Funniest Yelp Reviews of National Parks
Ah, national parks.
These majestic treasures have been beloved by millions since Yellowstone, our first national park, was established in 1872. Since then, 63 other glorious parks have been preserved and opened to the public, welcoming visitors to enjoy towering peaks, jagged red-rock formations, active volcanoes and so much more.
Unfortunately, according to some Yelp reviewers, national parks are also the actual worst.
We’ve combed through Yelp’s online pages to find the funniest vicious reviews of national parks, including complaints about too much wildlife, stinky visitors and a lack of 7/11s. Make sure you’re not eating while you read these, lest you spit out your food at the screen.
Arches National Park
"This park was extremely underwhelming. I went in with low expectations ready to see a couple rocks with holes, instead what I saw were many stone pillars that resembled circumcised donkey d***s. Overall has some pretty nice rocks though don't take the kids!"
If nature was a Rorschach test, then Arches National Park — with its 65-million-year-old geological features — would certainly be one of the top places to go. Alongside its namesake arches are indeed many pillars that look like popsicles.
Or male anatomical parts.
Hey, it’s your choice.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
"Paid $20 to get in. Didn't even get to touch lava."
You can do a lot of things in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. You can check out the Thurston Lava Tube. You can hike more than 100 miles of trails. You can wince at the smell of sulphur banks. You can even ogle at volcano art.
But you cannot touch the lava.
Grand Canyon National Park
"Whoopity do, Grand Canyon. You are a giant hole in the ground. You were caused by erosion. You don't have roller coasters or Dippin' Dots. Jeeesh. Can you say 'overrated?'"
The Grand Canyon is one of Earth’s greatest natural features. After being formed over millions of years by erosion, it’s now one of the biggest canyons in the world. It’s visited by 6.25 million people per year — almost 2 percent of the entire U.S. population.
Alas, two things that the Grand Canyon definitely does not have are Dippin’ Dots or roller coasters. So maybe it's actually kind of the worst.
Yellowstone National Park
"The one thing that makes this place different from other parks is the geysers. I was extremely underwhelmed. They look SO much better in the pictures. If you want a similar look just boil a pot of water at home.
Honestly though, save yourself some money and boil some water at home."
Sure, this might work. But you’ll also need to douse your stove in thermophilic bacteria, which are responsible for creating the gorgeous color palettes we see along the thermal vents and geysers.
You could also always try boiling soda and dropping a Mentos in the mixture to create the geyser. What could go wrong?
Gateway Arch National Park
The thing is ugly as sin, It looks like half of a McDonalds logo, or a giant urinal.
And going up to the top of the Arch is the worst. There is nothing to see other than St. Louis' ugly skyline, which really looks like a generic skyline out of some cheap 80's indie movie."
St. Louis’s Gateway Arch serves as a memorial to the United States' westward expansion. It’s literally the “gateway” to the West.
But, sure, it looks like something dudes pee into?
Great Sand Dunes National Park
"It's a big mountain of sand."
The one defining feature of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park is indeed its mountains of sand.
These dunes were formed after a massive ancient lake receded, leaving its dry sandy lakebed behind. The sand was then molded into dunes by the high winds coming off of the neighboring Sangre de Cristo mountains, turning the whole area into an otherworldly landscape.
But, meh. Just a mountain of sand.
Yosemite National Park
"BTW the park shuts off some of the waterfalls after mid-summer. This is probably due to dwindling Park Service budgets that are spent on toilet paper. Please protest this fiscal mismanagement by STAYING AWAY from Yosemite!
Also, there are bears in Yosemite. They practice breaking into cars. Do you want a bear to break into your car? STAY AWAY!"
Believe it or not, the National Park Service is not a souped-up waterscape. Many waterfalls (especially in the West) rely on snow melt to sustain them, and when the snow runs out, so do the waterfalls. That’s why springtime is often the best time to visit the park if you’re itching for some great waterfall shots.
That said, at least it sounds like there’s plenty of toilet paper no matter when you go! (Also, we kind of think seeing a bear crack a car lock would be really cool?)
Death Valley National Park
"I was especially happy to walk out, after my encounter with Mr. Park Ranger, and see what, NICE GREEN GRASS, in one of the hottest places on earth."
