The Funniest TripAdvisor and Yelp Reviews of National Parks

Not everyone finds these places spectacular and iconic.

National park Aaron Amat/ Shutterstock

America is a big country, home to no less than 62 national parks that stretch from Alaska to the Florida Keys, and from the South Pacific to the Caribbean. To visit them all, you’d need to travel to 29 states and two U.S. territories.

Some 300 million people visit America’s national parks every year, but not everyone goes home impressed with the country's greatest treasures, as you'll see.

Comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.

1. Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park
Wisanu Boonrawd / Shutterstock
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.

| Lisa V., on Yelp.

There are two types of people in the world: those who see a breathtaking expanse of Cretaceous era geological formations, and those who just see a bunch of old weathered rocks.

I have no idea what this TripAdvisor reviewer was expecting, but give these rocks a little credit, will ya? They predate humans by 80 million years. Let's see how good you look by then. Show some respect for your elders.

2. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Milan van Weelden / Shutterstock
The Holei Sea Arch within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Paid $20 to get in. Didn't even get to touch lava. The trails are cool though. Except that 10 mile hike to a steam vent. Forget that.

| Sammi M., on Yelp.

Whoever wrote this review must have taken “the floor is lava” game really seriously, because they seem pretty upset about not being able to touch lava.

Are all TripAdvisor reviewers this literal? I wonder if this person has ever tried to use Monopoly money to pay for things, or thinks that Risk offers actual powers of world domination.

Reviewers point to other reasons to avoid Hawaii's Big Island, including poor management and upkeep of the inland Mauna Loa volcano and surrounding natural forests. One TripAdvisor reviewer, PeanutWellington, laments, "Our day was severely interrupted by the most pointless, boring and possibly dangerous drive up the mountain to see nothing but a forest of dead trees."

3. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

National Park
Patrick Tr / Shutterstock
The Grand Canyon.

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, escalator or SOMETHING that gives easier access to the canyon’s depths.

| Jon W., on TripAdvisor.

This TripAdvisor reviewer wants to build more infrastructure within one of the world’s oldest natural canyons. Perhaps he’s just trying to make the park more accessible to people with disabilities, which is honorable, but judging by the tone I have my doubts.

On his next trip, he'll probably give Mount Everest one star for not having an elevator.

4. Joshua Tree National Park, California

National Park
Amy Wilkins / Shutterstock

If you’re looking for camping, expect unbearable heat, bee-infested sites and restrooms, winds that will rip your tent apart, and nothing interesting to look at but sand. Good for a night trip maybe, but hell on Earth for a summer’s day.

| Elizabeth H., on Yelp.

Deserts get hot in the summertime? Since when?

Really though, this is like looking at a pack of pistachios and being upset that it says “may contain nuts.” Next thing you know, this TripAdvisor reviewer will sue the U.S. Department of the Interior for false advertising.

As for the bees, nearby Coachella festival-goers were disappointed because one of their favorite spots for panoramic views is now a haven for bees. When you’re spending thousands of dollars on a concert ticket, that’s gotta sting a little.

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

National Park
Anders Riishede / Shutterstock

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.

| Anonymous reviewer, on TripAdvisor.

“Instagram versus reality” crushes yet another person’s dream.

Why stop at a boiling pot of water, though? Other things that resemble a geyser: Dr. Pimplepopper videos, shower heads, ketchup bottles that are almost empty and need to be squeezed extra hard or adding a Mentos to a Diet Pepsi. A natural wonder of the world, right in your own backyard.

6. Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri

National Park
James Roblee / Shutterstock


The thing is ugly as sin. It looks like half of a McDonald’s 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 '80s indie movie.

| Anonymous reviewer, on TripAdvisor.

Geez, one more exclamation point and I would have thought you were overexaggerating. If your references for beauty are fast-food chains and bad 1980s movies, maybe you don’t quite have the strongest artistic authority.

To be honest, this post makes some fair points. The arch really does look like half a McDonald's logo, but the St. Louis slander is uncalled for.

