When reading Yellowstone National Park reviews, one has to keep in mind that Yellowstone is a vast park, spread out over nearly 3,500 square miles, and sits on top of a volcanic hot spot. The park is mainly a peaceful, tranquil wilderness, located mostly in Wyoming, but also spreads into Montana and Idaho in the western United States. Including rivers, canyons, forests, and prairies, what makes Yellowstone unique is its hot springs and geysers, including the famous “Old Faithful.” Yellowstone is also the home of an abundance of wildlife, Including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope.
First protected in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States … and many consider it to be the first in the world. Yellowstone is best known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially the geyser called Old Faithful, perhaps the park’s most popular feature. However, the many other bubbling and prismatic water features are what makes Yellowstone unique.
Grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging hers of bison and elk live in Yellowstone. Forest fires occur in the park almost every year, the worst in recent history being in 1988 when nearly one third of the vegetation was burnt. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking and camping. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often use snowmobiles or cross-country ski to get around.
When visiting Yellowstone, be prepared for a lot of driving and walking. This is not a park where you can see everything from your car, nor should you. Although some complain about the traffic and lack of parking on the main road, if you plan it right, you can see the main attractions early in the morning, then spend the rest of your day (or days) hiking and exploring many of the wonderful sites off the beaten path.
Yellowstone National Park One Star Reviews
Those who post reviews of Yellowstone National Park seem to approach their comments from different angles. From mountains, rivers, lakes and geysers to animals such as bison and bears, the overwhelming advice is to take your time and enjoy everything you can about Yellowstone. Unfortunately, there are many who can’t get over certain aspects of Yellowstone that can interfere with one’s enjoyment of the park, from the traffic to all of the other people that are there. However, reading even the one star reviews can help prepare you for your visit to Yellowstone so that you can have a great visit.
Yellowstone One Star Reviews on Google
There are over 27,000 reviews of Yellowstone National Park on Google. Out of 5 stars, the average is 4.8. A majority of the reviews give very helpful information on how to make the most of your visit to Yellowstone. Since the park is so vast, there is so much to see, and many reviews give readers great advice on how to have the best time at Yellowstone. But many instead focus on the negative and end up giving Yellowstone a bad review.
Below are some one star reviews of Yellowstone National Park from Google:
Many of the bad reviews focus on the traffic and lack of parking:
“If you get there at daybreak, you may have a couple of hours before the park-wide traffic jam begins. By traffic jam, I mean sitting bumper to bumper in virtually motionless traffic for hours on end. I am not exaggerating. We sat for over an hour and moved less than one mile. Keep in mind that the many attractions within the park are literally miles apart. It is over 18 miles from the West entrance of the park to Old Faithful, for example.”
“…there are few roads so the billions of people are all the same road. You go nowhere. I spent 2 hours waiting just past the entrance. Then where there is something interesting, the park rangers are there to move you along. Nothing to see there! The pools, springs, and geysers are the worst. The parking lots are always full and you have to wait for a very long time just to get a spot. Then you get there and it is some fart smelling gurgle. Well, I guess it was not for me. I saw few bison. No deer. No bears. No moose. Couldn’t. Didn’t get very far into the park. To much time waiting. Go off season maybe but summer is not worth it. What a mess.”
“Traffic traffic traffic and they rob you at the front gate. Old faithful isn’t so faithful any more.”
Other reviews are for the crowds and the park rangers … but also, cell service?
“Pretty boring, no real attraction to interact with and people herding like cattle from one place to another. You have to pay to watch a geyser go off with is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of in a national park. If you are a tourist this is a place for you. If you’re a real person who loves nature, just go around the ‘attractions’.”
“The beauty was unsurpassed. I wish they had told us before we got there there would be so many people there. I would have rather been turned away than rushed thru like we were. We hardly saw anything because of traffic and tourists jumping out of their car to take pictures and getting way to close the wildlife. If you don’t make reservations to camp. Don’t even bother to go. There are no towns within a hundred miles of the park in any direction where you can get a room. It was pretty but won’t be doing that again.”
“The rangers are nothing more than cops generating revenue. Handing out tickets and searching cars like border patrol agents. If you’re not in an expensive RV you may as well prepare for harrassment by these wannabe cops.”