Green grass is not unusual to find in a desert, especially if there’s recently been a rare rainstorm or if you’re in a nice microhabitat for plant growth. It’s almost as if grass were...adapted...to the ecosystem.
Big Bend National Park
"They didn't expect to get electricity for at least half a week. Have you ever camped with a woman for half a week where there is no available warm running water anywhere? They start to stink. And complain. And to top it off we never got to see any bears or mountain lions.
Thanks a lot Obama."
True, camping isn’t exactly known to be the most hygienic of activities. But perhaps the best way to deal with this isn't by complaining about your partner's stench in a public forum on the internet?
In any case, I think we can all agree that Obama is to blame.
Sequoia National Park
"This place is dangerous. There are bears, mountain lions, and worst of all, sketchy people. Hide your wives, hide your kids, hide your husbands, because they will come through your window. There are bugs and stuff, and they will bite you on your face.
Don't waste your time here. Go to Vegas, for sure Vegas is practical, and has 7/11s."
Perhaps the man complaining about the lack of bears and mountain lions in Big Bend National Park should visit Sequoia National Park instead? First though, we’ll have to warn him about the sketchy people. And the face-destroying bugs. And the lack of convenient Slurpees.
Badlands National Park
"I didn't see what the big deal was. We drove a million years to see some semi-impressive rock formations? And there were RATTLESNAKES everywhere? Dumb. You lose cell service because you're in Nowhere USA. The only thing bad about these lands is entire experience. Waste of time. Thank god I was drunk in the backseat for the majority of the trip."
Badlands National Park is another geologist’s dream. The colorful layers that make up these hills have been deposited over the past 75 million years, much like how you create a sand art sculpture.
That said, stashing some vodka in the backseat — in case a snake attacks and you don't have cell service to call for help — is never a bad idea...
Mount Rainier National Park
"I have seen bigger mountains."
After consulting multiple expert sources, we have determined that Mount Rainier and Mount Everest are two different mountains (womp womp). In fact, of all the mountains in North America, Mount Rainier only ranks 30th in terms of height. But what makes Rainier special isn’t exactly its height: It’s its height in relation to the flatlands around it. Oh, and the fact that it’s an active volcano.
Joshua Tree National Park
"He informed us that if he tells us where the arch is and we actually go, we will create a 'dangerous situation' for other visitors. Duh!
Go to hell, ranger Dustin (or Justin), you ruined our trip!"
Joshua Tree National Park’s Arch Rock is a popular destination for families and people who aren’t quite up to a multi-mile slog. Plenty of people visit this trail every year, so much so that parking has become a serious issue (a perennial problem for popular national parks).
This leads to a lot of tension and overcrowding, which can unfortunately be taken out on people like Ranger Dustin. And/or Justin.
Glacier National Park
"At the time of our visit, half the road was close due to snow! Well, there was no snow on the mountains and it being late June, it could not possibly have snowed there! Was there a UFO landing? Pretty fishy."
By far, the must-do activity in Glacier National Park is to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This pass winds up among mountains and offers jaw-dropping views of the glaciers from a high vantage point.
Oh, and the road closure? Per the park’s website, “The opening of the alpine portion varies, based on snowfall and plowing progress. Typically the road has been fully open in late June or early July.”
Hmmm. Sounds like what a government agency trying to cover up alien activity would say...
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
"They don't enforce the rules, children run (almost pushing you over the railing/ledge) and yell. Most people have bad odor and stink."
This New Mexican park includes more than 100 caves... and, apparently, funky-smelling visitors and murderous kids.
You've been warned.
Zion National Park
"My guess is the people that love this place never get out much."
From slot canyons to desert oases to hikes through rivers, Zion National Park packs a lot in one area. You could spend a whole summer exploring this park, and be amazed at its breathtaking red-rock formations juxtaposed against blue pools and green grasses.
Then again, maybe we just don't get out much.
Haleakala National Park
"I have no idea why anyone would rave so much about this stupid crater. We woke up at 3:30 a.m. and drove for 2.5 hours each way to watch something that looks better on Google images while freezing to death. Do yourself a favor and just Google 'pretty sunrise' and save yourself the disappointment."
