17 totally remote vacation rentals in the US amid forests, deserts, mountains, and national parks

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  • During COVID-19, the ideal vacation is in a remote setting, away from others outside your group.
  • We found remote homes across the US on vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, TurnKey, and Vrbo.
  • These isolated and highly-rated listings are priced between $99 and $500 per night to start.

While heading off to a remote paradise sounds incredible, it’s not exactly on the table amid a global pandemic. After all, most travelers can’t afford to rent out a Richard Branson-style private island in the Caribbean, a la Kim Kardashian. Though if you are looking, we did manage to find more affordable hotel buyout options.

Luckily, there are alternative ways to take an off-the-grid safe vacation during COVID and avoid crowds without sacrificing comfort or exceeding your budget. 

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I’ve been writing about consumer travel for 20 years, with a specialty in covering the US, and dove into vacation rentals across Airbnb, TurnKey, and Vrbo to find the best remote living in every corner of the country. Our picks are secluded, affordable, and reachable by car, even if the closest big city is a couple of hours away.

Just keep in mind that while secluded homes often come with electricity and running water, you’ll likely be a long drive from the closest store. Be sure to check what the rental includes and arrive stocked with the supplies you’ll need. 

The best remote vacation rentals were chosen based on the following criteria:

  1. The vacation rental is for the entire home in line with social distancing guidelines.
  2. Homes are located in remote settings amid mountains, woodlands, lakes, deserts, and national parks, surrounded by nature but with access to nearby towns or villages for supply runs.
  3. All properties are highly-rated listings with a minimum past guest rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. 
  4. Vacation rentals boast unique features such as interesting architecture ranging from simple adobe huts to deluxe compounds, as well as inviting decor, and plush amenities (think pools, hot tubs, and great outdoor space).
  5. Prices start between $99 and $500 per night to accommodate a wide variety of budgets and group sizes.
  6. All of the properties adhere to strict COVID-19 cleaning policies.
  7. All of the properties have availability to book over the coming weeks or months, as of publishing. 

Browse all the best remote vacation rentals below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

  • Best remote vacation rentals
  • FAQ: Remote vacation spots
  • More great vacation rentals to safely enjoy the outdoors

These are the best remote vacation rentals in the US, sorted by price from low to high.

Moose haven cabin in Colorado

Book this Colorado cabin on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $99 

Town: Walden

Sleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroom

Rating: 4.95

The rugged panorama of Rocky Mountain National Park separates this scenic village from Denver, Colorado, with guests ascending to around 9,000 feet to reach this remote property.

The cabin is a basic but beautifully constructed A-frame that will suit anyone wanting a rural, back-to-nature vacation far away from daily stresses. 

The interior is cozy and rustic, with a wood-burning stove and polished wooden floors and fittings. Maintaining the campsite ambiance, there are comfortable shared bathrooms and showers just 20 yards from the cabin. Solar power and a gas grill provide added comfort, but this home is thoroughly off the grid, so don’t plan to get online.

Nearby hiking (and snowshoeing in winter) is world-class and you’ll leave feeling renewed and invigorated. 

100-year-old farmhouse in Utah

Book this Utah farmhouse on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $99

Town: Ephraim

Sleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 4.96

Relax under the never ending skies of Ephraim Canyon in Utah in this century-old farmhouse that sleeps up to four. It may be getting on in years but recent refurbishments mean that the decor and interiors are shipshape and colorful, and there’s also a cute yard with cornhole, horseshoes, and a picnic area. 

Modern amenities include Wi-Fi and Apple TV, plus an essential outdoor hot tub for a soak as the sun sets or rises. Families can pass the time outdoors with nearby hiking and fishing, or go sledding in the winter months. The home feels cozy and bijoux, but still comfortable, affordable, and surrounded by acres of land. 

Homesteader desert cabin in California

Book this California cabin on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $120

Town: Joshua Tree

Sleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 4.91

Downtown Joshua Tree is just 12 minutes away by car but it’s a different world out here by this home, surrounded by five acres of undeveloped land and an endless blanket of stars above. The hiking and natural delights of Joshua Tree National Park are also easy to access.