“Someone needs to teach the park service not to play with matches. They burned down 100 years of growth. While they try to convince visitors that it will be for the good of the forest, that was the original plan before the fire surged out of control. With all the large trees burned down it’s not much more than a few buffalo and numerous holes in the ground too common to count. Maybe in another generation it’ll be that place people long to go, but right now it’s a place people long for the unburned past.”
“I guess I was expecting too much but I was really hoping for a more exciting visit. Im not sure but there wasn’t a “bang” to this park maybe I’ll come back in the next few hundred years when we are prepared for a good one.”
“My wife and I decided to go mid September because peak season was to be over, the antlered animals were supposed to be in rut and the bears active to fatten up for the winter. Only “wild” life experienced were some Bison, 4 female elk and a chipmunk. None of them were even remotely afraid of people and hardly truly wild. Wild however aptly describes the hordes of Japanese tourists that treated the place like it was their own being as rude as they could possibly be. Show some class people!”
“No Wi-Fi and cell service sucks throughout the park.”
“Very beautiful place to visit, amazing and unique but will give 1 star because it’s a RIPOFF $35 for the entrance RIPOFF YOU HEARD IT RIGHT”
There are some reviews from people, well, trying to be funny?
“The stones aren’t even yellow!”
“Couldn’t find Yogi Bear. :(“
Yellowstone One Star Reviews on Yelp
There are over four hundred reviews of Yellowstone on Yelp with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Of the small percentage of 1-star reviews, many even make mention of Yellowstone’s beauty.
Below are some one star reviews of Yellowstone National Park from Yelp:
“I would give it 0 starts if I could. I’ve traveled all across the States and this is by far the worst place I’ve been so far. I think it may have to do more with personal preference and values but here’s what’s up. So the park itself is nothing grand there’s mountains, trees, and lakes. Nothing too spectacular. 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. Another issue is the lack of cell phone service there is little to absolutely no service. Wifi is available in SELECT areas of the park and for 24 hours of this slow service you have to pay 12 dollars. I mean come on, are you kidding me? 12 dollars??? The food here sucks. The hot lunches at my school are better and that in itself is just sad. I have refused to eat several times on this trip due to lack of variety and taste. If you do decide to come here for god knows what reason, please come with your friends NOT your family. You’re going to be stuck in a prehistoric world with nothing to do and annoying tourists left and right so you might as well come with people you like. Honestly though, save yourself some money and boil some water at home. Please.”
“Traffic is terrible and roads are not in good shape. The sites to see like geysers have little tiny parking lots. Spent whole day in park and only saw some bison. Saw moose, deer etc outside of park. The lodge, gift shops etc are all busy and expensive. Didn’t see rangers or staff other than at a cash register. Keep your money and drive to other places in the state.”
“The public toilets at many scenic spots inside Yellow Stone are too FILTHY to use. Those toilets become a public eyesore in sharp contrast to the breathtaking scenery of the Park. They are also an embarrassing stigma to the Park’s public image. People can hardly imagine that those toilets remain so “primitive” despite the advancement of contemporary bathroom technology that is readily applicable to public toilets in national parks. It’s time public toilets at Yellow Stone be remodeled and improved in the best interest of the visiting public.”
“Apparently September 14th counts as the “off-season” even though summer isn’t even over. All activities were closed, food options extremely limited, lodging with awful management, and let’s be honest…. If you’ve seen one geyser you’ve seen them all. The canyon was pretty gorgeous, but not worth he $260/night in a room with zero amenities and water that gets shut off when you’re taking a shower.”
“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 … It is a shame that most of my memories of the day are of dodging camera-laden tourists and their misbehaving children on boardwalks instead of enjoying the few beautiful sites in the park … The sites to explore were very far apart as this is a large park, and frankly the drive was an ugly one. Rampant forest fires have scarred the pine-filled landscape, leaving patchy areas of growth punctuated by desolation. The wildlife we’d heard so much about was nowhere to be seen … Old Faithful was a touristy and crowded as we expected it to be, and although we waited for an eruption, wilting beneath the afternoon sun, it was a boring end to our thoroughly disappointing visit to this national park.”
