Hawks Rest, Wyoming

Hawks rest is the remote location – as measured by distance from a road – in the lower 48 United States. Over 30 miles in every direction from even a dirt road, this location is sought after by many adventure enthusiasts. Located just southeast of Yellowstone National Park, Hawks Rest is located inside the Teton Wilderness area. Full of grizzly bear, wolves, moose, elk, and the endangered Yellowstone cutthroat trout, its location is accentuated by the surrounding pristine North American ecosystem. 

Hawks Rest, Wyoming

I’ve been to this location and it is a beautiful place. That being said, Hawks Rest is romanticized by many but in reality, getting there isn’t that hard. As someone who has been to the most remote regions of the planet – Patagonia, Iceland, New Zealand, Nepal, Central Idaho – Hawks Rest is tame, especially when compared to the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness of Idaho. While technically it is located over 30 miles from the nearest road, areas of Central Idaho feel much more remote and the roads that are “close” are unused forest service roads with more blowdowns than traffic. 

I’m not negating the importance of Hawks Rest but the trails in the region are manicured for equestrian traffic and many outfitters hunt the area every fall. It’s also popular for backpackers, hikers, and fishermen. You will find solitude at Hawks Rest but you will need to get off the beaten path to do so. If absolute remoteness is what appeals to you, I highly suggest trying your hand at the Selway-Bitterrot wilderness section of the Idaho Centennial Trail 

Getting To Hawks Rest

The closest town to Hawks Rest is Jackson, WY and Dubois, WY – Jackson has the closest airport. You will need a car to get to the nearest trailhead but depending on your hiking itinerary, it’s straightforward to hike there from Yellowstone National Park which allows you to take a bus. 

I highlighted the nearest trailhead with hiking trails to Hawks Rest. If you are an efficient hiker, it will take about 3 days there and back. However, I recommend doing a loop among the many trails at your disposal.

The Wild West Trail connects Hawks Rest with Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park – always worth a look if you have the time for such a hike. 

Grizzly Bears Near Hawks Rest

Grizzly bears near Hawks Nest are always at the top of people’s minds. They do exist and the relatively flat valleys of the region bring sows and cubs close to human activity. Don’t be overly concerned about the animals, they will smell you before you can see them and they will most certainly hear you as well. I suggest bear spray or even a firearm if you are solo hiking. Tree your food at night and cook 100 yards from your tent and you will be just fine. Like anything else, it’s easy to overthink about bears, don’t allow your neuroticism to stop you from experiencing a beautiful hike. 

Hawks Rest Is An American Adventure

At the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem lies Hawks Rest, the most remote location in the Contiguous United States. Wildlife thrives and the area looks the same as it did when Lewis and Clarke measured the continent. It’s remoteness requires a hardy individual with a pioneer soul to reach it. Are you brave enough to take on the challenge? 

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