This cabin dates back to 1955 and maintains many original features and in some places, the original paint. It’s a charmingly ramshackle homestead, but the hosts have upgraded the amenities with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and hot water. The oranges and creams of the interior reflect the desert outside, and midcentury modern furniture pieces make for a more urbane design than you might expect.

Your neighbors are a thriving art community and local rabbits, tortoises, and roadrunners. 

A mountain cabin with hot tub in North Carolina

Book this North Carolina cabin on Vrbo

Typical starting price: $140 

Town: Hot Springs

Sleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 5.0

Straying beyond the beaten path can come with romantic rewards for couples, especially at this mountainside one-bedroom bolthole on seven acres of land.

The ridges of Western North Carolina await for hiking and rafting, canyoneering, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, and skiing are all close by. 

The modern cabin itself, though, is as desirable as the pristine location, which is set back against a lush farming valley. A quaint deck and wood-burning fireplace evoke a suitably bucolic atmosphere and are complemented by modern technologies for relaxing down times. The standout highlight, however, is the outdoor hot tub which offers the chance for an indulgent soak under a canopy of stars. 

A woodland cabin in Vermont

Book this Vermont cabin on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $148

Town: West Bolton

Sleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 4.91

The 20 acres of land surrounding this home in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains are dramatically lovely, thick with vegetation and woodland charm. This purpose-built so-called ‘tiny’ house delivers on its off-grid promise for two guests that can confidently escape here in the lure of isolation. 

The look is seemingly out of a fantasy novel or fairy tale, with knotted wooden beams and timbers for a magical, whimsical feel that delivers a pioneering spirit. Amenities include a wood-fired stove and fireplace, but there is no refrigeration outside of a cooler, so plan accordingly. Solar power heats the water but there is no electricity or Wi-Fi. 

Instead, come for the hiking trails, rock climbing, and swimming holes (and skiing in the winter), and wait to update social media with photos when you reluctantly return to real life. 

Vineyard chalet in Oregon

Book this Oregon chalet on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $189

Town: Roseburg

Sleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 4.98

The vast expanses of the Pacific Northwest are laid out before guests at this remote chalet, some 90 miles south of Eugene. Tens of acres of wine country surround the property, with vineyards and hills transporting visitors to an idyllic setting akin to Tuscany or the South of France. Wine tasting and hiking await in this gorgeous valley.

The vines may be decades old, but the property is modern with polished wooden floors and windows that show off the picture-postcard surroundings. Oenophiles will love the location and touches such as the wine barrel vanity. There’s also a rain shower, fast Wi-Fi, fresh eggs from the on-site chickens and of course, a bottle of wine to welcome you.

Mountain cottage in Oregon

Book this Oregon cottage on TurnKey

Typical starting price: $200 

Town: Sisters

Sleeps: 13 guests/5 bedrooms

Rating: 4.5

A wonderfully rural five-acre wooded lot welcomes up to 13 guests at this five-bedroom house surrounded by picturesque lakes and mountains.  

The amenities are extensive with a game room, outdoor hot tub, TV, internet, and the chance to craft evening cocktails at the built-in bar while someone strikes up a suitably suave tune on the piano.  

If you’re looking to venture beyond the compound, you’ll find the scenic links of Aspen Lakes Golf Course a mile away, and the HooDoo Ski Area is 25 miles away.

Mountain tree house in the forest in California

Book this California tree house on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $230

Town: Big Bear

Sleeps: 5 guests/2 bedrooms

Rating: 4.94

To call this home a tree house feels like underselling the property somewhat, as it falls more within the luxury cabin arena than anything else. Surrounded by trees in the lush forests outside Big Bear, the town and ski resorts are around a 15 minute drive away, and the National Forest is right there as you open the curtains. 

Huge picture windows allow that scenery and daylight to flood into the living spaces and vaulted ceilings open the home up in dramatic fashion. Hardwood floors, wooden panels, and exposed beams create a chalet-like ambiance, while the furniture shows off the hosts’ flawless taste with an elegant, midcentury modern theme. Gather around a statement stone fireplace in winter, or linger outside around the propane grill or take in the woodland sounds from the wraparound balcony. 