“The problem with the place is that it is dull. Yellowstone is on a caldera. A caldera is a volcano that blew up and left a crater. The dirt from this is of poor quality. The only tree that grows is this ugly thing called a lone pine. No flowers to speak of grow here. The place is huge and traffic and parking is super painful. The last thing is once you see water come out of the ground once your good. But its all the same.”
Yellowstone One Star Reviews on Trip Advisor
The Trip Advisor website pushes their sponsored, but you can find reviews of the top attractions once you get past the bookings.
There are over 1,400 reviews of Yellowstone National Park on Trip Advisor – most of them 5 stars, using words such as Fabulous, Surreal, Incredible, Awesome, Wondrous, Amazing, Unbelievable, Spectacular, Fantastic, Picturesque, Breathtaking, and many other great expressions to explain the park’s beauty.
Many reviews recommend visiting in mid- to late-May near the beginning of the season. Those that visited during the summer months still recommend and love the beautiful sites, but don’t like the traffic, crowds and tourists. Other reviews that discussed things about Yellowstone they didn’t like (like not seeing any bears or wolves) still received three or four stars because of how great Yellowstone is.
Below are some of Yellowstone National Park’s one star reviews from Trip Advisor:
“We arrived at the West Entrance around 9:30 am. Did the picture thing at the Yellowstone Sign entrance. Paid to get in…drove maybe 3 miles in and stopped. All cars entering were stopped, occasionally a car would go by exiting. We waited an Hour and half in anticipation of whatever was going on would clear up. Finally stopped a car coming by…she said she had waited three hours and finally gave up. It appears that so many people were there you couldn’t work your way into the “loop” that goes around the park. Old Faithful parking lot was so packed that you had to wait for someone to leave before you could park. This would allow one car off the “loop” and allow one car to advance off of the entrances. We will not try this again until a Shuttle type system is installed.”
“The limited road system, of which perhaps a third is devoted to getting to thermals and geysers that are of little interest to me, does little to display the animal life. When occasional animals were spotted, having fifty vehicles stop to get a look is hardly my idea of viewing wildlife. The feeling of being in Times Square was further enhanced by people out of their vehicles talking loudly while their kids squealed and shouted. Many idiots chased the animals across the plains or into woods to get a picture.”
“Grant Village hotel, BAD ! If you can stay somewhere else do so. No lobby to sit around, because you have no TV no A/C only a table fan, showers no room to turn around I’m only 5 feet and not over weight and had a hard time. Run fast before you stay.”
“DO NOT CAMP AT BRIDGE BAYCAMPGROUND!!!!!! our third day we broke camp at Madison and went to see some stuff on our way to the Bridge Bay campground. We arrived to check in with the ranger Host and were assigned our campsight. I drove through the campground and there were literally like 10 sites with 1 or 2 trees and the rest were totally exposed in a mix of weeds and grass like an old field. I cant understand why, in a forest of over 2500 sq miles they would pick such a spot for a campground. I decided I wasn’t going to go through the hassle of unloading all of our stuff to sleep in a pile of gopherhole dirt and weeds. So we went to Montana and stayed in a hotel in Bozeman.”
“It was the beginning of May, we had reservations at the Mammoth Hotel and we were excited. We drove our rental car, Camaro with wide tires into the park. We turned south to go to Old Faithful before going to the hotel. Old Faithful is 30 miles from the west entrance to the park. We got about 25 miles in and it started to snow like crazy. We got to the end I guess it was where Old Faithful is but we could not see anything, not the sidewalks not the parking area, nothing. We turned around slipping and sliding like crazy. We drove the 30 miles back out with no cell reception and scared as heck. We got to the exit and the snow stopped. There was a sign that you needed snow tires or chains to enter. So that was that. We left. There was no way we were going to drive the 30 more miles to Mammoth Hotel.“
“Too crowded now to be enjoyable, the masses of buses and foreign tourists over whelms the staff and the park looks dirty, worn out and tired … the staff of rangers are rude, ignorant and more political than informative … the National Parks and Yellowstone especially, are the Big Box stores of the natural world today.”
Although what other people say won’t always mean that’s how your trip will be, but sometimes these types of reviews can prepare you for your own visit so you know what to expect or when a good time is to travel to Yellowstone.
Have you been to Yellowstone National Park? Are any of the above one-star comments reflective of your experience? And even if you haven’t yet been to Yellowstone, what do you think of these comments? Please share your thoughts below!