In ancient times, native Hawaiians honored this breathtaking landscape, where they believed the demigod Maui caught the sun in his crater hidey-hole with a lasso. The reason? To force the sun to travel slower through the sky, thereby lengthening the day.
That, or to torment tourists who haven’t yet had their morning coffee.
Crater Lake National Park
"There's an amazingly deep and creepy lake.
There's a crappy lodge where they have mac and cheese.
In the summertime, there are pestilent yogurt-guzzling hordes."
Believe it or not, you can indeed find a deep lake at Crater Lake National Park. As to whether it’s creepy? Well, that’s your call.
The “crappy lodge,” meanwhile, is actually a grand, century-old establishment. And yes, you might even be able to get mac and cheese and yogurt there. Guzzle away, you pestilent hordes.
Mammoth Cave National Park
"Maybe our expectations were set high. Maybe two young guys looking for adventure was not what this place could handle but wow was this burning.
When they turned all the lights off and told you to listen to the cave, Ranger Ashley would not stop talking. I am upset about this and wish I went to the distilleries instead."
The highlight of any cave tour — let alone one in Mammoth Cave National Park — is when you turn off the lights and listen to the cave, a thoroughly creepy experience that can indeed be ruined if someone keeps chattering away.
Come to think of it, maybe a distillery would be a better choice after all...
Acadia National Park
"The only thing I really got out my visit was a whole lot of jokes containing the phrase 'Thunder Hole.'"
Arcadia National Park was probably one of the first sights of North America for many Europeans first making the perilous crossing. It’s a wild land of forests and rugged coastline.
But for some people, the only interesting thing about it is the giant seaside cave that spews out seawater up to 40 feet in the air. Sort of like a college frat party.
Grand Teton National Park
"$30 to get in.... Are you kidding me! They raised the prices! What? Is the road paved with gold or something to make it that expensive?"
It's true that park fees have increased — but the change applied to the entire system of over 100 parks. You can thank your elected representative in the Oval Office for this one. The White House asked to cut the budget of the Interior Department, which NPS is part of, by about 12 percent in 2018.
But roads of gold does have a nice ring to it...
Rocky Mountain National Park
"Way overrated. First of all, there's wildlife everywhere — who wants to run into a moose on the trail? What if it eats you? And the rangers are all way too friendly. It's like they're completely oblivious to all the suffering in the world. Plus there's not a single Starbucks on any of the trail heads. Finally, too many snowcapped mountains. I like to see the horizon at all times. It calms me."
It would be very inconvenient if a moose ate you. Good point.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
"It's a bit scary with all the signs about controlling your children because people have fallen to their death on the trail."
It seems that this mother would rather remain joyfully oblivious to any danger at the top of a sheer waterfall. Sure, let the kids run free...
Everglades National Park
"Keep it moving folks...
Nothing to see here.
There's actually nothing to see."
It's the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. You might spot a great blue heron or an entire flock of roseate spoonbills or even a mighty alligator.
But, yeah... nothing to see.
Bryce Canyon National Park
"I would recommend not to go in the cold months because it is very cold."
At Bryce Canyon, the warm months are warm and the cold months are cold. It's all very confusing.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
"I literally walked into the volcano!!
Three days later, the smell won't leave my nostrils!!"
Note to self, don't do that.
Hot Springs National Park
"I honestly don't understand how this is considered a national park. Don't waste your time coming here unless you're REALLY into hot springs or are already passing by and want to mark a national park off your list."
No, no, that's cool. I mean, there is water deep within the Earth's surface that is hot, like lava. And sometimes, rarely, it finds its way to the surface creating natural hot tubs.
And then there is a city within the national park that offers spas so you can sit in these natural hot tubs safely.
What's not to get?
Shenandoah National Park
"Shenandoah National Park was just alright for me... being the national parks enthusiast that I am...
After a few overlooks, the scenery becomes REDUNDANT."
We hear you. Seventy-five overlooks along Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive can be a little much.
Conagree National Park
"They need to spray for bugs. Too many trees. They should consider removing all the trees."
Spraying for bugs in swampland? Why didn't anyone think of that before?
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
"I love this place. Please be noted that the review should be that long."
She has a way with words.
