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8 exotic destinations that are part of the U.S.

By: Josh Lew on July 23, 2014, 2:59 p.m.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Photo: Steven Chase/USFWS/Flickr

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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, often shortened to ANWR, features some of the most unforgiving conditions of any destination on our list.  The 19.6-million acre park is sometimes referred to as “America's last wilderness.” And a wilderness it certainly is. You are more likely to see polar bears, caribou herds, musk oxen, and grizzlies than other people. 

Winter lasts for nine months here, with snow covering the peaks of the Brooks Range year-round and below-freezing temps even possible during summer nights.  Because of the sheer remoteness of this land, travel can be dangerous and guided expeditions are the best way to go for all but the most experienced trekkers. Several outfitters lead polar bear viewing trips and nature hikes into ANWR regularly.