Best Wilderness Escapes

Bob Roberts
• Thursday, 24 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Inspiration3-minute readily, open spaces are calling to travelers at an almost primal level right now, encouraging them to explore beyond the cities and tourist staples of years past and reconnect with nature. Greg’s Safaris offers several options that take you out on to the Central Reserve, which covers a quarter of the smallest country in the Americas.

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Your reward: trees hanging heavy with mangos, sour sop and breadfruit and peek-a-boo playing green velvet monkeys. Sleep next to the watering holes at the new Maratha Conservation Camps and wake each morning to the possibility of elephants, leopards, kudzu, rhinos and more wandering by at breakfast.

The unparalleled proximity to the wild spaces of Markle National Park in South Africa includes unique opportunities to help conservationists track and compile ID kits of key species, set up camera traps and help with game census logging on trips in and around South Africa’s Water berg Biosphere Reserve. The innovative public-private partnership conservation model, developed under Nelson Mandela’s presidential reign, welcomes families (kids of all ages are accepted at the exclusive- and semi-exclusive camps) to the malaria-free, 21,000-hectare parkland.

Pampered stays, gourmet cuisine and outdoor showers share space with private nature walks and visits to the Maratha Research and Rewinding Center, where orphaned baby animals await. The islands in the Arabian Sea aren’t large, which makes land explorations by foot or bicycle pleasant, but, for a true wilderness experience, head for the water.

Dive with whale sharks, snorkel with sea turtles or watch wild dolphins from a sailboat adventure in this exclusive oasis. Choose from stunning villas (such as these at Geneva Sushi), romance-inducing overwater retreats (think Alcántara and unique underwater sleeping quarters (The Conrad and The Pullman).

Montana’s Rocky Mountains backdrop stretches into the heavens and the wide, open, sparsely populated grasslands seem to go on forever. Nearby, 1.5 million acres of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area await, as do mountain-bike worthy terrains, more than 100 miles of designated hiking routes and exhilarating ATV paths.

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Sleep well in the privacy of luxury homes and clamping tent options spread out across the ranch lands, and the promise of both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks nearby waiting to expand your opportunities for more adventure. The Best hotels include Mancini, Layout Wilderness Resort, Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Old Faithful Inn, Post Ranch Inn, Ridge wood Wilderness Lodge, Sorrel River Ranch, The Resort At Paws Up, Trout Point Lodge, Under Canvas Yellowstone.

Sort By These resorts enable you to be at one with nature, to stargaze into the limitless expanse of the night sky, far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city life. Visit the red-rock spans in Arches National Park, the sheer-walled river gorges in the Canyon lands, and the stunning buttes and mesas of Monument Valley.

Blending with its dramatic surrounds of deep canyons and towering plateaus, this wilderness escape could not be more rugged. Mancini’s trail system allows guests to explore the region’s striking desert scenery on foot.

Perched on the clifftop of Big Sur, a rugged stretch of California’s coastline between Carmel and San Simeon, sits the breathtaking Post Ranch Inn. This is the perfect overnight stop to break up the drive along this scenic Californian Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Bordered to the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains and enormous redwoods, and to the west by the glittering Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn is a wood and glass structure built on stilts on the top of the hillside. Other room options include the magnificent treehouses which are built on stilts nine feet off the forest floor with a stairway to each entrance.

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Trout Point Lodge is a wilderness retreat in Nova Scotia at the heart of the UNESCO SW Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve and a picturesque 45-minute drive from Yarmouth Harbor, where you find the international ferry from Maine, USA & Yarmouth International Airport. Here you might enjoy sightings of black bears, turtles, flying squirrels, grouse, deer, beaver, owls, loons, eagles, and even moose.

The Lodge and grounds occupy 100 acres, and at night, light pollution is minimal, making stargazing sensational. The lodge has a star gazing platform where they organize special tours with an astronomer on staff and powerful telescopes.

This indulgent but untamed wilderness resort is open from May to September and is located in the Layout Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within the Pacific Rim National Park). Twenty guest and family suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered wood stoves and luxurious amenities.

This red rock resort doesn’t just look like a scene from the movies; it is a scene from the movies with multiple Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in the area since 1949, resulting in silver screen epics like the Rio Grande, The Comanches, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Hidden in the heart of the gorgeous, red rock wilderness and nestled against the banks of the Colorado River, this upscale 240-acre retreat lies just 17 miles from Moab, Utah, and slap bang in the middle of the adventure capital of the West.

The accommodation at the resort is not what you’d expect from being in Canyon Country, rather than a standard room, you stay in charming log cabins which offer a mixture of rustic style and luxury with opulent pine beds complete with handcrafted four-posts, cattle horn wall hangings; artsy barbed wire chandeliers and more oak than you would see in a forest along with all the modern amenities you would expect in this level of the resort. Depending on the season of your visit, you can also enjoy ATV rides, horseback riding with authentic, friendly wranglers (the resort even has ponies for younger children), rock art tours, hot air ballooning, scenic road cycling and golf at the picturesque Moab Golf Course.

