Mature man with backpack standing on mountain against sky during wonderful sunrise
Really Need To Relax? These Are Some Of The Quietest Destinations On Earth
Olympic National Park provides an ideal nature soundtrack, which is why Gordon Hempton — an award-winning acoustic ecologist who traveled the world in search of quiet — awarded a tiny spot in the Hoh Rainforest the title of "quietest place in the U.S." Marked by a red stone on top of a log, you can camp nearby on the beach or in the forest.
Hoh Rainforest, Washington
The low population density and transportation infrastructures of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden contribute to less man-made noise, allowing for natural sounds like bird chirps, rustling leaves, and crashing waves to flourish. According to a 2016 EEA report, all of this is conducive to creating a quiet space.
Most Scandinavian Countries
The only non-Scandinavian country in Europe to be located in a quieter zone, thanks to lower population density and unique topography, is Switzerland. The high slope gradients and peaks of the Swiss Alps are favorable environments for quiet areas, as is the city of Zurich.
Yellowstone has noise levels that are akin to stepping back in time, before colonization. According to a 2015 noise level map in Science Magazine, most cities are often 50 to 60 decibels, but Yellowstone is usually below 20, and per High Country News, many initiatives encourage visitors to be mindful of how they contribute to noise.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Per the 2015 noise level map in Science Magazine, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is also magnitudes quieter than most cities. With beautiful Alpine lakes, clear skies, and 750-foot namesake dunes, it's been designated as an International Dark Sky Park to fight light pollution, and many are pushing for the same limitations for noise pollution.
Great Sand Dunes Park, Colorado