Visitors Say These National Parks Are a Total Waste of Your Time

When it comes to planning a vacation, putting the state or national parks on the list is usually a good idea. Notice we said usually, but not always. Don’t even bother adding these parks to your wish list, because they’re a total waste of time, according to the people who’ve been there. They say these are the worst parks, the most boring parks, or just plain old wastes of time.

1. Arches

Arches National Park

Arches National Park | jose1983/iStock/Getty Images

Location: Utah

Utah has tons of national parks, national forests, monuments, and conservation areas, including an underrated one, but not all of them are great. One visitor gives Arches a low rating because all the other parks in southern Utah are so great.

Next: According to one visitor, this park lives up to its name.

2. Badlands

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park | Wirepec/iStock/Getty Images

Location: South Dakota

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but not everyone sees a dream setting at Badlands National Park. As one person put it, “Badlands is basically washed out hills of 50,000-year-old mud.”

Next: Even park enthusiasts don’t like it.

3. Canyonlands

Mesa Morning, Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park | iStock/Getty Images

Location: Utah

Utah houses a couple of the most boring parks. We discussed Arches a minute ago, and now we’re visiting Canyonlands. You know it’s one of the worst parks when even park enthusiasts don’t like it. As one visitor writes, “[My wife] and I found this place to be a little boring. … I’ve been to the Grand Canyon (too many times), Death Valley, Yosemite, Bryce, Zion, Arches… etc. etc. Places where I liked the atmosphere a lot better.”

Next: Most people should expect an ‘unrewarding’ visit.

4. Congaree

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park | TheBigMK/iStock/Getty Images

Location: South Carolina

What someone calls one of the most boring parks someone else calls a treasure, but that’s probably not Congaree. The mosquitos, venomous snakes, poison ivy, and flat landscape don’t provide the same kind of breathtaking views other parks have. Or as one reviewer puts it, Congaree is very unrewarding.

Next: We can see how this might be one of the worst parks.

5. Death Valley

A lone "sailing rock" sits basking in the bright unrelenting sun at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park | jamesdvdsn/iStock/Getty Images

Location: California

You know Death Valley as the lowest point in North America, and while that excites some people, others call it a waste of time and money. A California visitor who loves the desert feels $20 is too much money to look at rocks and salt flats all day.

Next: How you feel about cold weather probably affects how you feel about this park.

6. Denali

Denali National Park

Denali National Park | Lance King/Getty Images

Location: Alaska

Whether or not you call Denali one of the boring parks probably depends on how you feel about exploring the wilderness and cold weather. One visitor says there’s not much adventure, and while there are some breathtaking parts, Denali amounts to a long drive to see tundra.

Next: This state again?

7. Gates of the Arctic

Gates of the Arctic National Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons

Location: Alaska

Gates of the Arctic is another Alaska park whose appeal depends on how in touch with nature you want to get. True to its name the park is entirely north of the arctic circle, but as Fox News writes, no roads lead to the park and there aren’t any trails to hike. In winter you’ll be freezing cold in the dark, and in summer you’ll be swarmed by biting bugs and probably getting too close to dangerous grizzly bears.

Next: Haters are gonna hate.

8. Grand Canyon

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon | Mladen Antonov/Getty Images

Location: Arizona

We say the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring testament to nature’s power, but of course, some people say this is one of the most boring parks. As one visitor writes, “You’ll go ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ for 30 seconds [at] … a very, very large hole.”

Next: Maybe size does matter

9. Hot Springs

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park | National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons

Location: Arkansas

The smallest national park makes a case for being one of the most boring parks in the U.S. For one thing, it’s not even close to being a wild retreat deep in nature since the town of Hot Springs goes right up to the edge of the park. Plus, as one reviewer writes, the park is the bargain basement national park.

Next: An underwhelming experience.

10. Joshua Tree

Jumbo rock in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park | travelview/iStock/Getty Images

Location: California

If you visit Joshua Tree, you’d expect to see some actual Joshua trees, right? Well, one visitor saw more trees outside the park than inside, which made for the most underwhelming national park visit ever.

Next: So many things that make this one of the worst parks.

11. Mount Rainier

Tacoma Washington and Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier | gmc3101/iStock/Getty Images

Location: Washington

Yes, it’s a short drive from Seattle, so you can have the best of the city and nature in one day, but Mount Rainier is one of the worst parks out there. One person writes the rude rangers, the terrible traffic, and poor behavior of other visitors make for a disappointing experience.

Next: Another Washington pit stop.

12. Olympic

Green Valleys Snow Mountains Hurricane Ridge Olympic National Park Washington

Olympic National Park | bpperry/iStock/Getty Images

Location: Washington

If you’ve never seen the mountains before, you probably won’t call Olympic one of the most boring parks. However, some visitors from the west coast say they’ve seen a lot better.

Next: An A+ for the scenery, an F for the employees.

13. Rocky Mountain

Bear lake Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park | l3ankadi/iStock/Getty Images

Location: Colorado

As you can imagine, Rocky Mountain National Park is surrounded by soaring peaks, and the natural beauty is hard to match. As one 2017 visitor writes, the scenery is great, but the rude park employees ruin the experience.

Next: With a name like this, you know what you’re getting into.

14. Wind Cave

Wind Cave

Wind Cave National Park | Rebecca Lambertsen/Getty Images

Location: South Dakota

With a name like Wind Cave, you know what to expect, but this joins Badlands another skippable and boring South Dakota park. It’s a cave system. Buffeted by the wind. Surrounded by great plains scrubland. As one visitor points out, the caves are boring, and so are the tour guides.

Next: It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

15. Yellowstone

Geyser in Yellowstone National Park

Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images

Location: Wyoming

Located mostly in Wyoming but spilling over into Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone is supposed to be one of the best national parks around. Yet it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. One reviewer writes about the cramped visitor center, disgusting bathrooms, rude rangers, and clueless fellow visitors. When you put it like that, maybe Yellowstone *is* one of the worst parks out there.

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