"Ugly as sin" is one of those rare insults you never hear anymore, though, so points for that.

7. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

National Park
r.classen / Shutterstock
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? No elk in Horseshoe Park? Then we went over by Beaver Meadows, more fences and no elk there either.

| R.W., on Yelp.

Maybe the fences are there to keep people like you away from the elk. Did you ever think of that? No. You only think about yourself.

Just picture the scenario, if you will:

  • Elk: sporting majestic antlers, eating leaves, minding their own business.
  • Rocky Mountain tourists: waving selfie sticks in the air, causing a ruckus, trying to get some of that elk clout for the ‘gram.

That said, have you ever actually seen an elk? Those things are massive. You don’t want to let an attacking elk ruin your sporty Turo rental car.

8. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park
Linda Moon / Shutterstock
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.

| Anonymous reviewer, on Yelp.

This review has it all: a camping trip gone wrong, a grown adult throwing a tantrum over not seeing vicious wild animals that could rip your face off, and a "thanks Obama" for no real reason.

But it inspired me to think of the tagline for a new brand of beauty products.

Woman: The only creature that smells when there’s no running water around. Big Bend for Women, the best for complainers everywhere.

9. Sequoia National Park, California

National Park
Linda Moon / Shutterstock
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-Elevens.

| Ashley B., on TripAdvisor.

Why gamble with your life in nature when you could gamble your life savings in Vegas instead? Hey, at least you could get a Slurpee while you blow your son’s college savings fund.

Like Confucius said, all good things in life are in proximity to a 7-Eleven.

10. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park.
EQRoy / Shutterstock

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.

| Alexa R., on Yelp.

Considering that the rocks had to travel 75 million years to get there, and had to live through mammoths, saber tooth tigers and rattlesnakes, and did it all without cell phone service, you got off easy.

11. Death Valley National Park, California/Nevada

Death Valley National Park
Doug Meek / Shutterstock
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.

| Tony G., on TripAdvisor.

As the great bard Coolio once said, “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and see nothing but nasty rock and salt."

Also, you are you calling ugly? Hmm? Maybe Death Valley thinks you’re no prize either. And if you'd rented out your home on Airbnb during your vacation, you would have more than made up for your lost $20.

12. Glacier National Park, Montana

National Park
Vaclav Sebek / Shutterstock
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.

| Vincenzo K., on Yelp.

Move over, New Mexico. Montana just became a hotbed for the newest alien conspiracies. After all, snow in June? Snowstorms never happen in Montana, not even in the month of June. In fact, it didn’t even snow the day before summer in 2019.

Those videos? Just a government cover up. The real answer? Aliens.

13. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Doug Meek / Shutterstock
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 [sic] and stink.

| Nick S., on Yelp.

What’s the point of visiting the 100 caves in Carlsbad if you can’t also catch a whiff of that authentic caveman stench?

Some people have an indelible hatred of Carlsbad Caverns, like TripAdvisor user onewoman62 who waited almost 10 years after a 2005 trip to post this one-star review with the title, "Carls BAD Cavern." (Clever, huh?):

This was a disappointment if there ever was one! The caverns were of limestone, poorly lit and just plain. Don't waste your time going up that mountain for these caverns. There was nothing else around there, and I didn't waste my camera film on these ugly caverns. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.

14. Denali National Park, Alaska

Denali National Park
Lukas Bischoff Photograph / Shutterstock
Denali National Park.

If you are looking for real adventure, skip Denali.

| Anonymous reviewer, on Yelp.

Considering that Denali is deep, deep in Alaska (it’s a four-hour drive from the state's largest city, Anchorage), it feels as if it’d be an adventure just getting there, let alone seeing the nation’s highest peak in a 6 million acre park. There’s just no pleasing some people.

Oh well, might as well just sell Alaska back to the Russians. One person on TripAdvisor thought it was boring. Pack it in, folks. Show’s over.

15. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Shriram Patki / Shutterstock
Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Cuyahoga Valley is a lovely place, but very small for a national park. It should be listed as a state park. It's more along the lines of Letchworth in New York state, which is a very lovely state park with THREE separate waterfalls — Cuyahoga Valley has ONE. If you are used to national parks like Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Acadia, etc., you are going to be very disappointed.

| LindyStar73, on TripAdvisor.

“It’s a lovely place, but,” is a great way to start a compliment. LindyStar73, do you have four legs and cough up hairballs? Because all I hear is "me-ow."

The comments section on Cuyahoga Valley on TripAdvisor is filled with reviews from people who seem upset that they wasted their vacation to take a trip to Ohio. Hey, it’s not Cuyahoga Valley’s fault you can’t afford Hawaii.

16. Pinnacles National Park, California

Pinnacles National Park
yhelfman / Shutterstock
Pinnacles National Park.

When we arrived, it was like the surface of Mars with nothing living on it. But, as soon as it was dark, all kinds of ants started to come out. Red ants, fire ants, big black ants all started to appear. To make matters worse, I had pitched my tent over an anthill which I did not know about until it was too late.

| David R., on Yelp.

This person reminds me of Bubba from Forrest Gump when he’s describing all of those shrimp (“coconut shrimp, king shrimp, shrimp fried rice…”).

How does he have such an encyclopedic knowledge of ants? My only guess is that he must be some sort of secret ant whisperer. Maybe the ants have overthrown their queen and selected him to be the new king of the colonies.

Then again, if you pitch your tent over an anthill, aren’t you technically their ten-ant? Hey-o!

17. Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park
Kelsey Neukum / Shutterstock
Olympic National Park.

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

| Daniel D., on Yelp.

What in the name of Zeus is this guy thinking? He's yawning at a site that's as mythical as its name.

Olympic National Park, located about two and a half hours west of downtown Seattle, is home to Mount Olympus (one of the tallest peaks in the contiguous United States), the Hoh Rainforest and the Quinault Rainforest. It’s nearly 1 million acres of breathtaking views and a fragile ecosystem filled with endangered species and disappearing glaciers, including the massive Blue Glacier.

Utah is wonderful and all, but Olympic National Park gets the gold in many ways.

18. Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii

Haleakalā National Park
Henner Damke / Shutterstock
Haleakalā 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.

| Anonymous reviewer, on TripAdvisor.

Can a crater take an IQ test? Calling it "stupid" seems a bit harsh and unwarranted. A volcanic crater is actually a depression in the ground created by liquid hot magma. Are you happy now? You made the crater depressed.

Haleakalā is Hawaiian for “house of the sun,” and that’s because ancient Hawaiians believed that the demigod Maui used his lasso to imprison the sun, so the world would have longer days.

But none of that matters, because this TripAdvisor reviewer was inconvenienced on an uber-expensive tropical vacation.

19. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park
Pung / Shutterstock
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.

| Anonymous reviewer, on Yelp.

What on earth are “yogurt-guzzling hordes”? Are you talking about that time millennials discovered Greek yogurt? My suggestion is that this user should put down the thesaurus and maybe take a nice kayak ride, because he or she seems a little tense. I’d pay good money to see yogurt-guzzling hordes, because that sounds like a barrel of laughs.

Also, you went on vacation and the only thing you remembered was the mac and cheese? How good was it? Heck, how boring is Oregon that that’s what sticks out for you?

20. Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park
Rudy Umans / Shutterstock
Everglades National Park.

Keep it moving folks. Nothing to see here. There's actually nothing to see.

| Anonymous reviewer, on TripAdvisor.

Did the “Florida Man” write this? How whacked out do you have to be to go to the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and see nothing? The place has like a billion delicate ecosystems and is home to hundreds of critically endangered species, some of which aren’t seen anywhere else in the world. This is what high-fructose corn syrup does to the brain.

But sure, nothing to see. Just book a flight to Orlando next time. Walt Disney World seems more your pace.