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With its excellent one-of-a-kind cabins, spectacular views, therapeutic spa, gourmet dining, and riverside pool, this resort is the point at which luxury meets adventure. Join the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who chose Sorrel River Ranch as a base to explore this beautiful red rock country.

Ridge wood Wilderness Lodge is a hand-crafted Alaska eco-lodge that sits in a secluded location in Halibut Cove adjacent to the Schema Bay State Park and Schema Bay State Wilderness Park, the Kenji National Wildlife Refuge and the Kenji National Fjords. Enjoy three wonderfully prepared meals each day, and highly personalized attention with majestic scenery, miles of beaches, and secluded saltwater coves right out the front door.

At their Alaska Wilderness Lodge, Lucinda and Jess can arrange area eco-tours such including brown bear photography trips, halibut or salmon charters, guided kayaking, and flight seeing. You can, of course, enjoy outdoor experiences like kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, and fly-fishing, but you will not have to rough it in the Under Canvas Yellowstone camp.

Stay here in the Autumn to see the leaves turn brown, yellow, and red or ski from a real log cabin in winter with nearby access to Mont-Tremblant, where there is another Fairmont hotel. Deep in the backcountry of the Everglades National Park--which the writer Marjory Stone man Douglas called “the river of grass”--I felt a sense of complete isolation from the modern world.

At first, as I gazed at the beguiling maze of knotty mangroves, the big sky and the constantly moving water in this 1.5 million-acre park, I felt disoriented. So what we've decided to do here instead is just point you in the right direction, to the places where you can discover for yourself the “mystery” and the “charm” of this country's wildest locations, where you can leave behind modern conveniences and, by foot, bicycle, watercraft or horseback, enter the world as it once was and may forever be.

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But in order to fill out our list, we reached out to the Wilderness Society, which works to protect the nation's 635 million acres of public lands, to give us a hand. Book a six-day pack trip to the Therefore through Rocking' HK Outfitters, and experience the geysers, rivers, moose, elk and mountain goats in the most remote spot in one of the great public parks the world.

Mountain biking and horseback riding are two popular ways to access the national monument. Utah Wilderness Society director Julie Mack says it was the last place in the Lower 48 to be mapped.

Farther west is the John Muir Trail, named after the intrepid explorer and writer. On the 211-mile-long trail, you can walk from Yosemite to Mount Whitney, and gaze up at 14,000-foot peaks, and down at California's Central Valley.

The wilderness area has 1,000 miles of canoe trails (be prepared to portage a bit) that wind through the northern woods and connect to more than 2,000 backcountry camping sites. The Maine Woods is not public land, but a group wants to make it into a national park.

The collection of spruce and birch-covered land is owned by timber companies and billionaire John Malone, who have a longstanding tradition of allowing use by campers and outdoor sportsmen. Ireland Pond is a secluded spot where you'll find mosses, deer, bobcat and the haunting call of the loon.

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One of the first times I ever had a random panic feeling in my life was in the Magic Kingdom. I was six months pregnant with my first child, and we were watching the afternoon parade.

Suddenly, I felt as though I was in a very hellish-hot “people wall.” That’s when I told my mother I thought I might faint. Since that time, I have realized that crowds and people really can exhaust me, and my Disney Trip Plans are far from typical.

In the midst of scheduling fast passes and dinner reservations, I am also making another set of plans for the one who needs to be quiet to recharge. Paradoxically, the world’s busiest theme resort also has some of the most convenient and enchanted places to center and recharge.

If you find yourself drawn to Tomorrowland, perhaps it is not Space Mountain that’s pulling you in. Tomorrowland is home to both the People Mover and the Carousel of Progress.

Yeah, this is a bar with TVs turned on sports channels, but it also is the epitome of relaxation. Over-sized comfy chairs bleeding to the very edge of Bay Lake.

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Spend about a mile walking in nearly untouched Florida (some current construction may temporarily hinder parts of this). What a difference from the fun, laughter and games of the party-central Meadows Pool.

And I love sitting in the chairs along the woods beside the purple potion flowers. Wilderness Quiet Pool The Land Ride at Epcot.

A couple of years ago, I left most of the family and headed back to the cool hum of the RV air conditioning on full blast. The cold and white noise combination is surely bliss.

I spent about 20 minutes super-cleaning the RV floor with paper towels and 409 Spray. It’s also fabulous because you can watch the people arriving by boat, but you’re a safe distance away.

Sitting in the rocking chairs by the fire at Wilderness Lodge. Wilderness Lodge Grand Fireplace Drinks at Trader Sam’s.

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