Special Report

These May Be the Very Last Unspoiled Places in America

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21. Shasta Cascade, California
> Closest city: Redding, California (population: 93,611)

The Shasta Cascade region is in northern California, bordering Oregon and Nevada. A vacation paradise, it includes seven national forests, numerous parks and recreation venues, and an abundance of natural amenities, including lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.

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22. Lost Coast, California
> Closest city: Eureka, California (population: 26,512)

This northern coastal region of California, which includes the King Range, discourages development because of the challenges posed by its steep topography and rugged coastline. There are a few communities in the region, living away from major highways, and quite isolated from the rest of the state

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23. Rawah Wilderness, Colorado
> Closest city: Fort Collins, Colorado (population: 169,810)

This northern Colorado wilderness area is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. People visit for its dozens of lakes and 85 miles of hiking trails, with plenty of elevation.

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24. Alvord Desert, Oregon
> Closest city: Nampa, Idaho (population: 100,200)

Oregon is not a state that comes to mind when you think of deserts, but its remote Alvord Desert offers a stunning desert landscape with a mountainous backdrop, a destination for camping and star-gazing.

25. North Brother Island, New York
> Closest city: New York, New York (population: 8,804,190)

This 20 acre island between the Bronx mainland and Rikers Island was once home to a smallpox hospital, long since abandoned. Now a bird sanctuary, the island was purchased from private owners by the federal government in 2007 and given to New York City.