Cabin on a private reservoir in Montana

Book this Montana cabin on Vrbo

Typical starting price: $250 

Town: Lewistown

Sleeps: 8 guests/2 bedrooms

Rating: 5

Equidistant between the National Parks of Helena-Lewis and Clark and River Breaks, there’s a real frontier feel to this home, which enjoys a coveted spot overlooking its own reservoir, almost four miles outside of Lewistown.

The property makes for a sweet angler’s getaway, with plum fishing spots along the nearby waterways. 

The cabin itself is comprised of elaborate wooden interiors, bedecked with animal hides and wood-burning amenities for a strong rural ambiance. Fire up the grill on the large deck and trade fishing tales as you cook up the catch of the day. There’s little phone coverage, and no internet, so trade being online for days out paddling with the included kayak.

A log cabin on the river in Colorado

Book this Colorado cabin on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $254

Town: Black Hawk

Sleeps: 4 guests/2 bedrooms

Rating: 4.98

A set designer for a movie would be hard-pressed to come up with a more classic log cabin-looking property than this two-bedroom delight in the heights of Black Hawk, Colorado.

The sense of seclusion is palpable, though within 15 minutes you can drive to the nearby town of Nederland, or the Eldora Mountain ski resort, so it’s a real find for fans of winter sports.  

The handsome, sturdy log structure is built onto a gentle, lush green hillside, and guests will welcome the sight of the deck with its own fire pit and the steam gently rising from the outdoor hot tub. 

The smell of timber makes for an evocative interior, and the place comes fully loaded with modern conveniences such as Wi-Fi, cable TV, a music system, as well as a wood-burning fire, games, and an irresistible hammock. The two floors and expanse of land really offer guests a sense of space. 

A charming farmstead yurt in Colorado

Book this Colorado yurt on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $283 

Town: Carbondale

Sleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 4.86

Views of stunning Mount Sopris and 110 acres of seclusion await up to four guests at this impressive ‘glamping’ yurt.

The Mongolian-style yurt offers the right balance of adventure and comfort, with a supremely commodious, wood-framed canopy under which to sleep. The wonderfully evocative space feels akin to something from a period drama but comes with Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and a bathroom (with a piping hot shower) that won’t test anyone’s standards of comfort too stringently. 

Ranch life here comes with its own array of amenities beyond the space and scenery, mostly in the form of incredibly fresh food from the farm owners, including, but not limited to, eggs, milk, poultry, and cuts of meat for your barbecuing pleasure. 

There are hiking paths up through the neighboring National Forest, and if you don’t bring your own horse (which you are encouraged to) then you can rent one and hit those dusty trails. Private stargazing sessions and alpaca yoga add to the enticing menu of activities. 

See more of the best yurt rentals in the US

Farmhouse on 100 acres in Pennsylvania

Book this Pennsylvania farmhouse on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $332 

Town: Lititz

Sleeps: 8 guests/4 bedrooms

Rating: 4.92

It’s hard to imagine a cuter farmhouse than this bright red beauty set on 100 acres of land in the rolling Pennsylvania countryside. There are a few small villages within striking distance, but ‘downtown’ is 15 minutes by car and restricted to tiny Lititz, an 18th-century hamlet that was named ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ in 2013 by Budget Travel. 

Inside the Hopeland Farm Red House, modern windows and doors mix with vintage furniture with midcentury pieces for an updated yet rustic look. Old wood burners and an antique piano are complemented by abstract art and daylight floods into the living spaces. Enjoy farm life where your only neighbors will be chickens and ducks on your way to buy vegetables and eggs from the hosts. 

A secluded tree house in Montana

Book this Montana tree house on Vrbo

Typical starting price: $399 

Town: Whitefish

Sleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroom

Rating: 5.0

Found on seven acres of private woods, this two-story tree house is a unique stay that’s plenty remote while still featuring many creature comforts including two decks, a breakfast nook with a handmade wooden bar, fast Wi-Fi, and plush bathrobes. The truly showstopping piece is a spiral staircase custom crafted around a Douglas fir tree growing through the home.

There is one true bedroom, but the house can sleep up to four guests thanks to padded seating areas that double as extra sleeping space.

While still secluded, the location is close to the entrance of Glacier National Park and the slopes of Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort.

