The 20 Best Bad Reviews of National Parks on Yelp

Adventure Journal has more than 3,000 stories in our archive, most of which are evergreen. We like to put our most popular posts back on the homepage for new readers to enjoy, or, in this case, when we update a piece with new information, like even more hilarious one-star Yelp reviews of National Parks. – Ed.

National parks are for everyone – or at least that’s what you’d think if you’ve ever been to Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, or Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a busy weekend. Alas, they’re not.

We noticed that a few Yelp users have some issues with America’s Best Idea – the parks are boring, or crowded, or all the good stuff is way too far from the car. And we think some of their comments are funny, so we combed Yelp for the “best” of the one-star, two-star, and three-star reviews. Grand Canyon National Park received a very high percentage of the vitriol, for some reason. Probably because it is really just, as one Yelper put it, “a great big hole.” Here are our favorites.

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.”

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
“Paid $20 to get in. Didn’t even get to touch lava.”

Crater Lake National Park
“There are mosquitos everywhere and I can get a larger portion of food from Olive Garden for the same price. Hard pass. Restock your beer more frequently, we bought you out in 3 days.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“The reason I give Grand Canyon National Park only one star as a National Park is that pretty much all of the really awesome things you could potentially do in the Grand Canyon are basically off-limits for a day tripper…I just don’t understand why they won’t build a road, aerial tramway, elevator, or SOMETHING that gives easier access to the canyon’s depths. To people who say that building anything would ruin the Grand Canyon, I would say this – did building a road into Yosemite Valley ruin Yosemite?”

Joshua Tree National Park
“In my own experience, I wouldn’t come back here. I don’t know how you go a day without showering if you’re spending time at the desert.”

Mount Rainier National Park
“This place was the worst!!! I’m not saying it wasn’t pretty, but it makes me remember an episode of the Cosby show where Vanessa is engaged to someone and Bill Cosby says that it was like a juicy piece of steak presented on a trash can lid. That’s what this place was. Mount Rainier served on a trash can lid.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“As amazing as the views are it is really kind of boring. Every 500 ft a new vantage point of the same thing: a really big hole in the ground. Don’t get me wrong, the canyon is amazing. What would be better is a guided tour of the canyon from open-air view trams via a very long (much longer than exists) rim side roadway. What would also be nice is Segway rentals, but I know the reason why this isn’t done is because someone would inevitably drive off the edge of the canyon to their death.”

“When we got out of the car, the smell of sulfur nearly knocked my girlfriend off her feet and the stench followed us through the day as it clung to our clothes and hair.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“Whatever you do, be warned that there are no barriers around the edges which fall about 300-900 feet into the depths of the Canyon. Do not take pictures or have pictures taken of yourself without being serious. Do not hover about the Canyon whilst drunk. You will fall over the edge and you will die. Be warned in advance that 60 people have fell over the edge and, in 20 instances, people were posing for or taking pictures while hovering on a rock close to the edge.”

Rocky Mountain National Park
“We went up Sunday 9/11 to see the elk bugle. Because of all the elk fences now in Horseshoe Park there were NO elk there period. Are you kidding me a fall rut season and no elk in Horseshoe Park? Then we went over by Beaver Meadows, more fences and few elk there either.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“Look, the Grand Canyon is a very beautiful place. I loved the sights there. But I was bored after a few minutes. The only time I wasn’t bored was when I was standing inches from my death. There is no fence to stop you from falling thousands of feet to the bottom. You could actually stumble and die.”

Arches National Park
“I’ve been to a lot of national parks and this one was over-hyped in my opinion. Arches is no Yosemite.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“After driving and driving for about 50 mins, you enter the Grand Canyon to find TADA: A great big hole. Personally I don’t know how I feel about the grand canyon. When I first saw it, I will admit that I was not awed. After walking around and even attempting to get close to the edge (yes there are areas where there are no fences or gates to reinforce the perimeter) I became overwhelmed for the sheer fact knowing that a tiny burst of wind could plummet my body to sheer disintegration.”

Olympic National Park
“I’ve seen a lot better. Try going to Utah. You will be blown away by the parks there.”

Denali National Park
“If you are looking for real adventure, skip Denali.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“At first, I was amazed at the scale and grandeur of the Grand Canyon. The views along the 277-mile-long chasm are nothing short of awe-inspiring. But then it hit me: it all looks the same. There are various lookout points and interesting exhibits in the park, but I couldn’t help but get bored of seeing a giant trench in the ground. There is very little variation and few features.”

Grand Canyon National Park
“The one day that I had to spend at the Grand Canyon was flooded with fog. We could not see a thing. I would not have known there was a canyon there, had I not been told. I was disappointed that although I got there at 4:30 pm and there was zero visibility, the park continued to collect the $25 dollar fee per car.”

Arches National Park
“Really pretty and dramatic in some vista spots, such as Park Avenue, but to get anywhere close to an arch or two you have to be up for some serious hiking. Most disappointing, this should be clearly noted in the Park literature.”

Canyonlands National Park
“If you have seen the Grand Canyon, it is not clear why you would need to make the three hour round trip drive from hwy 191 and back to see Canyonlands. This park is similar but 10 times wider and flatter.”

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.”

Photo by Revo_1599/Flickr



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