The United States has a wealth of natural beauty, and some of its most spectacular sights are within the country’s many national parks. Tourists flock to these popular travel destinations every year, but not everyone is exactly excited about it. As these national park reviews from Yelp show, the sites don’t always meet travelers’ sky-high expectations
Check out some of these hilarious Yelp reviews of national parks from what we can only assume are indoor-enthusiasts. What can we say, some people are better off binging survival shows at home than facing nature head on.
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 where [sic] many stone pillars that resembled circumcised donkey d***s. Over all has some pretty nice rocks though take the kids!”
If you’re tired of looking for shapes in the clouds, try looking at rocks! There are plenty to see at Arches National Park in Grand County, Utah. These breathtaking geological features date back 65 million years. Despite the name though, it’s not all arches. There are also many rock pillars that look like… well, you decide what you think they look like.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
“Paid $20 to get in. Didn’t even get to touch lava.”
There is so much to do on Hawaii’s Big Island, and one of the favorites is Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Two active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa still spew out hot lava. You can see the glow and smell the sulphur, but, to this visitor’s dismay, you can’t touch it.
Grand Canyon National Park
“Whoopity do, Grand Canyon. You are a giant hole in the ground. You were caused be erosion. You don’t have roller coasters or dippin’ dots. Jeeesh. Can you say ‘overrated?’”
The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest natural features and top tourist attractions in the world. It’s visited by 6.25 million people per year — almost 2 percent of the entire U.S. population.
The gorge, a mile deep in some places, was formed by millions of years of erosion by the Colorado River, and it’s now one of the biggest canyons in the world. It has hiking, camping, helicopter tours and a glass viewing platform, but there are some things it lacks. Namely, Dippin’ Dots and roller coasters. Without those, are you even a park?
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.”
Yellowstone was the United States’ very first National Park, so it’s basically the origin of all these national park reviews. Herds of bison, a spectacular waterfall, and half of the world’s geothermic features coexist within its borders.
But what’s so great about geothermic features anyway? I mean, you have seen boiling water before, haven’t you?
Gateway Arch National Park
“BORING!!! 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 any 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 they [sic] 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 7/11’s.”
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 there, 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 of the road was closed 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 their rules, Children run (almost pushing you over the railing/ ledge) and yell. Most people have bad Oder 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 am 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 of 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 snow capped 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 sign 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…
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.
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.
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.