To find the most remote places you have to ask yourself: what is remote? Is it a ski resort five miles from the interstate? Is it a full hookup campsite next to a creek two miles from a small town? Is it a tent site in a National Park with flush toilets and running water 100 feet away? Is it a backwoods campsite that you have to walk five miles to get to? Or is remote getting off the trail and making your own path. Is it being able to stand atop a hill, a mountain, climb a tree and look out and not see roads anywhere? Is it the lack of voices and car horns? Is it instead the sound of rushing water, birds, and…airplanes? I dare you to find a campsite where you can neither see roads nor hear modern society. It’s hard. Roads are everywhere. Untouched land is almost extinct. But it’s in these remote places where we realize how big the world is, and how small and insignificant we are.
As Thoreau put it, “We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
And maybe it doesn’t matter what definition of remote you go with. But be honest with yourself, when you go hiking do you check to see if the road is paved the entire way? Is the parking lot asphalt? Are there bathrooms nearby, or, goodness forbid, am I going to have to pee in the woods?
The Wilderness Act celebrates its 50th anniversary in September, and right now there are three areas in Colorado that have bills that would protect them, but have less than a 20% chance of being passed.
Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act
Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act
San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act
Some businesses are fearful of protected areas because it could cut down on OHV access, and on the flip side some say it will bring in more tourism. On the flip flip side what about those who need roads to get around and explore?
In searching for remote locations there was one area that popped up more than others, and it was Yellowstone National Park. But think about it, you go to National Parks and all around you see campfires at night, so are they really remote? Can a Park fall into the definition of remote, or does the fact that it is a park make it domesticated? Does it have to truly be an unexplored, uninhabited, nameless piece of land to be remote? You tell me.