and now this wilderness is one of the largest roadless areas east of the Mississippi. The main path, the Wilderness Trail, sees a good number of hikers in the high season, but nine other trails lead away from this path and into the wilderness itself. The 45,000 acres here contain numerous opportunities for wildlife watching, mountain trekking and camping.

Cranberry Wilderness

West Virginia
Just as in many of the western wilderness areas, if you're willing to do a bit of marching up-slope, you can earn your way to nearly perfect natural solitude. There's a decent chance of glimpsing a black bear here, too, as the wilderness is a designated bear sanctuary. The 50 miles of maintained trails here provide decent access, and going off-trail is allowed.

Love always,