Dog-friendly retreat in Texas

Book this Texas home on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $428

Town: Blanco

Sleeps: 6 guests/3 bedrooms

Rating: 4.80

You have to zoom out pretty far on your phone’s map feature to see the closest places to this exceptional Texas ranch house. Blanco, a good 15 minutes by car, is technically a city, but with a population of around 1,700 people, it’s more of a sleepy little town where people come to fish and buy lavender. 

This home spreads out on a whopping 104 acres and on-site ponds and the nearby Blanco River add to the scenic environs, the latter being great for fishing and tubing.

The house, which welcomes pets, is awash with daylight thanks to huge windows and striking vaulted ceilings. A casual contemporary look includes stone fireplaces, mounted hunting trophies, high-end leather sofas and armchairs, as well as granite worktops and stainless steel appliances. Have a cook-out under those huge skies with the grill and outdoor dining area. 

Home with a lake and pool in New York

Book this Red Hook house on Airbnb

Typical starting price: $495 

Town: Red Hook

Sleeps: 4 guests/2 bedrooms

Rating: 5.0

Red Hook itself isn’t much more than a village, just north of Poughkeepsie in Upstate New York (two hours from Manhattan).

This wonderful farm house is a good 10-minute drive from even that small development, along ever more remote country lanes. Its sprawling 120 acres will deliver a serious dose of isolated tranquility, and the land contains both a private lake and a saltwater pool. 

The house itself is a beautifully converted red brick barn, boasting wooden beamed ceilings and a contemporary look that you might more associate with an urban warehouse. Polished wooden floors, reclaimed wood furnishings, and sleek top-of-the-range appliances complement the open-plan design of the living space.

Open the curtains each morning to admire sun-drenched paddocks, or in the winter, there’s snow-shoeing or skiing nearby. Guests can hike, bike, and buy fresh eggs year-round.  

Large lakefront home in Maine

Book this lakefront home in Maine on Vrbo

Typical starting price: $500 

Town: Mariaville

Sleeps: 17 guests/6 bedrooms

Rating: 5.0

This delightful lakefront house can welcome up to 17 people, with almost 4,000 square feet to sprawl out across amid the natural expanse of Hardwood Hill Island Nature Preserve and nearby Acadia National Park. Graham Lake sits right outside.

The house has multiple large living areas and plenty of amenities for group meals, both indoor and out. There’s Wi-Fi and the place comes with its own dock and kayaks to get out on the water. 

FAQ: Remote vacation spots

Where are remote locations? 

Our choices vary, but most of them are located amid forests, deserts, woodlands, and national parks. They balance the feeling of being remote with vehicle access to shops and gas stations, etc, within 30 minutes’ drive or so. This might mean it is near a city or a village, but we looked for properties that are largely set on their own grounds for a strong sense of isolation. 

Many remote homes are located in delicate environments so be sure to check the listing carefully when you book. Hosts will have listed the specific requirements, for example, if you can cook outdoors, and you may incur extra costs if you do not comply with these rules. 

What kind of facilities do remote homes have? 

Again, it varies — some have Wi-Fi and air conditioning, whereas others are more like an elevated camping situation with shared bathrooms and showers.

We included a wide selection as people have differing levels of how off-grid they want to get. 

What should I pack with me? 

Check the more detailed listings via the links to the property pages and see what the hosts suggest, especially as to whether they supply linens, towels, and kitchen essentials.

Where can Americans travel right now?

The CDC recently said people who are vaccinated can travel safely within the US. However, there are certain countries where Americans can travel without restrictive entry requirements.

Are vacation rentals safe?

If you’re wondering whether vacation rentals such as Airbnbs are safe, we spoke with experts who said staying at a private vacation rental, as opposed to a hotel may actually be one of the safer travel options, because booking an entire house eliminates interactions with hosts or other guests.

Airbnb also implemented new procedures and cleaning policies, which all hosts must follow.  


More great vacation rentals to safely enjoy the outdoors

  • Remote, secluded desert homes on Airbnb
  • The best vacation rentals near national parks
  • The best farm stays in the US
  • The best treehouse rentals in the US
  • Cozy and affordable Airbnb cabins in Upstate New York
  • The best cabins near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • The best Airbnb beach houses in the US
  • The coolest Airbnbs in the US
  • The best Airstream trailer rentals

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