She maybe wanted to add that the peaks here are the four tallest mountains in Texas, that there is a fossil reef or that there aren't road here in what is considered a paradise to hikers.
King's Canyon National Park
"Until you reach 5,000 feet elevation, you won't even feel you are inside a national park or approaching one. You will feel like inside a desert. In the summer it gets way too hot to handle."
You see, the funny thing about King's Canyon is its great diversity. It has mountains, it has forests and — get this — it has a desert!
(Should someone tell this Yelper?)
Olympia National Park
"Beautiful park, but the park service employees kept on making dumb rules like how many friends we can have."
As in, like, total?
Great Basin National Park
"A big shout out to the NP ranger who dismissed some dolt lady from Illinois who tried to claim my campsite. Ha ha, good riddance loser!!"
Aren't the park rangers just amazing?
At Great Basin, especially, they lead Lehman Caves Tours, astronomy programs and Junior Ranger programs.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
"NOT A TRUE NAT'L PARK. Its genesis seems to have been an Ohio politician who forced himself on the National Park Service. There's a sign lauding this 'champion' and his 'inspiring commitment' at the entrance to the Visitor Center and a room inside named for him."
Actually, Cuyahoga Valley National Park had long been a brownfield where the beautiful falls within were heavily polluted. That politician, former Congressman John Seiberling, helped saved the land to create a "park by, of and for the people."
What land have you saved lately?
Mesa Verde National Park
"I was very annoyed and left here feeling unsatisfied with my experience. It felt like I missed out as there's just not all that much to see/do here outside of the tours...
You can't even get a good picture because of the tour group."
Darn those tours that get in the way of our shots. We should all be free to explore the cliffside houses of the ancestral Pueblos that have been eroding for more than 600 years.
I'm sure we can keep them safe without a ranger and no one will try to take anything.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
"There once was a wealthy eastern kid who wanted to shoot a buffalo. He came here to do it. Years later, he was elected president. When he died, politicians wanted to name a park after him. They eventually decided on this location, as TR said that killing a buffalo here was really important to his career path. It helped that the government had bought a bunch of depleted farmland here from broke farmers during the Great Depression and weren't sure what else to do with it.
Does this sound like the backstory for a national park, a jewel of our public lands programs, to you? Me neither."
Actually, there is some truth in this.
But the bison are protected now and have been brought back from the brink of extinction.
North Cascades National Park
"Great views, but the forest floor could really use a good vacuum!
This takes neat freak to a whole new level.
Indiana Dunes National Park
"Worst Lake Michigan experience of my life. Constant loud reminders of what you are not allowed to do. No rafts. No boogie boards. No pool noodles. No flotation devices of any kind. No skimboards. No dogs. No grilling on the sand. No alcohol (expected). No going in the water and having fun and absolutely no going in the water 'over chest deep.'
Wow. Literally everyone stands still in the shallow water like zombies. I advise stay far away and go to Michigan. Also, the line to get in with your car is like 20-30 minutes long all day long...they need more booths or a better system."
We get it. You don't like rules. Who does?
It is difficult for us to imagine people standing like zombies in a lake though. Lighten up!
Denali National Park
"If you are looking for real adventure, skip Denali. It is a four-hour bus ride to Eilsen visitors center. The bus stops way too much. The hiking trails are limited. Two of the trails were closed because of bears. We did not go for the wildlife from the bus since we like to see it on our own.
According to their records, you only have a 35 percent chance of seeing Denali, 25 miles away from the visitors center in July. You are only at 3,900 feet."
No one likes to be on a bus for hours on end, but can we suggest spending a bit more time in the park to get the true experience of this once-in-a-lifetime trip?
Canyonlands National Park
"If you have a dog, forget about having a good time. Dogs not even allowed at lookouts with concrete sidewalks. Can't even have them in cars on wannabe 4x4 roads. Stupid government rules because a few ruin it for others. Punish all.
As far as a park, very nice. How about no kids because they are noisy cry and pee a lot. Views not bad, but it's no Grand Canyon where dogs are allowed to get out of the car. We had our kids and now a dog. Forget these Utah national parks."
We get it. You're more of a dog person than a kid person.
But, typically, no-dog rules are in place to protect your dog, you know, possibly from the black bears and coyotes that run free.