Thought your campsite was the quietest around? A new noise-level map from the National Park Service might surprise you. Photo by Brandon Scherzberg

Thought your campsite was the quietest around? A new noise-level map from the National Park Service might surprise you. Photo: Brandon Scherzberg

I'm sure the subtle, soothing sounds of “Turn Down For What," coming from the campsite I slept a snug 50 feet from last weekend, were intended to entertain the rest of the campground after quiet hours … or maybe not.

If you're looking for a quieter way to camp, you're going to have to visit Yellowstone (bummer, right?). The famous National Park and its neighboring states boast some of the quietest places in the country, according to a report from the National Park Service.

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A new map created by the National Park Service's (NPS) Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division pinpoints where the country's quietest places are, culling from 1.5 million hours of sound data from 546 park sites, collected using sound meter gauges.

Yellow areas highlight the loudest places in the country, blue areas map the quietest. Graphic courtesy of NPS

Yellow areas highlight the loudest places in the country, blue areas map the quietest. Graphic: courtesy of NPS

So here's the no-brainer: The loudest spots are near major cities, the quietest in some of the wildest terrain. But even the places we consider pin-drop-status quiet are starting to hear the effects of sound pollution. While Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park have a background noise level of less than 20 decibels (so they sound just like they did before European colonization), other famously quiet parks and rural places are getting louder and louder.

Which, as it turns out, means more than annoyed campers. According to CityLab, sound pollution can mess with animals' mating cycles and certain animal species will avoid noisier areas completely.

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