Do you love reading online reviews as much as I do? Most of the reviews I read are quite helpful but others are downright hilarious!
Since deciding to live the best life possible, I retired from teaching high school math and knew I wanted to travel to as many national parks as possible. So what did I do? I headed over to Yelp and TripAdvisor’s online review sites and fell down a rabbit hole of hilarity.
Combing through the review pages, I found what I consider to be the funniest best of the worst reviews of our national parks, including complaints about too much wildlife, smelly visitors, and lack of fast food restaurants.
Make sure you’re not drinking your favorite beverage while reading this…you just might spit your drink all over the screen!
Arches National Park
“Delicate arch looks like it might fall over at any time. It might fall over in the future. Doesn’t look anything like the license plate.”
“This park was extremely underwhelming. I went in with low expectations ready to see a couple of rocks with holes, instead what I saw where many stone pillars that resembled circumcised donkey dicks. Overall has some pretty nice rocks though, take the kids!”
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 the entire experience. Waste of time. Thank god I was drunk in the backseat for the majority of the trip.”
Biscayne National Park
“This National Park was highly recommended to us but didn’t have a whole lot. It would be nice if they expanded some of the land-based and cold-weather activities. There is a boardwalk where you can walk out through some mangroves, mostly where people go fishing. Some educational signs but few exhibits. Not even much scenery. We saw a couple of kinds of fish, but mostly murky water.”
Canyonlands National Park
“I was underwhelmed by this park. It was nothing like the Grand Canyon, with darkish colored stone layers, vs the red rocks almost everywhere in southern Utah and Arizona. Maybe if we had taken a hike, we would have glimpsed more beauty close up.”
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
“Unless you find big caves and rocks overwhelmingly fascinating then skip this. Of all the national parks we have visited this is by far the most boring. A walk along dimly lit paths in a huge cave with rocks and pits and pools illuminated BFD. If you have never been inside a cave or seen a picture of a cave this might interest you, otherwise don’t waste your time, energy nor money.”
Crater Lake National Park
“The concierge at my hotel and a few others were barking about how great “Crater Lake” is. I went on trip advisor and saw the reviews thinking this was a can’t miss. Boy was I wrong. Let me break it down for you, it’s essentially a deep lake. Big whoop. I can only see maybe 10′ down and then it’s black so why do I care if its 12 feet deep or 12,000? Also, according to Wikipedia, it’s the 9th deepest lake in the world, so I’m essentially wasting my time. Wizard island was the biggest joke and waste of time. Nothing even happens on that island that is remotely entertaining. After walking around for a bit wondering if there is anything else to do at this hole of water, I headed back to my car. On the way there I slipped and fell in what I can only imagine was animal droppings. I got it all over my boots, jeans, and shirt. The smell emanating from the poo was atrocious. Luckily I had a duffle of clothes to change into. I left after maybe an hour and a half of walking around. Do not drive out of your way for this hole of water.”
Death Valley National Park
“Don’t waste your time!! I have lived in places ranging from by the ocean to the desert, and I have to say this is the ugliest place I have ever seen. Most deserts at least have some color to them, creating their own special beauty, not here, there is a bit of color near the entrance, and a tiny bit inside, otherwise… I paid $20 for nothing but nasty rock and salt, and It didn’t help that the trip started out by dealing with an oh so wonderful park ranger who had clearly spent too many hours in the 120-degree weather. I will admit, when you make it to Badwater and see the sign for sea level, that’s pretty cool, but for me, that’s where it ended. You can find the exact same things in other places, and generally, they do it better. Being a Californian and paying up the wazoo for taxes and higher rates on my water because we don’t have any, 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. I have no issues paying fees for national or state parks, but I could have done a lot better putting my money towards something else.”
Gateway Arch National Park
“BORING!!! First off, the thing is as ugly as sin. It looks like half of a McDonald’s logo or a giant urinal. The museum is only mildly amusing. You’d get the same museum experience, but better at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. 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.”
Grand Canyon National Park
“Went to the Grand Canyon this past week and let me tell YOU it’s a big ole waste o time! There was dirt EVERYWHERE and the hiking trail was too long! Also, where are the vending machines?? And nowhere to charge my phone! It’s way too deep to even see the bottom! The only thing that saved this trip where the crab enchiladas we ate down the road at Plaza Bonita, BEST MEXICO FOOD EVER! Grand Canyon more like Grand Blandyon.”
Hot Springs National Park
“The historical preservation is wonderful. However, the actual hot springs bath houses were something out of a horror film. The notion of so many people coming to bathe together in a steamy bathhouse with those who were ill with typhoid fever, syphilis, and other ailments, is unsettling. Combine that with electro hydrotherapy of yesteryear and it makes for a scary experience. Please note, the preservation is very good and the facility is very clean. The docents are very knowledgable and helpful. The film they show is VERY dated. It’s almost embarrassing that it is still used at a National Park.”
Joshua Tree National Park
“What a ripoff, 30$ to see a bunch of rocks and cactus, how is the pass so high and yet people keep going, it really made my expectation high only to get disappointed, save yourself the trip and go to San Bernardino forest if you are around the area. Probably more fun, unless you are a big cactus fan.”
Kenai Fjords National Park
“Took a 5-hour boat tour of Resurrection Bay and the Fjords. Most boring 5 hours of my life! Half the boat was laying across seats sleeping! I can only assume that the others who wrote glowing reviews for this would be excited at watching grass grow because this tour was in line with that! My 80-year-old father, my brother 49, my son 21 and myself 53 all could not wait to get off that boring boat ride! They told us once we got on the boat you rarely see whales or other sea life. Instead of spending $70 on this tour send me $35 and I’ll come over to your place and hit you upside the head with a 2×4!”
Lassen Volcanic National Park
“Good views!! but the volcano was false I literally walked into the volcano!! three days later the smell won’t leave my nostrils!!”
Petrified Forest National Park
“I did a double take looking at the positive reviews of this place. Really?!! It’s a long, unimpressive drive to an unimpressive place. We were shocked that this was a national park. It’s basically a desert with some dead trees. There were some pull outs that had a couple of polished trees that were interesting, but not worth the drive. We found it amusing that we were instructed not to take any petrified wood. Then, there were multiple stores selling massive quantities of petrified wood!”
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 to your window. I have spent countless nights all over this park and I am never not disappointed. There are bugs and stuff, and they will bite you on your face. They are really hands off when it comes to tourism. They don’t even offer a helicopter tour. Do they not want to make money? Anyways if I could give this place zero stars I would, for the sole reason of only have two vending machines. I have checked the entire park. The Mt. Goddard recreation area has exactly 0 vending machines for at least a 5-mile radius, maybe more. You might not be surprised but there is no way to order a pizza either.“
Yosemite National Park
“This is the biggest scam of a national park I’ve ever witnessed. You have to pay $35 just to get in and then it’s an hour of driving before you get to anything worthwhile. The views on the drive up are the same as in the park. My family and I will NOT be returning to this disgrace of a national park anytime soon. Very disappointed.”
I hope you got as big of a laugh as I did at these 15 funny, best of the worst national park reviews. If you have other funny bad reviews to add, please leave them in a comment below. Enjoying a good belly laugh is a great part of my day and I love to make others laugh too!
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