King of the Hill, GA
It’s only 90 minutes north of Atlanta, but this three-bedroom cabin feels like Nowhere, USA. At the end of a road that runs right into the 60-square-mile Cohutta Wilderness, the cabin has front-door access to hiking trails and the trout-stocked Fighting Town Creek. While you won’t see a sign of civilization from the wraparound deck, you ain’t roughing it: Inside is a river-rock fireplace, pool table, and air hockey (from $200 for up to seven; mountainparadisecabins.com).
Ridgway Hut, CO
At this barebones shelter with bunks, a woodstove, and solar-powered lights, it’s all about the skiing: steep, 2,000-vertical-foot lines through spruce-and-fir forest that receives 300-plus annual inches of snow. Tucked into Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, in the roadless valleys northeast of Telluride, Ridgway Hut ($30 per person; sanjuanhuts.com) is a seven-mile uphill trek from the nearest trailhead, which is six miles from the closest town. The best powder days tend to be in March, but fresh tracks are almost always guaranteed. Need a guide? Hire local pro Vince Anderson ($325 per day; skywardmountaineering.com).
Cabin Creek Cabin, MT
There won’t be other people, but that’s not to say you’ll be alone. Elk, grizzlies, and wolves frequent the alpine ecosystem surrounding this rustic 1930s ranger-built log cabin ($30 for four; recreation.gov), set on the edge of a meadow in the Gallatin National Forest. Five miles from the Teepee Creek trailhead and five miles from the edge of Yellowstone National Park, this is the West as it should be: big and empty.
Peaceful Cove Cottage, HI
This cottage is little more than a few cedar walls and two lanais—which is just right. Hidden on three acres of virgin hardwood forest next to Kaimu Bay, on the Big Island, Peaceful Cove (doubles, $95; 808-965-8513) is the anti-Waikiki. A short barefoot-able path leads to your private rocky cove. Hikes along the coast in either direction end at empty black-sand beaches; pick the western route and continue for three miles to get a view of lava bubbling into the Pacific.
Uganik Lake Cabin, AK
Among Alaska’s hundreds of public cabins, seven of the most secluded are in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, 1.9 million acres of rainforest, tundra, and wetlands spread over four islands in the northwestern corner of the Gulf of Alaska. Expect whales, Kodiak bears, eagles—and competition for reservations at the Uganik Lake Cabin, which looks out at mountains sliding into the water ($45; apply by lottery at kodiak.fws.gov). From Anchorage, fly Alaska Air to Kodiak, and arrange for a floatplane with local Kingfisher Aviation ($430 for four; kingfisheraviation.com). Plan to stay a full week, and don’t forget the fishing rod: Dolly Varden run gangbusters between April and November.