THE NATIONAL PARKS get all of the love, however in case you actually need to commune with nature and never a stampede of RVs, attempt a Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. Nature photographer Ian Shive spent the previous eight years photographing America’s different, less-trammeled backyards—568 protected areas masking huge expanses of land and marine habitat, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The result’s Mr. Shive’s new guide, “Refuge: America’s Wildest Locations” (Earth Conscious, Oct. 27). Lots of the community’s refuges prohibit guests to day journeys, however a couple of let followers of moose or salmon spend the evening. We requested Mr. Shive to focus on 4 favorites, and supply a couple of solutions on the place to remain whereas there.
Kenai Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
The sizable salmon runs on this nearly 2-million-acre sanctuary draw ardent anglers—and never simply the human form. “I took a bush aircraft to an space referred to as Chickaloon Flats, the place I noticed grizzly footprints throughout,” mentioned Mr. Shive. The place to remain: Accessible solely by boat or foot, 19th-century fur-trapper cabins come outfitted with wood-burning stoves and fireplace pits (from $35, fws.gov/refuge/kenai).
Bosque del Apache Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Throughout dawn and sundown in November and December, tens of hundreds of white snow geese and sandhill cranes circle and land on Rio Grande wetlands to feed. “Think about standing at a runway at a busy airport and seeing hundreds of airplanes flying in your route. They blot out the sky,” mentioned Mr. Shive, who goes to look at the spectacle yearly along with his father, ensuring to cease by Buckhorn Tavern for a inexperienced chile burger (buckhornburgers.com). The place to remain: Mr. Shive additionally recommends reserving Los Poblanos inn, outdoors Albuquerque. “It’s like Napa Valley meets New Mexico,” he mentioned. Southwestern architect John Gaw Meem designed the 50-room resort, set on 25 acres of lavender fields, in 1932 (from $255, lospoblanos.com).
Umbagog Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Maine and New Hampshire
Simply over a two-hour drive from Portland, Maine, Umbagog Lake stretches for some eight miles and encompasses a smattering of personal islands. Discover by canoe, kayak or boat and also you’re certain to see moose wandering the shores. In fall, the panorama is a leaf-peepers utopia. The place to remain: You possibly can camp on one of many lake’s islands. “You might have your personal island with falling autumn leaves throughout you—it’s good,” mentioned Mr. Shive (from $35, fws.gov/refuge/umbagog).